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Played a GK Cup match out here today with gary00. 10:30 tee time using a GolfMoose voucher. I used my $25 GolfMoose prize from the Rams Hill GK Plays toward the voucher, so we got an excellent deal. Course was pretty busy and we started about 10 minutes late. We waited on most holes but POP wasn't bad overall. Big gusts of wind at times under intermittently sunny/cloudy skies.

The course looks great right now and plays pretty good, too. The greens are the highlight, fast and smooth. They accept full shots well but shorter shots really need some spin to stop quickly. They are pretty glassy and you need to be careful on downhillers. Fairways have good coverage but lack uniformity. They are a bit thin in spots and sort of patchy with different types of grass growing throughout. The rough also has good coverage and different types of grass, some of which is pretty deep and penal. I wasn't in a bunker but Gary said some he was in could've used more attention/better raking. Tee boxes were very good to great.

I've always enjoyed this course, and the rains seem to have greened up this whole community and it looks very nice. Recommended.
Played out here yesterday in the back half of a fantastic 36-hole GK Review Guru day. Thank you Johnny for setting up such great deals on amazing courses! Paired with Johnny, Larry and sixpez. POP was a bit over 4:30, but I really didn't want the day to end, so whatever was fine as long as we finished. Toasty temps and little wind.

Course conditions are excellent/near immaculate. Greens were outstanding, smooth, fast and mostly firm. Difficult to get full shots to stop on many greens. Fairways and rough were perfectly lush, although the rough didn't look as visually stunning as it could had it been overseeded everywhere. Tee boxes were absolutely ideal, a perfect 10 in my book. Bunkers were a little inconsistent: first one I was in was a little thin and crusty, but the rest were all good.

This was my first time here after hearing lots of great things about this course over the years. It very much feels like a course built to host a PGA Tour event. It's definitely a "big" course where everything seems oversized. In that regard, it reminded me somewhat of the Plantation Course at Kapalua or Southern Highlands in Las Vegas. (Although no elevation changes like those courses, and a more contrived construction/feel.) I was slightly underwhelmed over the first six holes, but the design takes a turn for the better at the 7th and just keeps rolling to the finish. Tons of water hazards on many holes, many of which are beautifully landscaped and bordered by rocks, etc. I played the 6,711-yard blue tees, with the black stretching another 600 yards to 7,300, so it'll give you all the challenge you want.

I took a ton of photos and uploaded 66 of them to a Flickr photo album here:
Played in yesterday's GK Review Guru outing with sixpez and sparky14. We were the first group of the day and zoomed through the course in about 3:15. Beautiful clear desert day with very little wind.

The course is nearly immaculate throughout. The greens ran smooth and accepted full shots well. It took me a while to gauge the speed of the greens accurately; overall they were running medium-fast. I noticed some pock marks on some greens but they didn't affect anything. Fairways were lush green carpets, some of the most pristine I've ever seen or played. Rough was also perfectly lush, cut pretty short. Tee boxes were excellent (I was going to rate them a 10 until Classic Club later in the day were even better, so I knocked these down to a 9). Sand in the bunkers was great.

Always a treat to play what's arguably the prettiest public-access course in the Coachella Valley. Thanks Johnny for another great outing! I made a new Flickr photo album of 45 photos that can be viewed by copying and pasting this link:
Played here as the back half of my mini Vegas golf trip this week. Had an 11:53 GolfNow Hot Deal time on Thursday. Outside services attendant pulled up with my cart as soon as I parked, which was a nice touch. It was a beautiful day and the course was very busy, but I started just about on time. Total POP was about 4:10. After looking up at snow-capped Mt. Charleston from Paiute the day before, I got great views of the back side of the mountain here.

Conditions are great. The greens were medium fast, mostly smooth (one playing partner had a few bumpy putts) and very firm. Fairways were excellent: lush deep green coverage from edge to edge. Rough was very good as well, cut pretty short. Bunkers were the low point. I was only in two and they were fine, but one of my playing partners is a member who said they are inconsistent and many are hard. Tee boxes were pristine.

This is a nice, resort-style course and a good value option in the Vegas vicinity (although nearly an hour drive). With the two nines built at different times with different architects, it's a little bit disjointed. Ironically, the nine that runs through a housing tract is more interesting and memorable than the undeveloped one. I really enjoyed most of the back nine.

Here's a link to my Flickr photo album of 43 photos from Mountain Falls:
I went on a quick Vegas golf trip earlier this week. I started here Wednesday on a 12:07 GolfNow Hot Deal. Check in was smooth but there were three different starters out at the Sun Mountain first tee, and it seemed like there was a lot more confusion than there needed to be. First they told me I'd be playing with one group, and then moved me to a different group. Rather than just sending people out with the group/time they were booked, they acted like they had to slot everyone in for some reason. Anyway, started a few minutes late as a result. The course was very full but POP was good at about 4:15. Weather was clear blue skies, windy and chilly at times, but really beautiful with snow-capped Mt. Charleston visible nearby.

