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Got out with a buddy Friday, 1/27, with a 1:46 start. In my previous review I said I would stay away until we got some rain and a little recovery time, and such was the case. Overall, I'd say SA is far from prime, but fair with a reasonable level of playability. Playing the whites, I recall no issues with teeing grounds, which is a good sign. They have varying degrees of tight coverage but are generally pretty level. The fairways are greened up some with a mix of thinner and lusher lies and running on the firm side. There are some hard exposed dirt areas but usually in non relevant areas like near teeing grounds or off to the side. In the fairway proper you typically had a decent to good lie. Rough varies here from nicely playable to hardpan and I found myself playing off pine needles on two occasions. Short game from the fairway fronting the greens was tight but better around the green. I was in a couple of bunkers and the sand was OK, softer than I would expect. The greens are worth special mention and description. It is not unusual that the greens here can be reported on the sluggish side but on the day they were quick — about as quick as you can expect to find here and consistent with the practice green, so pay attention there. They were firm and looked it with a tight, spare surface that was a little unsightly but performed well. There were numerous light, unfixed ball marks that needed attention, but after fixing any in my path, I found the ball tracked well. Bottom line, I really enjoyed the speed and challenge of the greens.

We knew with a 1:46 start finishing 18 holes was not in the cards, but we got through 13 and then the 18th was conveniently open for us to shortcut home for a total of 14 holes. Bottom line you are dealing with the expected, slightly spare, mid-winter conditions of SoCal golf, but it is a good layout and with reasonable expectations, I think the course is now worth playing.
When checking a few days ago, I was surprised to find a fair amount of short-notice availability for Saturday 12/31 in the LA City systems and booked Encino. Then I checked the weather report and understood why I was able to do that. I don't typically play in the rain but, having the appropriate gear, decided to "go Irish" and take the challenge for a change. As it turned out, the conditions were wet from the previous night's rains but surprising little precipitation for most of my round.

The course is playable but in mid-winter form. Probably because of the wet, on most tees the black, blue and white were set together around the white monuments. The teeing grounds themselves were consistently level with coverage and provided a good start. Fairways were a chaotic patchwork of mixed grasses on the tighter side, occasionally thin/bare and with sticky/muddy patches distributed around. More than once I moved a ball in the fairway to get some grass under it, but mostly it played OK. Runout was reasonable for the conditions but clubbing up was the rule of the day. Rough was a little longer than the fairway but not much of a factor. I was in one bunker and rather than firm and soggy, it was damp but surprisingly fluffy. Short game from the fairway in front of the greens was tricky as the lies were tight and sticky, but surrounding the green usually gave you a better lie for chipping. The greens were the highlight — pretty clean, running true at a fairly quick medium pace. No apparent slowing from the dampness.

There were golfers out but it was understandably spare, and it seemed like most of them started earlier. I was on my own and in my vicinity there was only a two-some in front of me and a single a few holes back. Pace was just about four hours. There were a few times over the course of the round it started to lightly mist and I donned my rain jacket, but it would end within a half hole and the jacket would come off. It really only started to rain to any real effect at the start of the 18th through finish, so I lucked out as to my timing and exceeded any expectations I had as to avoiding the wet. Would I recommend it? Probably not, even as I wouldn't steer anyone away from it. As long as you know before you go. Did I enjoy it as the golf slut that I am closing out 2022? Heck yeah.
Out as single on Friday 12/9, teed off at 12:20 playing the whites on a beautiful sunny day in-between rainy ones. Overall course conditions were clean. Teeing grounds were covered and level. Fairways were green, on the tight side but with a good based — not thin or hard. I noticed a few brown patches starting down the first fairway but they were small, few, and I didn't notice any the rest of the day. Rough was generally green, consistent and not overly punitive. I was in way more than my usual quota of bunkers and they were in good shape, clean and somewhat on the firm side. They gave way to the shot well enough, but needed barely a swipe with the rake since one tended to walk over the surface leaving minimal impression. Chipping from the fairway was tight but the rest of the area around the greens was in good shape for short shots. I'd say the greens were the highlight — clean, medium fast and true. I generally had a good putting round, converting numerous six-ish footers that stayed on line. As muni player, I'm not used to seeing that.

