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Conditions at Valley Oaks continue to disappoint. Some friends suggested we play there today as one needed to stay close to home. I should have stayed home and gone for a bike ride. I will start with the positives. The greens are in nice shape. They held well struck shots and rolled fairly smooth with only a few pitch marks here and there to get in the way. Greens rolled at a medium slow speed.

As for the rest of the course…. Garbage. Fairways were thin, brown and patchy. Rough was only about 1” tall but very patchy. Most of the time your ball would find a low spot and sit down in an indentation in the ground if it missed the fairway.

Areas around the green were just as bad. I had more double bogeys today than bogeys and I was playing fairly well (8 pars & a birdie). It was just if you missed the green the ball would be in a horrible lie. Usually in a thin, part dirt, part grass/weed that was sporadic in its coverage and probably sitting down in some type of old gopher hole indentation in the dirt.

Tee boxes were atrocious. Yes they were level (course is completely flat so that’s not hard to do) but the tee boxes were torn up bad. Not just the Par 3 boxes but almost every tee box had dozens and dozens of divots throughout.

The one sand box I was in was actually decent. POP was ok. We set our own pace on the front nine and then had to wait for a twosome couple, numerous times on the back nine.

We did the Sunday late morning $30 tee time and for that price with the quality of the greens on a weekend, it’s not too bad. Just know that outside of the greens, the rest of the course is garbage. Conditions were so bad, that by the time I got to a decent photo oppertunity, the 7th hole par 3 with a lake in front of it (which was our 16th), I totally forget to take a picture and post it on the GK App.
8 Likes.
I had a couple of minor issues with the GK App at Spanish Bay and Johnny told me there is a new update. So I used that as an excuse to go play today so I could test out the app some more. I chose Quail Lodge because they do a ton of awareness and fundraisers during October for Breast Cancer Awareness month. As a side note they are doing a $50 special on Friday with half the money going to a local Cancer foundation. As of this morning there were only a couple of spots open on the tee sheet. At a third of the price, I’m surprised there were any still left.

Quail is always known for its excellent staff friendliness, great course conditions and they are also dog friendly. I arrived early, dropped off my bag with the attendant/starter and hit the all grass range (balls included) The range does have a 200 yard max so no driver or 3 wood.

Thanks to a nice tip to the attendant, he got me out about 30 minutes early. I made my way through a couple groups zipping through the front nine in an hour. The back nine was a completely different story, but I still finished in 3 hours.

The greens were a perfect 10. Extremely smooth, pitch mark free and gorgeous dark green in color. Greens were rolling very fast. Definitely the fastest I’ve seen them here.

They are in the middle of verticutting some of the fairways. Fairways are always top notch at Quail Lodge and once all of the maintenance work is done on them, I’m sure they will all be at a 9-10 rating.

No issues with the tee boxes. Divots had been smoothly filled in to keep the box level. All tee boxes had plenty of lush grass to hit off of.

Sand traps were absolutely spectacular. A definite 9.5 rating. I was in 5-6 greenside bunkers and all were top notch.

Even though 16 of the holes at Quail are completely flat, it doesn’t feel that way. Maybe it’s the mountains that boarder up against both sides of the course or just the great routing of the holes. The track is anything but boring. A definite must play and the hotel is an excellent place to stay at as well.
10 Likes.
Weather this week has been absolutely gorgeous here in the peninsula. Today was no exception. Teed off a little after 10:30 in perfect warm sunny weather. Where as last time out at Spanish Bay, I never saw the sun, today was the complete opposite. Wind did kick up for the last few holes but when you’re out on the open ocean, that’s to be expected. Course was perfect and apparently the word got out as it was packed. Even Spyglass up the hill which had recently aerated their greens was super busy. I had to wait for a spot on the range.

Back down to Spanish Bay and even with the busy course we managed to finish in 4.5 hours which is good for these courses. Condition wise, the track is in perfect shape right now. Greens are a 9.5. Perfectly smooth, divot free, and held well struck shots. They rolled at a medium fast face. Could have been a touch faster but that’s nitpicking. Greens at Spanish Bay are large but have several undulations and severe slopes. Being on the right tier is key.

Fairways were also near perfect. Easily a 9 if not a 10. Dark green and lush without a thin or brown spot to be found on the course. First cut of rough is manageable. Lush and only about 2-3” thick. After that and you’re in native no mans land.

Tee boxes were level, lush and also fairly divot free. I had my weekly quota of bunkers on Friday so I’m happy to say I avoided ALL greenside bunkers. Was in two fairway bunkers and both were fine.

With ocean views on 16 of the holes and solid conditions all around, it’s a definite must play. I took a ton of pictures and posted them on the GK App.
13 Likes.
Played early this morning teeing it up wit Abbacat. Weather was clear and chilly to start with but quickly warmed up to perfect sunny golf weather with excellent views of the bay. Blackhorse is always a tough track with fast greens that have several undulations. Today was no exception and the greens flat out kicked my tail. After bragging about having one of my best putting days last weekend, today was the complete opposite. Greens afre firm, fast and roll true. Fairways present a lot of tight lies but on the flip side offer a lot of roll out.