Course conditions are excellent. Greens are smooth and fast, although they are pretty firm. Even full shot short irons took a big bounce or two before stopping. Fairways are fantastic and seemed like they almost got better the deeper into the course I got. Rough was also very lush, great coverage, not too penal; maybe 2 inches deep. Bunkers were great with tons of soft sand. Gold (Championship) tee boxes were nearly perfect.

I've now played all three courses here. In my opinion, the difference between them is almost negligible. While conditions and the remote desert setting are wonderful, I find the layouts a little forgettable. Out of 54 holes, only a handful captivate me. I like this place, but I really wanted to LOVE it, and I don't.

If you're interested, here's a link to my 43 photos from Sun Mountain:
Played out here with an 11:45 GN Hot Deal today. Got an amazing deal thanks to a DealCaddy $20 for $10 voucher on top of a great Hot Deal price. Arrived a little early and the starter informed me there was a tournament that just went out, but he said I’d be paired with people and sent out probably a few minutes early. There was then some confusion and the twosome I was supposed to play with teed off without me, but the starter drove out to the first fairway and told them I was joining them. No big deal and nice work by the starter. That tournament two groups ahead of us caused pace of play to be quite slow all day. After a 2.5 hour front nine, the couple I was playing with (visiting from Minnesota for a San Diego golf vacation) quit, but I forged ahead. The back nine also took 2.5 hrs for a total 5:00 POP. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day on a beautiful course, and I took a ton of photos, so I wasn’t too upset by the undesirable pace.

The course is in very nice condition for the most part. I rated it just about 7s across the board. Greens are smooth and medium fast. They are more firm than they are soft, and there’s lots of mounding/undulations on them that make reading and holing putts tricky. Fairways have mostly good coverage but there are some thin spots. The rough is mostly lush, offering fluffy lies although there are some thin and bare spots, too. Blue tee boxes were good, although No. 14 was a little bare and beat up. Bunkers I was in were good, but one had some rocks in it.

Residual rain damage: There are several areas of standing water around the course, but they mostly seem to be in out of the way areas that would rarely come into play. However, a large area right of the fourth fairway was all wet and there was a temporary “lake” short of the 6th green. On the back, the right bunker on the par-3 17th has lots of water in it. I didn’t find any of these areas and I encountered no rain-related problems elsewhere.

This was my second time here and the course was much more pleasing to the eye this time around. They have it looking great with a cool aesthetic of tall grasses in many places that aren’t directly in the line of play. I really loved it; highly recommended right now. I uploaded 62 photos from today to a Flickr photo album that can be seen here:
Played out here this morning with a 10:48 tee time. Was sent out by myself right on time, following a twosome. Pace was decent and nine holes took about 1:40. Weather was schizophrenic: Very foggy to start, then beautiful, then cold and windy, back to beautiful, back to foggy. It seemed to continually change from hole to hole. Course is currently walking only due to recent rains. I encountered none of the service issues the previous reviewer did. Half the parking lot is self parking, so I didn't have to valet, and the pro shop guy I dealt with was super friendly and helpful.

The course is generally in good condition following a closure due to recent storms. Hopefully the storms coming later this week don't overflow Aliso Creek and cause further damage. The greens were great: Medium-fast to fast, smooth and held full shots very well. Fairway conditions were mixed. Most all were quite wet and they looked good from afar, but some were a bit thin and/or muddy in spots. No real complaints from me, though. Rough was pretty lush but also mixed conditions. There are large areas of GUR roped off all over the course, and within some of those areas is some of the lushest, best looking grass this side of Rams Hill (or Augusta, take your pick). It looks like they laid down sod in those areas and it's really fantastic looking. Tee boxes were decent, some a bit beat up. Bunkers I was in were good.

Despite living about four miles from this course as the crow flies, I'd only played it once before. That time, the whole course was aerated and dried out, and it wasn't all that inspiring. Wow, what a difference today! This is such a gorgeous course in a wonderful setting. On the third hole, if you'd told me I was in Hawaii, I would've believed it. At $35 for nine holes of par 32 golf, I doubt I'll be out there too often, but I sure would like to be.

