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Played a GK match as twosome teeing off at 11:00 on Thursday, 5/21. The short story is that the conditions overall were very nice. Tees were all flat and green, fairways had good coverage, nice lies and a good amount of rollout. Rough was well grown, had few bare spots and played anywhere from sticky to easy. Bunkers could be a touch firm under looser top layer, but generally played well. Green surrounds provided good chipping opportunities and the greens themselves were in nice shape, mostly running very true at a comfortably fast pace.

I was surprised to find that the range was available and the check-in was handled efficiently with barriers, etc. I like their bar, so was disappointed to not have access after the round, but expected. I only get to this course occasionally, but it's in as good a shape as I've seen it. Which is saying something since they keep it clean and feeling more like a private club than a public course. On top of it all, we got around in a touch under four hours, so pace was never an issue. Definitely recommended.
Trying to be brief. GK match teeing off at 10:50 as a twosome. Course is in nice shape overall. Teeing grounds all good; fairways nice with some runout to them; rough anything from underbrush to recoverable but overall well grown in; and green surrounds good length for short game. Bunkers were firm-ish and a touch damp to greater or lesser degrees and bit tougher to play, with some dry and more playable. There was grass sprouting in some, so upkeep was a little behind the curve. I'd say the greens were medium quick on average, which wasn't a bad speed but not near the pace customarily found here. Some were a little bumpy early on, but most tracked well enough.

Usual precautions, no cart service and no water stations, but course bathrooms were open. About a five hour round, started out grey with an inconsistent one-club breeze most of the time and nice clearing and sun for the last few holes. Not peak RR, but recommended.
I was out Thursday 5/7 with a buddy, joining another twosome, for a 2:40 start on a high 80's warm day. GDR just did a good write up only a couple of days before so this is supplemental. Overall very nice conditions. Playing the whites, consistently good coverage on the tees, most nice and flat with a couple that were a bit less so. Fairways here are never thick or cushy, but were well covered, generally green with a nice hitting surface and good rollout. Rough varied from natural waste and scrub brush areas to thick, green patches. With the extended fringes here, a lot of tight rollup area to putt from off the green. I actually saw enough divots in the extended aprons to wonder who is actually stupid enough to be wedging off that surface vs. putting? I was in a few bunkers, managed to miss any footprints and they played fine. They weren't difficult to get reasonably smooth with your foot and it seems most were cleaning up after themselves. The greens were in nice shape and running pretty quick. They didn't cross the line into scary or yippy quick, which I thought was good thing. Given the slopes and challenges of the greens, I thought the speed was spicy but appropriate. As an aside, the greens here are interesting and challenging, especially with the extended aprons. Between the contours of the greens and the overall slope of the valley I find the first few greens are particularly difficult because there is an almost funhouse mirror vertigo effect trying to read them. It also puts something extra into trying to land and hold your approach shot as well.

Check-in was straight forward at the desk in the clubhouse, the range was available and, not sure if the practice green was formally open but, there were some holes without the little flags and a couple of people were putting. I elected to putt at a tee I stuck into the ground. The course was continuously busy at a pace a little shy of five hours without really feeling particularly sluggish. Temps were warm but there was a light breeze through most of the round that made it tolerable, and it got cooler and still as the sun went down. No water available on the course but the cart girl came around regularly. Nice strategic course in optimal shape that can bite you in the butt. Definitely recommended.
Went over this afternoon as a single. Short story is that the greens have been punched with larger holes and sanded. Sand seems to have mainly dissipated, but bumpy, shaggy and slow. Like most places that haven't had a mowing with all the rain, the fairways are pretty thick also. Not ideal conditions, but I'm digging the rain for the longer term benefits.
Saturday, 3/14, I was on the West side for an event that I found cancelled when I got there, so headed over to revisit Penmar. They are doing a bunch of remodeling, mainly of the food service area, so the main entrance is roped off and you enter through an access gate in the fence to the right of the building. I was matched up with an easy going twosome already on the tee and teed off directly. On the course, things were generally wet, lush and actually in pretty good shape. The teeing grounds are generally level but a little beat up so, while quite serviceable, I would say they are the one aspect that is a little worse for wear relative to the rest of the course. Coverage on the fairways was very good but with the relative lushness and wet, there was minimal rollout. While rare, their were isolated puddles to be found in some low spots. Rough was pretty consistently full and could be punitive, especially with the wetness, but you could get a bit lucky where the ball set more on top. Missed the bunkers and can't comment there. The greens, while littered with worm castings and other small bits, were tight and firm and running about as quick as I've seen them there. I remember years ago when they were always fuzzy and slow and this is a complete change from those days.

