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Fun GK Review Guru round out at River Ridge Vineyard Course yesterday. Got to tee it up with Nickequire, dsal_13 and 3-4bravo. Thank you toritori, rgm2525 and GDR23 for joining.

I was concerned at the start when I got news they had lightly sanded the greens that morning and they were running much slower than normal. These are the type of procedures superintendents don’t typically inform other golf course staff much in advance. I always look forward to playing either River Ridge Course (Victoria Lakes or Vineyard) because you can always count on smooth, medium to fast greens when maintenance is not being done. They have their city championship approaching in 3 weeks and you can bet the greens are only going to get better. Turned out the greens were much slower but at least they rolled smooth and held shots.

Vineyard is a golf course that seems to be greatly overshadowed by its big brother Victoria Lakes. Although I certainly think Victoria Lakes is the better course, the Vineyard is still a great golf course. It’s mostly the original layout at River Ridge Golf Course and presents many challenges. It features some very good holes, nice mix of short and long par 4, some risk/reward par 5’s, and the spectacular “Island” 18th hole. See photos I just posted.

Overall condition was very good and only going to get better quickly. You’re going to love taking on those greens as they speed up which should be soon. Fairways are mostly lush but will get lusher. Rough mostly lush but will get lusher. Tee boxes in good shape, level and lush. Bunkers in good shape with quality sand. I’d like to revisit this course with some GK Review Gurus in a couple weeks. Play the Victoria Lakes course as well. That would be an awesome 36 hole day. Although I know conditions are going to improve, right now it’s still a very fun golf experience I recommend!
Played on 5/22 at 1:00pm with a good deal including cart on, $36 plus fees. Was greeted by Brian, a friendly and very helpful young man who got me oriented to the course and practice facilities, which include putting green, a separate sand trap and chipping area and driving range. He let me go out whenever I was ready, and went out as a single. Played through one group and then was slowed down later in the round, POP ended up being 3hrs 20mins.

Loaded clubs on an old-time gas cart in fair condition, with scorecard with hole locations indicated and a separate, detailed and full-color yardage card that was fantastic. All couses should offer this for free! Cart was a bit creaky and back-fired a handful of times, but that added to the rustic fun.

The course is a fun design, and though I don't really consider it a 'links' style course, other than perhaps holes #16, #17 nearest the bay, I loved the layout and design. Played the whites on a cool day, mostly socked-in by the marine layer and a 1-club wind.

Tees had good grass coverage, a few with divot damage and a few where it was hard to get a level stance.

Fairways were top-notch. Great undulations to deal with and sand-traps. Front side they are a bit narrow and you need to play short off #5 tee. Back side opens up a bit off the tee. Great views of the bay/harbour from any number of holes throughout. The scenery, even on a coldish day is worth the greens fee. Rough varied in coverage, typically heavier nearer the greens.

Along with the fairways, the numerous bunkers were a key feature of the course. A really nice layer of medium-weight sand that was consistent in the handful of bunkers I was in, just a little damp but soft. They were well taken care of and I really appreciated the old-style wide wooden rakes with short wood pegs. They really did a fantastic job of smoothing out my tracks in the sand!

Greens were firm, but held well. They were a little bumpy and putted medium-fast. Could probably use a verticut with a light layer of sand, as there are a number of irregularities currently. It looks like they may have punched them a few months ago.

Highly recommend this course when in the area. It is about a 40 minute drive from Santa Rosa. A good, fun design, very picturesque.

On holes #16 and #17, you have to park the cart, unload your clubs and either carry them or use one of the handcarts provided to traverse through marsh on a walking bridge to get to #16 fairway and #17. You then return to your gas cart and finish on #18 - which is another hole to probably not use your driver.

Looking forward to playing here again soon.
Teed off early AM Monday (5/22), not too busy. Played here last in early April.

Good grass driving range.

Greens: almost full "healed", medium speed and holding.

Fairways: filling in nicely, in better condition than in April.

New T box on #3, constructed with the sand/dirt from the Spring storms, nice addition.

Rough: vary from 1" to 3", ball tends to sit down making a shot from the rough quite challenging.

Traps: were not raked, played firm.

POP: at 4 hours.

Check around as there are some good deals out there!
Walked the Blues (6761/72.7/129) in breezy conditions in the 70's. The POP was around 4 1/2H playing with GK Guru's 3-4bravo, dsal_13 & JohnnyGK.

The Kikuyu tee boxes were semi lush, mowed close and nicely maintained.

The Kikuyu fairways had good coverage everywhere. About 50/50 lush and thin.

The Kikuyu rough is mostly mowed down. Decent close to the fairways, more sketchy the farther you get from the fairways.

The sand traps were filled with medium brown sand, fairly hard packed in the fairway bunkers, much softer around the greens. Well maintained even though the greenside traps were thinner than I would like to see.

The beautiful dark greens look immaculate and they putted as well as they looked even with a light top dressing. Medium fast speed, firm/smooth and held iron shots well.

