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Last Updated: August 10, 2018
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Mark's Golf Course Reviews
Played here at 11:10 yesterday with a GN Hot Deal for $50. Opted to walk with a nice Sun Mountain push cart they provided instead of taking the cart. ... » More
Played here at 11:10 yesterday with a GN Hot Deal for $50. Opted to walk with a nice Sun Mountain push cart they provided instead of taking the cart. Paired with 3 nice guys and we all played the blacks. Teed off right on time. Pace was slow with lots of waiting and then on the back nine we fell a bit behind the group in front of us. Total POP around 5:10 (eek).
Conditions are good. Fairways are dormant and thin, but not too bad. Very tight lies. The rough is almost non-existent except around bunkers and near the green complexes. Both fairways and rough are yellow/brown, but the greens, giant collars and the surrounds are all green. The greens are medium fast (really fast downhill), smooth and accepting of full shots. I was only in one actual bunker and it was in good condition. I was also in the waste area short of No. 3, which needs some attention. There were big piles of dirt in it, some loose pipes and other exposed pipes that run underneath it. Black tee boxes were maybe the high point for conditions... really nice and lush.
Even with a 5+ hour round and playing terribly, I had a great time. Hard not to enjoy this wonderful course. Highly recommended!» Close
Caught an amazing "Deal" time rate on TeeOff.com for Sunday, 1/5 at 11:50 where it came to only $42 after the 25% off promo code. I hadn't played here... » More
Caught an amazing "Deal" time rate on TeeOff.com for Sunday, 1/5 at 11:50 where it came to only $42 after the 25% off promo code. I hadn't played here in many years (since '97 to be exact), so I was happy to finally return. Got paired with three fun guys. POP was a little slow, but not too bad for a weekend in Orange County. We waited on nearly every shot and finished in about 4:45. Oddly, the whole clubhouse except for the cart barn seemed to be locked up already when we finished. Nice carts with GPS and USB ports (although too many ads/announcements on the GPS that required multiple taps to "Return to Golf" for my taste.)
Conditions are winter-y but good. Dormant fairways are thin but sufficient and pretty convincingly dyed green (I'm pretty sure they're dyed; I'm positive some collars were dyed.). Rough is practically the same height as the fairway, just not dyed. So with so much ESA on this course, there's nothing to really stop your ball from trickling out of play. Greens were a bit inconsistent. None were bad, but some were definitely better than others. Mostly ran medium-fast to fast; you had to be careful with downhillers or they could easily get away from you. They were pretty soft and accepted full shots well. Smooth except for some of the lesser conditioned ones that had patchier grass in spots and showed ball mark damage. Gold tee boxes also inconsistent... some were really nice, others needed some attention. The bunkers I was in were good.
I'm usually pretty good at remembering layouts, but having not played here since 1997, I had forgotten much of the course and also remembered some things differently. I didn't remember the back nine at all, but there are some pretty good/fun holes back there. It definitely helped that the guys I played with had just played there a couple weeks ago and were able to give me some tips on where certain holes went, etc. Gotta love the severely downhill holes like 3, 7, 9 and 17. Oddly I remembered No. 1 being significantly uphill and thought No. 5 used to be much more uphill, too. Neither one really is. It's a fun course but a little too tight for me to want to play it too often. If I can land another deal like I got today, I'll definitely head back out there, though.» Close
For the last few years, Barona Creek has been atop my "local public course I haven't played" wish list. I'd always heard great things but never made t... » More
For the last few years, Barona Creek has been atop my "local public course I haven't played" wish list. I'd always heard great things but never made the trek due to a variety of reasons. I recently saw on their website that they're beginning a big project on the greens that will cause the course to be partially closed starting on January 8, so that added some urgency for me to finally get out there. Then things worked out when I had New Year's Eve day off and they weren't charging holiday rates. I first stopped in the casino to get a player's club card and then arrived at the golf shop a little after 10:00 a.m. to get my name on the list for the 11:00 twilight rate. The really friendly pro shop attendant checked me in, charged me the twilight weekday player's club rate of $64 and said he'd probably get me started a bit earlier than 11:00 to avoid having to send me out as a single amongst a bunch of other groups. Great! I had a tasty hot dog in the snack shop and hit a few practice putts and then was called to the first tee around 10:45. Paired with a friendly couple. POP was good, except for when my playing partners ordered food from the 9th tee phone and it must've taken a long time because they didn't show up at the 10th tee for probably 20 minutes. I let the group behind play though, and even with that delay, we finished in just under 4.5 hours.
Conditions are winter-y, but good. The dormant fairways on the front nine were dyed a bright green and offered really tight lies but there was always grass under the ball. Back nine were mostly the same, but not dyed except for maybe one or two. The rough is not dyed and provides a bit more cushion than the fairways, but the ball might also settle down in little indentations. If you got really off line, the tall weeds/grass would pretty much eat up your ball. The greens were pretty good; medium-fast, mostly smooth and held full shots really well. Visually, they showed lots of little imperfections/ball marks, but nothing that ever impacted play for me. On closer shots, they played a bit firm. Gold tee boxes were flat and in great condition, most of which were dyed green. I was in several fairway bunkers and one greenside bunker, and they were all really good.
It got super windy starting on the 10th hole, which made this outstanding links-style course all the more fun. I really, really loved the layout. I'd always heard comparisons to Rustic Canyon, which are accurate, and I think I like Barona Creek even better than Rustic. It offers similar playability with lots of crazy undulations on the greens, kick-plates to the sides of greens, etc. Just a fantastic course. The par 5s are all great. The par 3s offer a variety of lengths and play in multiple directions. I really loved the short par-3 11th. There are a few holes with some really great elevation changes, and one with beautiful rock outcroppings.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the whole course will not be open for some time due to this project with the greens. A sign in the restroom says "*Front 9 CLOSED, Back 9 Only* Wed. Jan 8 thru June. Limited tee time availability. See shop staff for details."
At any rate, I'll be anxious to get back out there again whenever possible.» Close
Played in the GK Review Guru outing, part of the first group off the tee on Monday 12/9. Always a pleasure to return to what I consider the prettiest ... » More
Played in the GK Review Guru outing, part of the first group off the tee on Monday 12/9. Always a pleasure to return to what I consider the prettiest public course in the desert. Thanks to IWGR for having our group out, and thanks to Johnny for organizing it!
Conditions are excellent. Greens are a little pock-marked here and there but otherwise smooth and medium speed. They accepted full shots really well. Fairways were immaculate or nearly so. Same for the rough. Tee boxes fantastic. Bunkers very nice with plentiful sand.
Heartily recommended!» Close
Had a great time at Sunday's year-end GK Plays! Big thanks to Rams Hill, Linksoul plus all the other generous sponsors, Johnny and fellow GKers for a ... » More
Had a great time at Sunday's year-end GK Plays! Big thanks to Rams Hill, Linksoul plus all the other generous sponsors, Johnny and fellow GKers for a wonderful day!
The course was in really nice condition. I liked how they had clear definition around the bunkers this year with dormant, golden grass that contrasts beautifully with the deep green lushness everywhere else. Greens were smooth, accepting of full shots and medium slow. Would definitely like to see them faster. Fairways were mostly all good, although a few had some thinner areas that are a little atypical for this course this time of year. Rough was fantastic: lush and not too penal. Tee boxes and bunkers both excellent.
Lots of fun! Can't wait to get back!» Close
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