We played through a brief, misty shower for a hole or so in the middle of the round, but the precipitation mostly held off. One advantage of the weather was no pace of play issue on a course that I have rarely, if ever, seen quite as quiet. It's a mellow nine that is usually in very good shape for the amount of traffic it gets. Recommended if you are in the area, but more typically, expect a slower pace.
Along with a buddy, we had our first experience at Roosevelt, Friday, 3/6, teeing off around 3:25. I was taken by the vibe of the place and thought it was very cool, but first the conditions. Playing from the blacks, the teeing grounds had good coverage and were pretty level overall. Exceptions would be a touch of forward slope to the sixth teeing grounds, and the markers were grouped forward of the regular teeing areas on the seventh. No complaints, really. The fairways were very interesting. At a time of year where thin, tighter lies and rollout seem to be the norm, these fairways were well grown in and shaggy — lush compared to anything I've seen lately. Really almost more like playable rough than fairways, which is not really a complaint. The course isn't overly long, so rollout isn't necessary, and the ball generally sat up on these thicker, unkempt fairways, so the lies were fine. The rough was a step thicker and could vary from playable to a bit punitive, and there are wooded and dirt areas, and drop-offs that could enter into play with misguided shots. I was in one bunker, which was a riot of footprints that my ball managed to avoid for a decent lie. But the sand was plentiful, a nice, beach-y consistency, and good to hit out of. Green surrounds could verge on lumpy at times, discouraging putting from just off the green but more often was a good lie from which to chip. Greens themselves were in good shape with a scattering of residual marks and a reasonable minimum of outright pitch marks. A bit slower than I've seen most places lately, they ran medium, occasionally on the sticky side, but nothing that required excessive adjustment. The only real warm up areas are the practice putting green for putts and the first tee for swinging clubs. The practice green matched up with the course. The layout definitely presents some challenging moments, including blind shots, and playing it a second time with course knowledge will make it more fun. I enjoyed it.

While the course conditions were quite reasonable, if nothing special, I thought the overall vibe was. The layout is visually interesting, ensconced into Griffith park with a deceptively remote feel. An interesting mix of tight and wide holes, rolling contours and elevation changes, and an abundance of wildlife that included deer and coyotes, all of which belie its actual, immediate proximity to urban Los Angeles. The view of Griffith Observatory from the eighth tee that is framed by the tree-line fairway is one of the cooler and most unexpected things I've seen on a golf course — iconic and actually a bit thrilling. I would go back for that alone. Being an inexpensive nine-holer, I get a sense of an unpretentious, eclectic, urban mix of clientele which I thought very cool. You may find a few more personal ticks and variable attire, but also a lack of attitude. The clubhouse is also tidy in it's mid-century simplicity. A boxy structure, the flat roof covers an office and bar/snack shop facility which are separated by a breezeway-style patio with some sectional lounge-style seating. That the bar/snack shop area has doors that open out to the breezeway give it a nice sense of openness, extending and multiplying the relatively modest space. There is also a nearby, uncovered area with picnic-style tables and tree trunk section seating. For me something about the Griffith Park courses has always hearkened back to earlier time in LA's history that has a certain nostalgia and even romance to it. Maybe, while golfing there, I sense ghosts on the course wearing fedoras and peak caps? Ok, you may check this place out and wonder why anyone would make any kind of fuss about it at all. Check it off your list and move on. I, for one, will be back.
Out Saturday 2/29, for a 10:58 start with Kviser for our GK Cup match, paired up with another twosome — all playing the whites. I though the overall conditions were fine. Except for the 10th, most teeing grounds here are pretty level with coverage. A few were extra hard for tee insertion and at least one was soggy. There is now generally more separation between the respective tees (black, blue, white), with newer white ones built forward of, and augmenting the previously existing tee boxes on a number of holes. Whites are a bit more playable now. Fairways were in good shape for winter and I don't recall any real issues with my lies or the coverage overall. Of course, a bit more rollout now. There are some bare and/or rocky areas in the rough, but mostly there is grass that was anything from almost fairway-like, to some deeper, more penalizing stuff. On average it wasn't too costly. I was only in one fairway bunker, reasonably groomed and playable, albeit with some small stones scattered about. Green-side areas were usually pretty decent for chipping, sometimes tight, and less often a bit clumpy. The greens themselves were in good shape, firm, and running a medium quick with a minimum of ball marks.