Surroundings and conditions aside, I do find the course itself tad pedestrian in a predominantly flat, back and forth park land kind of way. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy it. It's a good walking course in a beautiful valley and views of the surrounding area are very nice. While the round started with minimal wind, a steady westerly breeze running up the basin soon kicked up and stayed until the 18th. While it can seem like you are always heading into the wind on a breezy day, in this case it is closer to true. With the wind in this direction, 12 of 18 holes either play into the wind or get a cross breeze to factor in, so it often played longer for me on the day. My singular disappointment was bringing my dog out to walk with me only to find out they have banned dogs on the course since the last time I had been there. Apparently, an incident with someone's dog biting a child on the cafe patio led to the resort-wide ban. Too bad, as I was alone and it was otherwise the perfect opportunity and setting for it. Fortunately I was able to get my wife to come pick him up before I was due to tee off. Otherwise, a pleasant course, nice conditions, beautiful setting, and good walk. Recommended.
Only time for a quick review, I got out 12:18 Saturday 11/19 as single joining a twosome and a single female. Hadn't played here in a good while so enjoyed the chance to play it again. Overall conditions were solid. Exceptions that come to mind were some scruffy areas being reseeded on the sixth fairway and the back half of the 18th green was roped off, not sure why. Otherwise the fairways had nice coverage and good roll out. The one bunker I was in had good sand. The greens were clean, on the quick side and minimum of ball marks. The company was good and the timing was perfect, finishing as the last sunlight was leaving the mountain tops. Mountain views from the middle of Santa Barbara, paid thirty-something to walk — what's not to like? Recommended.
I was invited to play in a scramble last Saturday, 10/15 and drove out to play, unaware of the latest GK reports. My report first, exposition second.

Report: Stay away as the greens are in full, punched, post-aeration waffle iron mode and will probably need a few weeks to get close to normal. The rest of the course is in its usual, above average conditions and I have no complaint beyond the greens.

Exposition: It was a wet morning when I arrived around 7:15 for an 8:00 start — diminishing light mist but no actual rain. The first hint of something amiss was the cluster of players checking in the for scramble being pretty much the only golfers in sight. One player on the chipping green, two on the practice green and none on the range. An odd sight and vibe. The practice green was punched consistent with the course and everything had a fine layer of moisture such that putts had to be hit firm and ran with rooster tails of water. As mentioned, the rest of the course was in nice condition with no conspicuous saturation of the fairways, so that part was fine and played well. Being a scramble, we never played out of a bunker. It was a small, seven group scramble so the pace was good at about 4.5 hours. I enjoyed the company, the course as a whole, and did the best with what we had on the greens. We were provided food and coffee upon arrival and a tri-tip BBQ afterward. I was a guest in the group and I didn't pay a dime, drove the ball well and had good time with no pressure and not playing for a personal score. For the rest of you, give it the three weeks.
Got out Friday as a twosome paired with a twosome around 2:00pm. Hadn't been over to SA in a while and it is a bit worse for wear currently. The tee boxes are generally pretty level with coverage and where the coverage is thin — so what? — you're using a tee. The fairways had more dry, hard, dirt patches spread about than I recall ever seeing. The relative positives being that they were liberally outlined as GUR and the majority of non-GUR areas were decent grass lies. Additionally, most of the bunkers were outlined in white and marked as GUR. They didn't looked particularly bad (i.e. missing sand, etc.) but neither did I try to play out of any marked ones. There were a few unmarked green side bunkers, and they seemed OK. Rough was anything from hardpan to a little thick. Green side areas were inconsistent as to surface quality and made chipping unpredictable. The greens were serviceable at medium speed, but a bit unkempt as to surface quality.

The other twosome was pleasant, pace was good at around 4.5 hrs, and we got it done with plenty of light to spare. While I've definitely seen worse in general, not this bad at SA in particular. I would be in no hurry to go back until we've had some rain and recovery time to grow back in. It's playable but not pretty — definitely stressed and dog eared. I can find other, equivalent courses with better conditions for now.
Wrote an optimistic review in June. While it was OK for a while, the drought has since had its effect. The greens are OK as are mostly the immediate surrounding areas. The fairways vary with some notably worse and others greener and decent, but on average there are a lot more extended areas that are dry, thin, occasionally bare and stressed. But getting out at 4:10 for super twilight at $11 on a Friday with relatively short notice is something. We acknowledged the conditions, played on, enjoyed it and the beer afterward. But I'm a local and it's a fallback option. For anyone else, it's likely you'll find better options before you get near here.
I'm surprised HD hasn't been reviewed in almost three months. I got out yesterday, 9/17 for a 12:50 start as a single joining another single and twosome. I walked, they rode. Start was on time and the twosome, running late, joined at the second tee. Overall conditions were solid. Teeing grounds here are large, generally level, and you are usually teeing up with green coverage — no issues there. The fairways were good, predominantly green and even a bit lush, reducing rollout more typical for here — not exactly shaggy but about mowing time. With all the recent heat, good to not see extended brown and hardpan. While there were some isolated thinner areas and also a few overwatered spots, these were exceptions. Rough varied between very playable and a little punitive but was generally green fairway-adjacent. I was in one bunker in which the sand was a little moist and heavy but it had give and I escaped adequately. I think most were drier. The areas surrounding the greens were suitably grown in and supported the short game. The kikuyu effect is on display here though and approach shots coming in and hitting short of the green would frequently bounce straight up and die rather than kick forward. The greens were in pretty good shape. Reasonably clean and no excess of ball marks, they ran medium, a touch on the slow side on the front, and by the back nine had dried out to medium on the quicker side.

