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What a fun GK Plays outing! Thanks everyone for coming out! Please post a review.

I’ll be doing a recap of the outing in the forums later. In the meantime here’s my review…

From an organizers perspective you can’t wrong a full service place like La Quinta Resort. The staging area is set up perfect with easy visible access to the practice facilities and central location of the clubhouse. Staff is there at your disposal and helping in a professional manner. After golf in the dining area we were well treated by the bar staff and clubhouse. On the golf course I saw their tournament director making sure things were going well and refreshment service 4 times. Sending off the shotgun the tournament director helped with announcements and getting us ready to roll.

As far as the golf course, I knew in late May it would be in “transition” phase to summer turf and was impressed with the condition despite that. Entire golf course was green with exception to some thin dry/dead small areas of winter rye. Greens were mostly bermunda grass with some rye grass holding but rolled smooth. The grass blend combined with already challenging undulating greens made for some very difficult distance control on the putting surfaces. The greens were firm but fun to play. The fairways were in great shape, mostly bermunda grass, my ball was sitting up all day. The rough was in very good shape as the it was not overseeded so now the pure bermunda is back, not super thick (yet!) and about 3 inches. Made for some challenging pitching around the greens. Sand traps, I was only in a waist area bunker on hole 15 which was in good shape, I watched my playing partners hit some greenside bunker shots and the sand looked a little firm but in good condition. Tee boxes were in transition from rye to bermunda so this at the time mostly thin, level with moderate divot damage on the par 3’s. Overall the golf course was in very good shape.

The layout, well, it’s a bucklist layout as far as I am concerned. It is my favorite layout of all the PGA WEST/La Quinta Resort golf courses. Stunning to play along the mountain side, every hole is different and interesting. Ample room to hit driver but big consequences if you are spaying it round. The stretch of 13 – 17 makes it one of my favorite back nines anywhere. Well guarded with most greens elevated. Its easy to shortside yourself on approach and to three putt the undulating greens. Enjoy the risk/reward par 5’s and of course the challenging par 3’s. Highly recommended.
12 Likes.
Catching up on a review from Thursday last week at Goat Hill Park Golf Course. Super time with AndrewZ28 and mpiskarski01 for my GK Cup 11 match. This course fit the bill perfect for me that day. Needed a quick round with some friends on a challenging track. The demand this golf course places on your iron game and distance control is extreme. If you miss the greens or fairways the recovery shots are diabolical as the ball typically runs far off behind some trees or in something nasty. You have to play well or be punished, which is awesome in my mind because rarely do you have to bring so much game to short course. If someone worked in Carlsbad or Oceanside and lived in Orange County, it’s the perfect stop for 18 or practice to miss the traffic home and enjoy some golf.

The conditions are good overall. Sure the rough is mostly not rough but different types of grass on hard ground, but the fairways have good coverage as well as the turf surrounding the greens. The greens rolled well, mostly firm and moderate speed. Andrew was telling me they were very fast and firm before aeration last month, man, I can only imagine how tough the course was then because those greens are small and undulating. Bunkers in good shape with decent quality sand. Only hit a couple. Tee boxes, as expected on a short hilly golf course like this, thin, lots of divot damage but playable. We finished in under 3 hours.

Goat Hill Park is a unique experience in ways besides the track, it’s integrated perfectly to serve the laid back beach community of Oceanside. Cool vibes all the way around. Fun atmosphere with lots of places to just hang out. Very friendly easy going staff. Nice little practice facility. Love this place.
10 Likes.
Played with 11 other GK Guru out at Goose Creek yesterday 5/15. Super time!

As for the golf course, we followed a Cal Am qualifier and let me tell you, you either had your “A” game or you had no game taking it on. All the pins were positioned near false fronts and/or false side fronts. You could not short side yourself with an approach miss and expect to have any reasonable chance of getting up and down. The greens were dialed in firm so watching a pitch shot or long putt release past the hole was very common. I did NOT bring my “A” or even “B” game so The Goose did some damage. However I delighted in the challenge and love this layout so I’ll take this round on the chin.

Playing conditions were great. Albeit more dry and firm then my previous rounds there. Greens ran fast, very firm and smooth. Fairways mostly lush, thin in some spots and firm. Rough, about 2 to 4 inches, mostly lush, and at times tough to hit from. Bunkers, found a bunch of them greenside, good quality sand and well maintained. Fairway bunkers, mostly firm, some needing more attention, but in good shape. Tee boxes, mostly level, lush and in good shape. Quick Pace of Play. Finished in under 4 ½ hours.