Weather was pretty nice with the breeze flirting with a two club bump at points, but more often more like one. Pace was on the slow but steady side at around five hours. Probably one of the better LA City courses with regards to the consistency of conditions, I recommend it.
Played OQ Friday, 2/21 with FirstFlightFX-101 (Chuck) for a GK Cup match. Our tee off was for 1:08 but there were issues with a serious cart shortage, meaning a fair number of people hanging around the range/practice green area waiting for cart availability and getting shuttled up and down the hill. Didn't check the time but guess we actually teed off around 1:30. If Chuck was tracking this, he can put it in his write up.

The course itself was in nice shape and I really have no issues there. Tees were level with appropriate coverage, fairways were good winter coverage with tight but suitable hitting surface and more rollout than I personally have played with there. Rough was generally greened up, not overly penal next to the fairways and a little fuller and consistant around the greens. I was in too many bunkers today and while they were firm enough to barely need a rake, they were clean, the ball sat up on the surface and I thought they were reasonably playable — an improvement over some I've seen here in the past. I thought the greens were pretty clean, and ran nicely on the quick but not too fast side. As I tend to forget, the practice putting green runs very quick and it can take a while to adjust down to the slower speed out on the course.

We started out as a foursome with a young couple joining us on the first tee, but by their choice and for their comfort, they dropped back to play as twosome after the first hole. She was obviously a player and he was very much a newbie under her wing. It was a busy day out there and the overall pace was steady but sluggish, with my estimate of something over 4.5–4.75 hours. That plus the cart delays meant we rushed through the last couple of holes when the group ahead dropped out after 16, and we finished out the 18th hole in the dark. Not a great way to end but otherwise love having the excuse to get out there and play one of my favorite courses.
Went over to DeBell as a single this Sunday morning, 2/16, using the GK voucher for a 10:28, teeing off with another single. The greens throughout the course were in pretty good shape: fairly quick, generally smooth, firm with minimal marks. Other aspects of the course were mixed with the back nine conditions overall pretty decent while much of the front nine worse for wear. While teeing grounds throughout were pretty level, they were a mix of mainly sandy dirt and, to a lesser degree, grass patches. Sometimes that grass was thin and the overall surface was relatively even, other times the grass patches were lumpy relative to the sandy dirt and felt less stable under foot when taking a stance. I would say the majority of the holes on the front nine were chewed up from the tees through the tight fairways, with the greenside grass lumpy and frequently offering difficult lies. The eighth and ninth holes were OK, and the back nine better as to the general shape of the fairways and green side grass. The net impression I came away with was that the portions of the course that are beat up need a time out and more water than they probably will get. The course is still playable and the majority of it is in decent or good shape. The minority that needs TLC is still significant, and it really needs that TLC.

