Jeff Briggs's Golf Statistics
|Available to Play Golf:
||Weekdays & Weekends|
||Will Ride or Walk|
|Smokes (while golfing):
|Plays in Tournaments:
||Mission Hills Gary Player|
Where Jeff Briggs Plays Golf
Los Angeles County; Riverside County; Palm Springs Area; Orange County; San Diego County; Ventura County; Santa Barbara County; Las Vegas Area; Phoenix Area; Bellingham/Northwest
What's in Jeff Briggs's Golf Bag
Taylor Made Spyder putter
Callaway Apex A48, P46, 9-5
Taylor Made M3 4 hybrid, 5 metal, 3 metal, driver
Last Updated: December 3, 2020
I have a photo of myself with a club in hand at age 2, as my Dad was (and at 94 remains) an accomplished amateur golfer. My first lesson was from a pro in England at age 7, where my Dad was the only “Yank” member and club champion the two years we lived there. (They still have an annual mixed foursomes tournament named for him at that club.) We were Navy, moved a LOT, and I first started playing regularly one summer after high school, in Hawaii. I dabbled here and there while in school in my ancestral home of St. Paul, Minnesota, got married, moved to LA to pursue a career in law, had kids, and basically played only a couple times a year with my Dad because I just had no time. In 2002 the kids were gone in college and one Sunday I decided to take my father in law, mourning the loss of his wife, out to the Reagan Library in Simi. While scouting I saw an ad in the Times for Lost Canyons, so on a whim I threw a couple old clubs in the trunk and off we went to check that out after the Library visit. It was a beautiful February Sunday afternoon about 2 pm at Lost Canyons, and there was virtually nobody playing either of the two courses, which at that time were still pretty new and in spectacular condition. The range was empty and they gave me a free bucket of balls to hit. I was back the next weekend and the bug bit me hard. It was a drive from Hollywood but not bad, and like a private club with no tee time issues and two beautiful and challenging courses. Have played very regularly ever since. After Lost Canyons closed (worst run golf facility in history), I took my handicap to Industry Hills and then Angeles National, but I like to play all over and love to walk if possible and love to practice. Finally beat my Dad a couple years ago, but he can still play and still can beat me on occasion from the forward tees. He used to live next door to Mark O’Meara, and Mark got my Dad and Mom to the Masters a few years after he won there, he is a great guy. I Moved to Thousand Oaks just before the pandemic hit (so very thankful to be out of LA city and County), am now learning about the local courses and just moved my handicap to the GK Club because I still like to play all over. Golf Development Center on Tierra Rejada Road in Moorpark is minutes away and a terrific practice facility, I usually go there before going to where I will play on a given day, even if at Tierra Rejada which has a good range. I love 3 day trips to the desert to play, and we have friends in Scottsdale and I love playing there as well. I usually go out to play as a single, often just hook up with random others, and I can count on three fingers the number of golfers with whom I wish I hadn’t been paired. In my experience, Golf is much more likely to bring out the best in people you meet, and so I am glad to see so many more people playing these days—we could use more endeavors that bring out one’s best. I have fulfilled two golf dreams: Playing with my Dad in Ireland and at Bandon Dunes. I may never have an ace, but those Ireland and Bandon trips make up for that many times over. Also stood on the range once with Mark and Tiger for an hour, and that was pretty special, too. Johnny G is my hero for what he (and everyone who participates) has created here at GK, and I look forward to my first GK event at Rams Hill in another week. And to meeting more GKers. Watch your top knot and keep it in the short grass, my friends.
Jeff Briggs's Latest Blog Entries
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Jeff Briggs's Golf Course Reviews
Returned to Sand Canyon 11/25 to play the Mountain nine (paired with Valley) because I never had played it. I enjoyed it and found it comparable to D... » More
Returned to Sand Canyon 11/25 to play the Mountain nine (paired with Valley) because I never had played it. I enjoyed it and found it comparable to Desert in that it has some narrow spots, is a little shaggy here and there, and again has some trees that interfere with tee shots, i.e., overhanging the tee box, which is like dreams I have where I can’t find a place to tee the ball. An odd lack of maintenance quirk. Mountain is very heavily treed generally, many very mature oaks throughout the nine holes. There is water on a couple holes but not in play, almost can’t even see it. No idea why they call it “Mountain” and why the Valley 9 is called “Valley,” both end with some elevated tees on a hillside.
Greens, fairways, bunkers, rough, surrounds consistent with the other two nines—tee boxes on Mountain were a little more uneven and divoted, and a couple greens had some damaged areas being worked on, but overall the greens roll well and don’t have a lot of undulation. Small to medium sized greens like the other 2 nines. Like Desert, Mountain can be narrow off the tee, and trees come into play even on some good drives if you are on the wrong side of the fairway or greenside. Like the other 9s you will lose a lot of balls if you are not in reasonable control of your drives. Fairway lies generally quite good, bunkers very good, rough spotty, surrounds very shaggy and often bare.
POP was 1.5 on Mountain, but Valley 9 was 3 hours on a fairly busy day before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The practice putting green has now been cut and is rolling well despite some patchy spots with some weird grass. I did not use the range, but it looks very mediocre to me, the mats are basic and worn. It also was crowded, clearly gets used by locals for practice alone, not just by players that day. There is no short game or bunker practice area that I could find.