Tee boxes are in the middle of their seasonal maintenance with most having been recently sanded and top dressed. No issues with the bunkers. Some gorgeous white sand some brown but all very playable. And between us, I think we were in just about every fairway and greenskide bunker on the course!

Blackhorse is a tough but scenic track. There are views or peaks of the ocean on 16-17 holes. Every hole has some sort of elevation change. Price is very reasonable making it a peninsula go to course.
10 Likes.
Another fun day playing with the new GK App. Took some friends to Pheasant Run so they could experience the numerous water hazards on the course. And by numerous, I mean 13 of the holes have water in play. The peninsula green par 3 fourth hole and island green 18th highlight a track filled with forced carries and strategic shot placement due to the water hazzards.

Plain and simple the water features make what would be a boring and dull track, fun and exciting.

Greens were running their usual smoothness and in good shape. The first few were sloooow. Then we let the mower get ahead of us and they rolled a medium-fast pace. Greens aren't too complex. Most are single tier or have a small shelf in the middle to split the green into an upper and lower. They easily held well struck shots from all distances and were the highland of the course condition wise.

Fairways were feeling the end of the summer beat down. A number of brown and thin areas mixed in with the green and lush. I was fortunate and avoided the thin areas (when I was in the fairway at least). There really isn't any rough at Pheasant Run. Once off the fairway, you are either in water or hardpan dirt that separates adjoining fairways. It would be nice to see a buffer layer between the fairway and the dirt "run off" area.

Skirt areas around the greens were in very nice shape. It's obvious that the grounds crew put their effort into the greens and surrounding area. Bunkers were OK. About average for the valley.

Tee boxes were decent on the par 4 & 5's but horrible on the Par 3's. Every Par 3 was chewed up with divots.

Pace of Play..... 5 hours. the two groups in front of us were brutal. The only thing that mae it manageable was we were a foursome with a couple of rookies that were struggling from time to time, but even with their constant double, triple and worse scores, we were still waiting on the group ahead on every shot.

Because of the slow play we didn't get a chcance to eat on site but the restaurant at Pheasant Run is worth the stay (very similar to Ridge Creek).

All in all Pheasant Run is an enjoyable track at a reasonable rate with decent conditions.
5 Likes.
Played Camel Valley Ranch yesterday morning on a perfect sunny (bordering on hot) day. Played 36 holes getting around the course twice in 6.5 hours. Course is in fantastic shape. Carmel Valley Ranch is always a top notch course but right now it's in the best shape I've ever seen it.

Fairways are easily a 9 right now. Lush and a deep green beautiful color. Greens were rolling super fast and were a bit in the firm side. Getting shots to hold proved to be tricky at times. Tee boxes were just short of a perfect 10. Sand traps were the weak link and in speaking with the superintendent, Andy, who was very pleasant to chat with, there are plans in the work to improve the bunkers.

Course is a lot of fun to play with 12 holes being flat and 6 up in the hills. Track also has a number of water hazards to add to the challenge and aesthetics of the place. I posted a number of pictures on the GK app.

There are two transfers that would make this a challenging course to walk but other than that it would be doable.

A great layout with excellent conditions make it a highly recommended course.
5 Likes.
After a couple of days of cycling and kayaking it was time to head out to the course and play with the new GK App! Sundays during football season can be a great time to play golf on the peninsula. I tee'd off at about 11:30am which was the perfect gap. The morning crowd was already on the back nine and the afternoon folks hadn't arrived yet. I had clear sailing until the 15th when I ran into a foursome who refused to let me by even though I was on the tee box with them for 4 holes! Still it was a 3 hour round even with the delay.

Conditions are nice right now at Laguna Seca. Greens were soft and rolled smooth for the most part. there were a few pitch marks here and there but nothing too bad. Fairways were the best I've seem them in years. I noticed a few thin areas as I was driving but i had excellent lies and hitting surface on all of my shots.

I was in three sand traps and two were excellent and one was below average having thin, semi-hard dirt.

As I've mentioned before, Laguna Seca is a super fun track. Add in the solid conditions right now and it's a no brainer. It was also the perfect course for me to play around with the new GK App and post some live photo's while playing.
7 Likes.
Bayonet is a tough challenging track with nice views of the Monterey Bay. Greens are a tad easier than the sister course but still are very tough with a lot of undulations. Greens are firm and fast. Getting pitch shots and approach shots with long irons can be challenging. Getting a putt to roll smooth is not.

Fairways offered good roll and a decent surface to hit from. Not as lush as others in the area but no complaints. No issues with the tee boxes and as others have mentioned the sand boxes need some improvement. Not bad but a notch or two below what you would expect from a course of this quality.

Bayonet has tight fairways with thick tall pine trees lining the fairways. Course has a number of elevation changes to make the layout fun but nothing too dramatic or gimmicky.

I prefer the sister course (Black Horse) over Bayonet but that's a Ford vs Chevy thing. Both good quality and it's just a matter of preference.