The single I was paired with was a pleasant older gent, the course was busy to the tune of a 4.75 hr round and, walking the course, I came away enjoyably worn out. I actually scored better early though the more beat up holes and took the beating on the nicer back nine. I like this course occasionally for the nasty little challenge it can be, and I want to support it. But after today, I have to be honest and say I'll be taking out of the rotation for a while.
Piggy backing on Nick's review, I have little to add since he pretty much nailed it. By my definition, I think the greens were a bit quicker than medium quick, but Nick has been playing better courses lately than I usually do.

Really nice overall conditions that, except for some tighter fairways, I would barely describe as "winter". We were also fortunate to have a beautiful day with no significant wind.

Definitely recommended.
Played Saturday, 2/8, as a single joining another single, teeing off around 11:30 ahead of a 12:00 Junior girls tournament. Due to the tourney, we were later joined on the 10th tee by a twosome who were only playing the back nine. Consistent with recent reviews, conditions continue to be above average for this time of year here, and with little change I'm just going to comment on a couple of anomalies. 24hourgolf mentioned some maintenance work in his review. When I was out, the third, sixth, 12th, and 13th tee boxes were roped off and the tees forward due to refurbishing. They were leveled with new sod and look very nice. Not sure when they will reopen, but I suspect not too long. It does shorten up an already short course, but this course is not at all about length and, my totally crap play notwithstanding, I still enjoyed it. Fairways had mostly green coverage on the tight side with rollout, rough was mixed and usually playable, bunkers were on the firm side, and the greens were pretty clean and quick — particularly tough from above the hole on some. For those who do play, a heads up. The hillside to the left/front of the 14th green is littered with those dry, round, spikey seed pods that are dropped by Sweetgum trees. I researched the tree name after the fact. I was looking for my ball about halfway down the hill and went down hard because the abundance of them coupled with the steep angle was like walking on ball bearings. I was down before I knew it with no time to react — almost like slipping on ice. Except for some bruising and little spike marks on my ungloved hand, I was OK, but it really is worth calling out as dangerous, so watch where you step when those are around.

Pace was sluggish but consistent at about 4.75 hours, the company was pleasant, and the weather was perfect. It is always nice to see a course actively upgrading and maintaining their facilities. The management seems to care and should be commended.
Played Rancho Friday, 1/31, with a 1:04 tee time, joining a twosome and another single. Even when I lived in Venice, I very rarely played Rancho and so had only been on it a few times. Additionally, a conservative estimate of the last time I played before yesterday would be over 25 years. The generally positive reviews about the place recently had me curious to revisit this classic muni and I finally pulled the trigger. I was not disappointed and would say that the course is in pretty good winter conditions, much like most of the courses I've seen lately. As a previous review mentioned, many, not all, tee boxes were combining blue and whites forward to give the balance of the teeing grounds recovery time. They were reasonably level overall with decent coverage. Fairways were on the tighter side with good rollout. Some thinner areas, but mostly OK. I noticed the fairway on hole five was a bit divot heavy near the top of the hill approaching the green, but that wasn't typical. Rough varied from not-very-punitive to costing strokes — overall pretty good. I was in a couple of bunkers that were fair to play out of — not at all fluffy, but not overly firm. The greens were pretty nice and rolling quick — not as fast as the practice green out by the parking lot, which was very quick — but definitely an enjoyably challenging speed. The greens' surrounds could vary from hard and dirty, to green but lumpy, to green and good for chipping — with more of the latter two.

Things were on time at the first tee, but course pace was a bit sluggish at around 4.75 hours, with a couple of holes in particular backed up. When I booked the round I hoped I would have time to finish, halfway through the round accepted that I probably wouldn't, but then managed to finish up right around 5:45pm in the last of the twilight with the help of the range lights. Someone hit into us on the 18th green, so I know we weren't the last ones in. The guys I was grouped with were all very pleasant and easy going, and nothing about the conditions put me off as unexpected or problematic for this time of year. I really enjoyed the whole experience and won't wait 25 years to do it again.
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