I took a ton of photos and posted 40 to a Flickr photo album here:
Played out here today with an 11:52 GolfNow Hot Deal. Pretty sure this was the first time ever for me that a GolfNow reservation wasn’t in the course computer. Although I showed him my confirmation in the GN app, the pro shop guy asked me to call GN and they got it resolved quickly with no headaches other than that extra step. The pro shop guy was adamant that I wait for my other “half cart” partner, who arrived just a couple minutes before our tee time. As a result, we probably started a few minutes late. The course was full of twosomes, several in front of us and several behind us. Oddly, no one seemed like they wanted to join up, so we all just remained twosomes. The front nine was pretty smooth but that back nine got a little jammed up. Total POP was 4:25. Weather was fantastic and I played the black/Tournament tees (6,590).

The course is in pretty decent playing condition. Visually it’s rough around the edges but it plays better than it looks. The greens are by far the highlight. They are very lush and roll smoothly. However, they are only about medium speed, except me and my playing partner did have a few putts race away from us. I tend to think there’s a lot of grain here, because green speeds were inconsistent, but the greens are in quite good condition, so I can’t attribute it to certain greens being faster than others. The greens are medium firmness; my short-iron approaches stopped quickly but mid-irons bounced and ran out some. Fairways have good coverage but it’s a patchy mix of different types of grass – some very tight bermuda underneath some rye (or similar-looking grass) sprouting up. All of it was mowed short. If you’re in the fairway, you’re likely going to be on grass. The rough is much more hit or miss. I had some really lush, fluffy lies and also found some hardpan. The bunkers I was in surprisingly had tons of soft sand, but many fairway bunkers are almost like hardpan and balls ran right through them. For the most part, the black tee boxes had good coverage but some were shaggy and many were lumpy. The 14th tee was quite bare, though.

This was my second time playing the course. I love a lot of holes out here, and others aren’t very inspiring. All four par 3s are fantastic, and all quite different from each other. On the back nine, the stretch of 13 through 17 is really good and all fun holes. Basically anywhere the course butts up against the mountains, it’s great. The flatlands holes are more forgettable. If this course were closer to my home, I’d play it more often but it’s almost a 90-minute drive for me. Thankfully it’s a good value, so I can justify the drive occasionally.

Rain-related notes: There are a few large areas of standing water on the course, but none of them really come into play. They seemed to all be within the first 100 yards off the tee on several different holes. A large section of rough left of the 6th green is marked as GUR. The 9th hole was cart path only and carts are asked to observe the 90-degree rule on the remainder of the course. All in all, the course seems to have handled the rain well and/or already recovered.

Here’s a link to my Flickr album of 34 photos from today:
Played out here today with a 10:39 GN Hot Deal time. Paired with three nice guys from Calgary here on vacation. Their wives played directly in front of us and were very quick; we couldn't really keep up even though total POP was good at 4:10, and the course seemed very full. Weather was great with patchy clouds but lots of sunlight. The wind kicked up around the 5th hole and persisted most of the day, typical for here in Windmill Canyon. Getting on the base, check-in and starter were all easy. (*More on getting onto the base later.)

The course is in very nice condition. Greens are smooth and fast. Not necessarily glassy fast but more sneaky fast; very difficult to get balls to stop at the hole. There's lots of slope on these greens and it seemed today anytime a putt rolled past the hole it would catch a slope and run out another 4-6 feet or so. The greens are about medium firmness. They didn't stop on a dime most times...more like a bounce or two and then stop. Fairways were lush, cut short with good coverage and any remaining muddy areas from recent storms were roped off. Rough was also pretty lush, good coverage but not too penal. I was in one bunker and it looked very well manicured, but was a little firm underneath a thin top layer of soft sand. Blue tee boxes were all good. Today the 12th hole played from an alternate tee I'd never seen that is practically right behind the 11th green, rather than the one to the left of the 11th green. Definitely changes that tee shot with the creek crossing the fairway.

I really, really love this old-school course. I was surprised to see it had been more than a year since I'd played here. *Good thing it had, though, because apparently you can't access the base as a civilian more than once a year anymore. I called and talked to a pro shop guy yesterday who explained that you can apply for a 90-day access pass on the Camp Pendleton/course website. I'll be doing that, because I definitely want to get back out there again soon. If you haven't played this course, I highly recommend you get out there and give it a chance.
Late last night I saw an absurdly low GolfNow “Hot Deal” price for 8:22 this January morning in the desert, so I grabbed it after hearing encouraging things recently about conditions. They paired me with a twosome and we started a few minutes early. Oddly, there was hardly anyone on the course, so we never waited and never had anyone within sight behind us. Total POP a tidy 3:10. Outside services attendants were very friendly and willing to help, too. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I shed my pullover by the fourth hole and it was even a little warm with short sleeves on.