The customer service is always excellent here, very friendly staff. The Vineyard layout is not overly hilly, but it can be a challenging course to walk in the wind. Big climb from 2 green to 3 tee and it's a long walk from 13 green to 14 tee and from 18 green back to the clubhouse and parking lot. Definitely recommended.
Walked the River Ridge Vineyard course this morning 5/22/2017 at 11am for a GK Guru Round with RGM2525 and Toritori walking the tips (72.7/129/6761) on a beautiful high 60's low 70's day with about a 10mph breeze. Our POP was fantastic not waiting one shot finishing in just over 3 hours 30 minutes. We had a blast out there today on a fun semi-challenging layout. The vineyard course has some strong par 4's, usually some ocean wind, large greens and enough OB, lakes and kikuyu rough to keep each player on their toes.

The greens were super soft, contained some sand on them today and were putting pretty pure but a lot slower than usual due to the minimal amount of sand on the greens. Once the sand settles in and these greens are cut or rolled I can see these greens being in GREAT shape. Currently rated 7/10. One thing to appreciate about RiverRidge is the super strives to keep the maintenance up and running to provide usually exceptional green conditions.

The fairways were mostly lush based kikuyu grass with still a decent amount of roll. Pretty nice coverage throughout. Rated a 7.5/10.

The tees were cut and mowed kikuyu in nice shape. Par 4 and 5 tees had no divot damage and the par 3's contained some divots that were mostly filled in and in nice shape. Mostly all tees were level. Rated 7.5/10

Was in greenside bunkers on #15 and #16 that were raked and semi-firm but contained just enough sand for the club not to bounce. Rated 7/10

The rough was mostly semi-lushed mowed down kikuyu grass 1 inch to maybe 1.5 inches long. In good shape. Easy to play out of. Rated 7.5/10.

Customer service in the pro-shop is always nice and professional. Range has some beat up portions in hitting areas. They have two great separate chipping areas that are nice and a very sloped putting green that is very large to practice long lag putting. They have some really cool twilight and sunset rates during the summer--this is Oxnard so I would still being a windbreaker even in the summer if you are playing in the afternoon.

5/22 using teeoff deal time with 20% off for net $27. really good rate for this course. Had 1015 tee time -but starter Jim got us off about 945--paired with a nice compatible husband and wife Bob and Thelma--good thing we got along because we were out there together for nearly 5 hours--we noticed a pretty steady line up of golfers but there was a 4some 3some 4some right ahead that seemed to take turns running into issues so basically we waited every shot--good news was that the 4some behind us never caught up so if we were in our original time slot I am sure it would have been over 5 hours.
Fairways were quite good nicely mowed --firm but good cushion and decent lies overall. Rough cut to about 1-2 inches with some longer patches around greens or on slopes--effective at impeding the ball but not too penal for extraction.
Bunkers were groomed but some still exhibited the effect of being overly wet as the sand even having been groomed was packed and firm. Areas with out the moisture were a lot more playable.
Tees level generally with good enough cover-par 3s had divots but most had been filled with a nice mix of seed/sand/compost.
Greens fairly smooth medium fast with good consistency--not quite as fast or as smooth overall as the practice green. Topography does influence the break here--not a lot of undulation or tiers except for 12.
Driving range has mats with nice cushion--large putting green and a chip/pitch green with a practice bunker.
Staff is very friendly and welcoming--service cart making the rounds--marshal out and about chatty but not concerned about POP.
Course has considerable variety with elevation changes-- severe doglegs--mix of wide and tight fairways--short and long holes--all enough to keep you on your toes. Well worth giving it a try.
Played on 5/22 at noon. 4 hour POP

Rancho Park is really benefiting from all of the rain this year. Most of the course is in very good shape. Its rough spots are near the fences and near the cart paths. The fairways were the highlight today. Fantastic coverage and were very nice to hit from. The greens were next, followed by the tees, then the rough. I didn't find any sand so I won't comment on it. Overall a very pleasant day. Played the front 9 in 1:30 which was great and we were met by a three group wait at the par 3 12th for our first wait of the day.
Walked 36 from the Blues on Saturday 5/20 with Nickesquire, Mr. Bugs and my buddy Shon for the first round. POP was 4 1/2 hrs and we had a great time! Shon and I went around again after lunch paying the $33 replay rate. POP for round 2 was 4:20. I'd say Sterling Hills is a moderately difficult walk, with some hills and a few long walks between holes...especially between 9 and 10.

Sterling Hills has been on and off my current play list due to conditioning issues, and it had been over a year since I had been there. It looks like things are starting to look up. The range was set up to hit off of grass, which was good start to the day.

The highlight of the course has always been the greens. Nothing has changed there. They were holding shots well, and pretty slick in the morning. Putts held their lines, and some putts were dropping for us all. In the afternoon, they did bump up and slow down a bit. We didn't hole near as many putts on the second 18.

The fairways have good coverage and are pretty lush and green, with the occasional bare spot to be found. The fairways are MUCH improved since the last time I was there.

Rough is a bit splotchy and inconsistent, but around the greens it's mostly lush and thick.