Now that I have seen all three 9s, I rate Sand Canyon as a good but not great place to play. The courses are ordinary, the unique features like some very elevated tees and trees in the fairways and the like seem contrived. Range is muni-like, pro shop is very good, personnel are very good, and the ownership seems to be focused on the right things on the course but the course really needs help on its expansive surrounds, their shabbiness detracts from the overall look and feel. Valley is clearly the best of the three 9s, and seems to get the most play. I suspect a Desert/Mountain combination would be an excellent pace of play on most days and a fun outing when one is hitting it straight off the tee and wants to focus on iron play. Any of the 9s would be a good place to tune up for an eastern or Midwestern trip because of the trees, even on “Desert.”» Close
Played Desert/Valley today 11 am as a single, from the blues. Haven’t played here for years, since the old Robinson Ranch days. I am glad I came bac... » More
Played Desert/Valley today 11 am as a single, from the blues. Haven’t played here for years, since the old Robinson Ranch days. I am glad I came back.
Very friendly and easy check-in, nice pro shop, but oddly does not have a GHIN computer. I had 11:30 tee time on Valley/Desert; shop suggested Desert was wide open and to go ahead early and reverse the two nines unless I wanted to join someone, so off I went. Had Desert to myself, played in 1:15, which then had me run into traffic on Valley, but still played that 9 in 1:45. I like a club that can look at what is happening on the course and let people freewheel a bit. Course overall was not very busy, though.
I did not use the range, but it is mats and a little worn. Supposedly has a short game area, I will report next time. The once incomparable practice putting green is clearly under repair, quite shaggy, not sure why it is even open at all, not a good introduction to the course.
Carts had ball washers and ice chests, and an ice machine is available and a free bottle of water was given out, but no GPS on the carts. Ball washers and ice chest and GPS should be required, but can’t think of the last time I got all three anywhere! With all the portable laser finders and GPS systems available, I guess I would rather have the washer and ice chest. I used free “GolfPad” app and it worked perfectly. Carts also had a plastic divider between seats—a first for me, annoying, but whatever. On the other hand, there were no cup shallowing inserts; the Marshall told me people were stealing them (WTF?) so they just removed them all. Pro shop staff had masks—most golfers and the Marshall did not. (I don’t care about any of this stuff, it is all overkill to me but I can live with it. It does point out the almost total randomness of the rules, though; they are all over the lot from course to course even within the same county.). No cart girl at least today (a Monday).
The Desert 9 is narrow and heavily treed, on some tee boxes the adjacent trees actually block the tee shot. Weird, but not a big deal. This is not a difficult course if you can regularly find the fairway. The Valley 9 is wider off the tee, also well treed. Again, not a difficult course, but there are some angles to get familiar with. Both these 9s feature some big elevation changes and each has a ninth tee tee high above the fairway; the Valley’s 9th has an infamous large oak tree in the middle of the fairway off the elevated tee, and it is a bad feature, is just too large and right in the center and right in the landing area for all but the longest hitters. Like a putt putt feature. Neither course has water, each has a dry barranca or two to cross at one or two points. I used almost all my clubs, and each has a par 4 on which driver might not be the play from the tee. Each has a long par three, 200+ on the Desert side from the blues. If you are not hitting well off the tee, you will lose some golf balls, the areas surrounding the fairways are pretty impassable.
These 2 nines overall can best be described as ragged around the edges but generally lush in the landing areas, with high quality greens. The surrounds of the course are in very poor shape, lots of dead and bare dirt areas, but then few of these are in play; they just don’t give the course a luxe appearance. The fairways have some poor spots here and there, but generally not in normal or intended playing areas, and if you are hitting it straight and well, you generally find nice and often lush turf. The tee boxes are pretty beat up, some a bit uneven and shaggy, but not a big deal other than aesthetically. The greens are in very good shape, they are relatively fast and very true, especially around the cup (no Dave Pelz “lumpy donut” to knock your ball off line as it nears the hole). But the greens also have very little undulation; I haven't had this many dead straight putts, well, ever. The green surrounds are lush and present a fair challenge. The bunkers have a dull, ugly sand but there is enough sand to give you a fair chance at getting out with a normal effort. No rakes (COVID), but the carts have sand/seed mixtures for filling divots, a first for me since the pandemic. (See above re the randomness of the rules.)
It appears they are putting money into the course where most important at present, the playing areas. One example of raggedness is the hole signage—they are really worn and have an abandoned look. The Desert 9th still has a sign for “Valley 18th,” which is a bit confusing for a newbie here. But the surrounds and little touches are not a priority, while the greens and fairways and some tree planting seem to be—appropriate if funds are limited and they seem to be. The course has a long way to go to support a “resort” as is planned, but the bones are there. If Industry Hills could do it, they can do it here as well, though these two 9s are not as good as Industry Hills in terms of design. I would also note with appreciation that they did have a Marshall out and he spent his time filling divots and fixing ball marks, which all marshalls should be doing everywhere they exist. I would say, so far, this is a well run operation and worthy of support.
There are nicer looking courses (and surrounds) for the money, and some much less expensive, but I would say this is a reasonable value and I definitely will return, perhaps regularly. I never played the “Mountain” 9 even in the course’s prior iteration, and am eager to try it.» Close
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