It’s an excellent pure golf experience. Starting with the practice facilities, some of the best around. Beautiful large practice putting green that simulates the golf course greens very well. Big lush grass driving range. Dedicated chipping area and bunkers. The staff is super friendly with a small clubhouse/restaurant with fast service. We rode today but it’s a great golf course to walk which you don’t find that often anymore. Interesting challenging layout which can be characterized as providing an easy bogey/difficult par. I can’t recall ever having anything less than a great golf course experience here. Highly Recommended.
11 Likes.
Great day despite the unseasonably wet chilly weather on 5/3. Joined by 7 other GK Gurus and got to play my GK Cup 11 match on such an inspiring golf course. Was loving it. Thanks everyone for coming out reading this.

Before visiting Oak Quarry, I was little spoiled by playing some super lush desert golf and a round last week at Sandpiper in Santa Barbara. So my bar was set pretty high. Well, I was impressed to so say the least. To be honest with you, I’ve never seen the fairways in better shape and with all this warm weather now those berumnda fairways are going to be even more lush in weeks to come. Despite the greens being damp, they sure ran smooth and deceptively fast. Rough was mostly lush and there where areas that were very lush and thick making it tough to escape. Tee boxes were lush, big, some needing a to be more level (we played the white tees) but all in very good shape. The only knock with the playing conditions was the bunkers. Firm and thin. With the wet weather, this made matters even worse as I noticed many do not drain well. Besides the bunkers, the rest of the course drained fantastic.

The layout, well, as I always say, is a bold statement in all facets. Just take a look at the photos. I can’t describe it any better. It’s a bucket list course for sure.

I was disappointed although that the driving range was closed due to the rain. I was told it’s because it gets very muddy making it very difficult to retrieve the balls. I could have used a few balls to warm up with. My suggestion is they need to get some hitting nets out there when there is rain.

I drove out from Thousands Oaks. Was an easy drive as was the drive home because I left early to beat the traffic and finished the round early enough to beat the traffic back.

Overall great golf experience I’m looking forward to hopefully having again soon!
12 Likes.
The only thing I was disappointed about with this round was how last second it came together and it could only be for a foursome. I knew GRD23 and Pedro7170 had the day off to play, and Alex326 expressed a ton of interest in our previous round together about playing Sandpiper for the first time. Anyway, wish we would have had more GK’ers out there. Maybe again soon?

As for the course, it was in great shape. We got a perfect day too with sunshine and little wind. I snapped a bunch of photos I just posted and be on the lookout for posts on GK Facebook and GK Instagram. Greens were running medium/fast, smooth and firm. You got to play the ball below the hole out there because almost all the greens are severely sloped back to front. The fairways were lush, a little moist at times, with the ball sitting up nice. Rough was lush cut low, lower than I remember, so it was bit easier to find your ball. Tee boxes mostly level (we played the Gold tees – much happier at that distance than last time from the Black tees). The bunkers, hit in miss as far as either containing quality sand or being thin and firm. The bunkers were well cared for although and I’d say overall good shape.

This is a course, as most anyone knows, has dramatic views of the ocean. Take a look at the pics, I can’t describe it any better. There are some holes that are not on the ocean but are very good holes. The only two holes I would say seem plain #8 and #9. But in a way I love that since it acts as an exciting contrast to what awaits you on the Hole 10 – Hole 14 stretch which has got to be one of the best anywhere.

Besides the course, it’s got terrific practice facilities with views of the ocean to start your day. The clubhouse is small, well stocked, with a wonderful patio/restaurant with excellent food/service.

Sandpiper is one of my favorite courses. Highly recommended.
14 Likes.
Played the Classic 1/Classic 2 combo (and a few holes on the Lakes 9) a week ago with some college friends in town. I really enjoyed the layout and conditions. 27 holes traditional style with large trees, many palm trees, many doglegs in both directions, house lined (but not in play much), traditional oval shaped greens with back to front slope. There are some great long par 3’s and some reachable in two par 5’s. The course is mostly level with some slight elevations changes. It’s a fair track, with a nice clubhouse and excellent customer service.