Weather was nice, warm enough to generate some sweat but breeze enough to cool it off a little and a relief compared to the recent heat wave — certainly not cool but seemed it by comparison. The group was congenial and the pace was right around 4.5 hrs. As Hansen goes, definitely recommended.
My buddy and I joined two singles as we went out late Saturday 9/10 for a 4:30 tee off that netted us 11 holes before quitting in the gloom. Teeing grounds here are above average as to nice coverage and usually level. The newly rebuilt tee on the par-3 7th hole is a big improvement. Fairways were mostly in decent shape with a less rollout than usual due to the moisture laid down earlier that day by the weather. The latter part of the par-5 6th hole consistently tends to be a little sketchy with bare spots, but that is more of an exception. Rough was occasionally heavy enough to be an challenge but more often it is not very punitive here. Missed the bunkers, which looked clean enough. The greens were in nice shape. They typically can be a little quick with some subtle breaks but on the day they were an atypical medium speed — again, due to the moisture and maybe missing a pass with the mower — but no complaints.

We were a bit slower than the group ahead and so couldn't complain about pace, moving along steadily. Service here is always friendly and efficient. Getting out earlier would have been nice, but it was a spontaneous, late decision to play. After the siege of heat, I was just happy to get out on a course in reasonable temperatures for a few holes. Played well, good times.
Based on my last review, my previous visit to this course was back in March. My buddy and I went out today, 8/21 with a 4:50 start to see how it was going. Short answer: really not good. I'd describe it as dog track conditions but I think more highly of my dog than that. To start, all the tee boxes were roped off — presumably to heal but not much of that has happened yet — and tees were set together well forward. The lies there ranged from lumpy with uneven coverage to flat but bare dirt. As for the fairways, there are some sections with actual, playable grass, but there are extensive areas of dry, hard, tight lies, hardpan and bare sections. Ironically, there are even some random, long, thick, rough-like patches on some of the fairways. Bunkers were minimally groomed and the sand quality varied, leaning towards firm. Around the greens was a mashup of grass lengths from nice lies to deep and hack-worthy. The greens were OK, not particularly clean and ran about a medium speed.

The course is in dire need of watering and we both agreed it almost had that look of having gone out of business. The usually grass range was mats today but the grass there is not in great shape. I was glad to use the mat for my short warmup. The pro shop woman was pleasant enough and the bar here always seems to be occupied by happy patrons. I can't recommend this course right now for even a practice round much less anything more serious. I like the layout and with decent conditioning it could be worth a visit, but for now stay away. I don't see myself even checking back here for at least six months and only after there has been enough rainfall to give it a chance at some rejuvenation. Tough to see.
Out on Sunday 8/7 as a single joining four others for a 10:30 start. There is enough detail in the thread about the character of this course, which I enjoy very much, but I'll keep this short. Nice all around conditions, greens were clean, medium paced and on the soft side, taking deep pitch marks. I avoided the bunkers but they looked OK. Fairways were good and green. Fairway-adjacent rough not too penal but beyond that you can be in the wilds. Pace was sluggish but nobody cared. Friendly, easy going group made for a pleasant round. The long uphill tee shot on the second hole will test you for length while the rest of the course is not particularly long. That said there are some pretty challenging holes in the mix that require precision. With a hilly topography, the walk is a workout for nine holes, the views are classic LA, and the course is fun. If you've never been here, it really is worth checking out. Be prepared to hang out in the breezeway afterwards and have a beverage while soaking up the vibe.
Three o'clock start on Saturday 7/23 with my buddy and paired up with a couple of young guys who were good company. Woodley is what it is — long, wide open, pretty flat and good for walking, with mostly forgiving rough. Teeing grounds were level and in good enough shape. Fairways are not the most aesthetic visually but the hitting surface is mostly good, usually firm with some run to it. Given the hot weather, I'd have expected worse and the conditions were more than decent. I missed the bunkers and have nothing for you there. Adjacent to the greens was usually green and in good shape for short game but a little further away and it could get tighter, dryer, and commensurately more challenging. Always important to the big picture, the greens were in very nice shape. Running at a consistent, medium pace, they were very clean with a minimum of ball marks. In a sense, the greens are one of the defenses of this open course if only because they are expansive. You can be on the green or immediately green side and still have a long way to judge, setting up potential three-putts or more.

A consistent 1+ club breeze made a warm day more pleasant. We were not the quickest and lost touch with the group ahead while occasionally pausing the group behind. By the end, there was just about a one hole opening in front and behind us and we finished in 4.5 hrs on the mark. I played Woodley a few months back so playing it twice within a year is way more than I usually see it, but it was one of the few options available for 18 holes at a reasonable time in the city system when checking five days in advance. Currently going through one of those rare phases of hitting the ball well, it was an opportunity to exploit forgiving conditions and go low which I did. Huzzah. Basic but enjoyable, I'll take a good score any way i can find it.
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