Recommended and both are great warm up tracks before playing any of the Pebble courses.
11 Likes.
I joined DeepSea14 and Eli1488 yesterday at San Juan Oaks for their GK Cup match. Course is in fantastic shape tee to green. We played mid morning and practically had the place to ourselves. No one in front of us for several holes and it wasn't until the 17th that a twosome finally started to catch up to us.

I've always said the greens here are the perfect balance between size, shape and condition. Yesterday was no excepetion. Greens were a deep green color, perfectly smooth and divot free. Enough undulations to keep you honest but nothing too wild. The only thing keeping the greens from a 10 rating was the fact that they were rolling a bit slower than I prefer. I will add that my putting stroke was off all day so that didn't help. Having said that, I still managed 8 pars and a birdie which attests the great conditon of the greens. They easily held approach shots from every club.

Fairways were a solid 8 rating. Very green and lush throughout. A couple of areas were a little soggy from watering and there was the occassional light brown patch mixed in but overall the fairways were top notch.

Tee boxes were also top quality. Very lush thourhout and the divots that were present had been completely filled in with sand. My guess is maintenance had gone around and filled in the divots on the tee boxes.

Sand traps continue to be the achilles heel of the track. They are ok but but certainly the low point of the place. Weather was perfect but I will add that the wind does kick up in the afternoon. We had a 1-2 club wind during the back nine.

Customer service is great all around and the young gal in the pro shop is just absolutely fantastic. Her hussle, knowledge, friendliness and professionalism is top notch. Not sure if they have new carts or I just didn't remember from last time here, but the carts now have full GPS systems in them.

The only "down side" to the entire place is that during mid week the restaurant has limited hours. They are only open from 11a-3p which we missed on both ends by 20 minutes!

I highly recommend San Juan Oaks. It's a very fun track (see my previous reviews for the layout) with great conditions.
8 Likes.
Not a whole lot to add to Nick's last review. He pretty much nailed the conditions spot on. Greens are in excellent shape right now and have the perfect balance between size, speed and undulations to make them fun, challenging yet manageable.

All tee boxes were in great shape (except #14) and fairways presented good roll and lies. Layout is fun and challenging as well. Some water hazards and forced carries to go along with trees (in the fairways no less) that have to be navigated.

POP was whaterver I wanted it to be. Had the course virtually to myself. My game was off a bit so I frequently dropped a second ball to hit an extra shot here and there. Still finished in under 3 hrs

All in all it's a great course with a nice rustic style restaurant. It's worth making the drive up to the "central coast". Course is also in the middle of a great wine region. Golf in the morning, wine tasting in the afternoon... sounds like a perfect day.
10 Likes.
For the most part the course is the same as my last review a couple of months back. the main exception are the greens. They are starting to slip a bit and are in need of a dusting. I think Dragonfly only aerates their greens once a year. With this years closing of Fig Garden, the course is getting more play and it might (definitely) be time to starting sanding their greens twice a year. Other than the numerous pitch marks all was well.

Fairways, tee boxes and sand traps were good to go and in the same condition as my last review. $35 for a twilight round in the Valley (especially with the current conditions) is a bit steep. For the $39 prime time mid week specials it get bumped up to highly recommended.

Also: In the late afternoon there are a number of high school teams using this course for practice. We were stuck behind three goups who were brutally slow. Not sure why the coaches with them didn't let us through.

I'm all about getting the kids out on the course. And that includes the newbies as well as the scratch High Schoolers about to embark on the PGA/LPGA (a la Noh). I think the course should just close down for a couple of hours like they do with mini tournaments and let the kids have it to themselves. Or start the rest of us on the back nine to mix in with the earlier finishers and let the HS have the front nine to themselves for a while. Just my thoughts is all.
10 Likes.
I'll start things off and be the first to review our GK outing at Cascata. First off 5 stars is not a high enough rating for the customer service. First class and top notch service without a doubt. From the Valet parking to the well stocked water bottles in the coolers throughout the course to the locker room. Everything is well thought out and they tend to your every need. It was nice taking a shower there at the club after the round before getting into the car for 5 hours. They are so in tune with the player that they even matched my locker number to my score. Just glad I had locker 89 and not 109!

Cascata is getting ready for their annual major maintenance but you wouldn't know it out there on the course. It is a solid 9 all around. Tee boxes and fairways were easily rated at 9's. No issues whatsoever. Sand traps have some of the whitest sand you'll find anywhere.

Greens were firm and fast. Make that lightning fast. I loved the speed of the greens. They rolled extremely true and our caddy Casey was spot on with his reads.

Our group battled all day for the "Birdie Bling". Johnny and I traded blows back and forth with two birdies each but David snagged it at the end dropping a 55' birdie putt on the 18th for the walk off mic drop.

The track is super fun that is the perfect blend of challenging yet scorable, visually pleasing, great conditions and of course top notch customer service.


Some courses are a must play when in the area. Cascata is a must play regardless of where you are and worthy of a bucket list status.
15 Likes.
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