The negatives were the tee boxes and the traps. Most tee boxes had decent coverage, but they were shaggy and almost all of them need leveled.

The sand...well it's not really sand, is it. It's well maintained dirt. I was only in one bunker in the first round, and was able to get out of it. The second round I was in a few more of them, and struggled to get the club underneath the ball effectively.

Customer service was very good all around, and we saw the beverage cart many times. Food in the grill between rounds was very good. Overall, we had a really nice day at Sterling Hills, and the conditions have improved enough that I'll put it back onto the 'play' list. I'd recommend it.
Think of Ridgemark as a muni course. If you go there thinking it's a resort course you will be disappointed. However, if you arrive with the mindset you're about to play a muni course then you'll enjoy the experience. I was surprised at how nice the greens were. They rolled smooth and true. The greens are definitely the best part of the course (condition wise).

Fairways are average and tee boxes are a little less than that. Sand traps are horrible.

Now for the course layout. I would like to preface this by saying that I had NO control of my driver today so I'm trying to take that into consideration. I never played here when it was a 2 course layout so I can't comment on which holes were good and which ones weren't.

The track has a decent mix of dog leg right and lefts to make you work (or try to) your ball in both directions. Landing areas are decent with only a few fairway traps to get in the way. The fairway bunkers looked fairly easily to escape from.

I was a bit disappointed that on two of the par 5's I needed to lay up off the tee in order to avoid a ditch/gully/hazard . I thoroughly enjoy a second shot that teases you with a go for it or lay up hazard but I want to grip it and rip it off the tee (not that that was happening today anyway). Also 3 of the 4 par 3's are highbred length holes.

Overall it's a decent "muni" quality course with above average greens.
Played with the Guru group 5/18. Agree with everything said except I found the bunker sand to be fairly good and quite playable (however they do need a good raking on most)..

The course is in very good conditions and the greens were excellent - well struck shots stopped quickly and putts rolled very true. Beware the pin placements, there were several that ranged from difficult to "oh my god" tough. You need to play here a few times to figure out some of the breaks and the speed.

Fairways were very good and first cut if rough isn't too penal - however, do NOT go outside that first cut, it's 50/50 at best you'll find your ball and it's about 9-1 you won't like it if you do!

As noted in prior reviews, there is a HUGE difference between the front and back nines. Both are solid tests but completely different feel.

Service was great, very nice and pleasant staff.

Definitely recommended and a good value as well. Hope it's not another 18 months before I get down here again.
Played 5/21 for my brothers 50th birthday. Quite a mess but the course was awesome. Golfnow apparently didn't actually reserve my tee time and only sent me a cancellation email 30 mins before the time. When I showed up, obviously there was no tee time. The proshop guy didn't really seem to care and said we would have to wait until 2 (its 1145 at this point). We were just a two some and watched as numerous twosomes (3 by my count) went off at a leisurely pace. Then the starter gave me all kinds of attitude including not getting our group a cart until we were next up when there were 2 groups behind us in carts already. He proceeded to make a mini-scene portraying me as impatient and even commenting on it to other players waiting to tee off. For the price of this course I found all of this to be completely unacceptable. As for the course:

Tees: Mostly level with closely mown grass. Quite of bit of divots but no problem. 6.5/10
Fairways: Very nice lies throughout. Mix of green/yellow/brown but nice cushion underneath. 6.5/10
Rough: About 1.5 inches and pretty consistent throughout. Didn't really affect play or club selection. Maybe a half club more. 6.5/10
Bunkers: A little worse than I expected. Pretty crusty and thin although by no means concrete like a few muni courses. 5/10
Greens: Very nice and smooth, a little on the slower side but consistent. Probably just a 9 on the stimp. I constantly under read the break though. 6.5/10

Love this course and the layout and would recommend to anyone. The back nine especially is awesome. The staff needs to get their act together tho. If your rack-rate is close to $100 your staff should conduct itself accordingly.
Played 5/20 on a very warm afternoon (no water in any of the jugs). I heard a lot of interesting things about this course and why I feel its really an avoidable course at this point. Clubhouse guys and marshal were nice.

Tees: Pretty bad. Uneven, not mowed consistently. 5/10
Fairways: Some of the worst I have seen. Looks like they were aerated a month or so ago but still haven't recovered. I hit 11 fairways and can say only once did I find a decent lie. The rest were dirt or patchy. 3/10
Rough: Pretty long in places, short in others, overall inconsistent. 5/10
Bunkers: Pretty thin but playable, I had no problem in either GS one I was in. 5/10
Greens: The lone bright spot for the course. Undulating, medium speed and surprisingly consistent throughout. 6.5/10

Interesting things I heard (from the marshal):
1) Course is not being turned into homes and will remain open
2) They are putting money in hoping it will get better
3) They currently have a homeless problem with transients sneaking into the bathrooms and sleeping there. They also are stealing the water jugs.

For the 30$ I paid I would still not return unless it was my only option. The only course in worse condition I have seen recently is Riverview. Too bad, I really do enjoy the layout.
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