What really stood out for me were the excellent conditions of the greens. Fast, very smooth and very firm. They are sneaky tough in that they are all on elevated complexes making pitch shots difficult to hold and deceptive to read at times. The tip from the staff was they generally break towards Indio (but I had no idea where Indio was in retrospect – lol). The fairways were very lush, rough lush (cut short), tee boxes very well groomed and lush. The only blemish from a playing conditions standpoint is the bunkers. Many greenside bunkers were very firm and need to be refreshed.

We ran into some members, all friendly. Had a bite to eat in the restaurant, excellent burger and from what I understand French dip as well.

Complete practice facilities you would expect from a country club. Water stations positioned throughout the course. Just a fun place to play I recommend experiencing.

Check out the photos I posted.
10 Likes.
My second day at Desert Willow Golf Resort was Friday 4/20 on the Firecliff Course. It’s a more dramatic layout than the Mountain View Course which my friends visiting from Colorado were taken back by. Plus the golf course was in fantastic shape. I’d say immaculate. Best conditions I’ve ever experienced out there. Greens running fast, smooth and holding shots. Fairways and Rough very lush. Bunkers in excellent condition. Tee boxes well groomed and cared for. I gave it 9 out of 10 ratings across the board.

I love this course more and more every time I play it. Friday we played the Purple tees and it gave me all I could handle. It’s loaded with risk/reward holes, beautiful views, beautiful landscaping, tons of bunkers, challenging yet fair greens, the place has it all.

We teed it up just before 8:00am and finished in 4 ½ hours. After golf we grabbed a bite to eat on the patio which is spectacular. It views holes #9 and #18. Service is excellent as was the food.

They have excellent practice facilities to get your game warmed up. Big gorgeous clubhouse. You know you at a resort course with fun day ahead.

There is GK Coupon posted right now for $99. It’s a steal. This is $100+ golf experience any day of the week.
15 Likes.
Tee it up at Desert Willow Golf Resort Thursday 4/19 on the Mountain View Course with some good friends visiting from Colorado. We also played the Firecliff Course the next day, will post a separate review for that one but both courses are in outstanding conditions. I’d say the Firecliff Course a little better due to the greens being faster.

I have played Desert Willow Golf Resort many times over the years and this was the best I’ve seen it. Super lush all the way around, bunkers in beautiful shape with high quality sand, greens medium speed, smooth and holding shot well for a desert course.

It was an early tee time at 7:42am and we finished easily in about 4 hours. Service from start to finish the staff was professional and friendly. Practice facilities excellent. Food very good. Try the breakfast burrito before your round. They have them freshly made and ready to heat up quick to save time.

If you are a first time player to Desert Willow Golf Resort, know the Mountain View Course is the less challenging of the two courses. I give a slight edge to the Firecliff course in terms of challenge and visuals but you can’t go wrong with either course.
13 Likes.
Just posted some beautiful photos of our GK Review Guru round at Rancho San Marcos Sunday, April 15th. Was super fun day and I thank everyone that could make it!

Last year was the comeback year for Rancho San Marcos after almost a decade of drought in the region. This year, great conditions remain.

Greens were smooth, holding shots and medium/fast. Fairways lush, firm and providing good lies. Rough, lush with the first cut only a couple inches and not much of a penalty to be in. However hit a shot into the native areas bordering the rough and good luck finding it. Bunkers contains clean white sand, were thin at times yet fairly maintained. Tee boxes were lush with a mix of grasses and in good shape.

What brings me back to Rancho San Marcos is the layout and location above all else. It’s secluded and gorgeous. You’re up in Santa Ynez mountains nestled into a valley next to Lake Cachuma. As you drive up Highway 154 through a small section of the Los Padres National Forest, the views and surrounding beauty really set the stage for your round. The layout features, 7 Par 4’s, 6 Par 3’s and 5 Par 5’s – which I love. Lots of risk/reward strategy.

Before and after the round, the western themed plantation style facilities combined with a super friendly staff complete the day. I just missed the last call for diner on Sunday, which was 2:30pm that day, a bit bummed about that as I love their tri-tip sandwich. Next time!

Give yourself time before your round as the practice facilities are excellent and relaxing.

Highly recommended.
15 Likes.
Played River Ridge Golf Club (Victoria Lakes Course) with Alex326, rgm2525 and GDR23 on Monday 3/19. Tons of fun. Teed it up at 11:55am and finished in under 4 ½ hours despite the fact its sister course, Vineyard, was closed for aeration so all play was on the Victoria Lakes Course. They always do a great job with pace of play out there.