Conditions are much improved compared to the run-down “new normal” here of the past few years. It seems they are making more of an effort and getting good results. That’s not to say it’s on par with Desert Willow or somewhere like that, but for a budget round in the desert this time of year, it’s in nice condition. Specifics: Greens are very nice. They are smooth, medium fast and accept full shots quite well, although there is some run out. The surfaces are pretty firm and full shots barely made any ball mark at all. Fairways are lush with great coverage. I only saw one muddy spot from the recent rains, just short of the ninth green. For some reason, throughout the entire course, the border/transition from fairway to rough is an apron of dead grass and/or dirt about 12-18 inches wide. Not sure what’s going on there, but if your ball stopped there, it would be a bummer. It also detracts visually from the course. The rough was lower quality condition and coverage than the fairway, but decent overall. Not too deep nor penal. Tee boxes were very nice; lush and with great coverage. I was in one fairway bunker and it was good, although a playing partner complained about the greenside bunkers.

Having played this course quite a few times many years ago, I sort of have a soft spot for it and it’s nice to see it in better condition than what I’d seen and read the last few years. Definitely recommended for a good value option in the desert.

Here’s my Flickr photo album of 43 photos from today:
Played General Old this morning with a 7:22 GN Hot Deal. I booked as a single and then the threesome who bought the rest of the times brought a fourth person, so the pro shop guy sent me out by myself. I played behind a foursome all day, but I hadn't been here on a nice day for a while, so I took pictures and took my time and things moved great. Finished in 3:40.

Conditions are decent. Good news is the greens are the highlight, mostly very nice and nearly excellent. The third green had a bunch of dead/discolored areas, which was unfortunate. The rest of the greens are very smooth, medium-fast/fast and accept full shots very well. They are especially fast when putting toward the March Field runway. Fairways are mediocre, a mix of lush grass, dormant grass and thin areas. They were a little shaggy, too. So even when in the fairway, lies aren't that great because they're either thin or a bit clumpy. Rough was much the same as the fairway, just longer in length. (Even with a 7:22 time, there was frost on the fairways until the 4th hole this morning.) I saw a few muddy spots around the course but mostly it seemed that the recent rains have been absorbed (just in time for more storms later this week). I was in one bunker and couldn't play a traditional bunker shot due to being right against the edge, but the sand seemed nice and well maintained. Tee boxes had good coverage but were a little lumpy and/or not level.

The last couple times I played here, the weather was ugly, so today I took advantage of blue skies and made a Flickr photo album of 36 photos here:

P.S. I noticed there's a note on their website that says the property will not be developed and the course will remain open! Great news!
Played here today at 12:00 with a “Deal” time minus 25% promo code. As mentioned in a previous review, they didn’t show my reservation in their computers and they said there is some sort of glitch with times that they often don’t show up. Fortunately I’d printed the confirmation and the pro shop guy sent me right out, no hassle. Keeping the theme from my round earlier this week, I played the front nine in about 1:10 while playing through one group. On the ninth hole I caught another group and then the whole back nine was pretty much stacked up and full of players. The back took probably about 2:20-2:30 for an overall POP of about 3:45.

This was my second time here. The first time was prior to the course closing for a while, and conditions were not good at all that time. This time they were maybe a little better. The good news is the greens are quite nice. They were smooth, soft and pretty quick (medium-fast). The 15th green has some unfortunate damage where it looks like some jerk did donuts in their cart on the green. That damage looks to be mostly healed and it didn’t seem to affect my long, cross-green putt on that hole. The fairways and rough are where the course still really needs lots of work. Some fairways have decent grass coverage and others do not. Some that have grass seem well maintained and others seem shaggy, like they’ve been ignored for a few days. The rough is probably the most difficult part of the course to rate, because they are clearly focusing on trying to grow grass down the middle of each hole. On many holes, everything to the sides of that “fairway” area is bare dirt. On other holes, there is some grass. There is rough around the tee boxes and greens, but again the conditioning of that grass is inconsistent throughout. If you don’t mind moving your ball to grass (I do), you might not have too much of an issue with the fairways and rough. It’s best to expect your ball to be on dirt and then be pleasantly surprised if you end up on grass. The bunkers I was in were nice. Tee boxes are pretty good and seem to be consistent throughout the course. Overall, for the rate I paid and going in with knowledge of their situation (read: extremely lowered expectations), I enjoyed the round and would recommend you play it at that rate, as long as you know what you’re in for.

Perhaps the best way to see the conditions is through my photos, so I uploaded a Flickr album of 40 photos from today here:

A few more notes: Many fairways are roped off to cart traffic, and others are not. It seems they’ve added 100/150/200 yard poles along the edge of the fairways on the front nine. On the back, there were none and it can be very difficult to find a sprinkler head or any type of yardage. Hopefully those poles are slated for installation on the back, too. Shirts in the pro shop had the “Links Championship at Summerly” name but no where else did I see the “Championship” part included. Not sure if they’ve dropped that or what. The scorecard no longer includes what used to be the tips, with the blues maxing out the course at 6,741 yards.
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