Greens in excellent condition, smooth, holding shot and moderately fast. Not quite the 11.5 speed stated at the starter but more like a 10.5 … they roll real nice.

Fairways in very good condition considering the time of year. Light green bermunda turf on the thin side with complete coverage yet good padding to make a solid strike. Occasion spots of Poa sprinkled in each fairway that does not affect your lies but detracts a little from a uniform look.

Rough is pretty forgiving IMO as it is only max 3 inches in some spots but mainly around 2 inches. If your ball finds it however it could be sitting up or down. It will however significantly cut down the roll of your shot that would have otherwise been in the fairways.

Bunkers are in good shape. I found a few greenside traps and all of them had adequate sand and well-kept with exception to an occasional fresh footprint I can only blame some of morning play for not raking well.

Tee Boxs in very good shape (played whites). Mostly lush and green. Decently groomed. Some expected divot damage on par 3s.

They are not going aerate the greens on the Victoria Lakes Course until 4/23 – 4/26 so expect the conditions with all this rain and warm temps to level up every week. The course is a pleasure to play as always with a fun challenging layout and some of the most enjoyable putting greens in Southern California. Very friendly staff and excellent service. Highly recommended.
17 Likes.
After all these years I finally played The Links at Summerly on Saturday 3/10.

It was a scramble format, in the rain, and we teed off around 8:30am. Finished in 4 ½ hours.

tbone127's review from 3/2 was spot on so please read it as well. Thanks!

I never got to play this course in its glory days, I meant to then Lake Elsinore flooded the track and shortly after that the course came on hard times. It’s a long drive for me from Thousand Oaks and I wanted to experience the course when it was at least decent shape, well it’s in decent shape, certainly not great shape, but definitely playable. I really liked the layout with all the risk/reward shots and surroundings. It features some super fun greens which are the highlight of the course. I was fortunate to play with someone that knew the course very well so I was given the correct lines off the tee and what to look out for. I think had I not had that insight, and had it not been a scramble, I would have got in some big trouble off the tee, it’s not a grip and rip track.

They are doing a lot of work still on the golf course and they will be planting a bunch of new sod to bare areas of the fairways. On the perimeters of the fairways/rough they are cleaning them up more but it will likely be some time before those bare areas are addressed fully so make sure to keep your ball in play off the tee because a shot off the fairway can take some big hops into the hazards. They are going to plant new sod to some of the tee boxes that were previously closed. Not the way back tees although. As for the greens they rolled smooth, fast and held shots,You will find some invasive grass here and there on the greens but they are addressing it and it hardly effects play. Most bunkers I was retrieving my ball from were in good shape. But being a scramble I never got to hit a shot from them so don’t have good info for us there.

After golf had some very good food and service in the clubhouse. They brought back the previous chef and are going to be utilizing their high-end smoker more. I was impressed with the tri-tip sandwich, had cold beer to go with it, watched a little golf in the clubhouse, excellent service, great 19th hole.
16 Likes.
Played Omni La Costa Ledges Course Tuesday with 7 fellow GK Gurus. Our foursome included myself, rgm2525, raidernationkennels and adigitalg87. Super time. We were treated to some beautiful cool morning weather and golf course in great shape. We had a GK Plays outing here on 12/9 so this was my first return since. I thought Tuesday the golf course was in even better shape.

Again, still some issues on the first three greens with patch work but overall those greens are rolling better and in general I thought the entire course greens were better than in December. Fairways were lush and not dormant (with the warm winter we have had the Paspalum turf has held on to its color and lushness very well). Rough was lush and in great shape. Bunkers, with exception to greenside hole 18 which was thin, all others I experienced had quality sand and well groomed. Tee boxes (we played the blue tees) level and lush.

Although I still like the layout of their other golf course, Champions, better, I am enjoying the layout of the Legends course the more I play it. There is a lot more strategy when playing this course than meets the eye. There are approach angles essential to have to get the ball reasonable close with many different pin placements. The greens are the main line of defense out there and you need every edge you can get. I normally play a right-left ball, but on the back nine I played a left-right tee shot sacrificing some distance in an attempt to be more center fairway and avoid large trees. Overall the golf course is very well suited for a left-right player. There are some monster par 4’s out there as well. It was common for me to be hitting a long iron into a green despite a good drive. Personally I feel hole #3 and hole #10 are the most difficult.

Looking forward to my next round out there, hopefully sooner than later.
9 Likes.
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