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Had a super time running our GK Plays at Omni La Costa Saturday. Thank you everyone that came! So good to see so many of you. Great to meet many new faces.

I thought we were treated to great playing conditions, exceptional service and the weather was outstanding. I was particularly pleased by how easy it was to run a golf outing at Omni La Costa Resort. Everything was taken care of. Carts staged perfect, on course contests handled without me lifting a finger, nice touch to have the on course food and beverage by our carts before heading out, staff quick to respond to all my needs, little confusing at first after our round but they sure delivered on service and excellent food once we got settled in at the VUE restaurant.

As for the playing conditions, I thought they were GREAT. I think given how dry of a fall and winter it’s been the superintendent is doing a very good job. I thought the fairways were in excellent condition with lush lies all day, ball sat up beautifully and drives got ample roll. No they were not emerald green like some might think they should be for a high end resort, and the reason is they are paspalum grass, not rye grass like out in the desert and paspalum other than in the summer and early fall does not have a bright pretty green color to it but is sure plays beautifully. As with the greens, the first two greens are the worst on the golf course and even at that those two greens were not in “bad” shape. I thought overall the greens were in very good shape. They held my shots, although I do play a soft golf ball, compress my irons approach shots well and play a lot of lob wedge pitch shots around the green. The greens rolled mostly smooth and were fast. They are tricky to read and I really enjoyed the challenge. The rough was lush and thankfully cut down about 2 inches in height. I was in it a lot on Saturday as I was in the bunkers too. Speaking of the bunkers, I thought they were in great shape. Firm but not too firm. Well groomed and cared for. The tee boxes were in great shape as well. We played the blue tees. The tee boxes were lush, groomed and level.

As for the layout, it’s very true to being a mature resort style course. It’s not meant to be very challenging like its sister course on property, The Champions Course. It does force you play good golf although, which I did not Saturday, to score well. It especially demands you putt well and if you do miss the greens, have your short game on. There are many large trees to contend with off the tee. Also there are some fun risk/reward par 5’s. Like I said in my previous review, I like the Champions Course better. It’s more my type of shot value layout and intimidating. The Legends Course is more parkland and mature country club feel. Still I like both layouts and would not hesitate to play them.

I work hard to make GK Plays outings a great deal. $75 was a very special price that alone, not Omni La Costa Resort, wanted to charge players. It is normally much more to play this course and I completely understand and expect Omni La Costa to charge more than $75 for a round of golf. It’s worth more than $75 to play for sure. It’s a world class resort destination on an exceptional property in Carlsbad California.
Little late posting this review but better late than not. Super time with fellow GK Gurus previewing Omni La Costa Legends Course on Wednesday 11/29 before our GK Plays this coming Saturday 12/9. Snapped a bunch of pics I just posted. As for the course, I was very pleased, thought it was in great shape. Good lush lies in the paspalum fairways all day, the majority of the greens running mostly smooth and fast, rough in good shape, not that long, bunkers with firm yet playable sand, tee boxes in great shape having been overseeded. I thought the Legends Course was in better shape than when we played the Champions Course back in early September. I do like the layout of the Champions Course better, more challenging and interesting, but I do like the Legends Course layout a lot. Different from the Champions Course in many regards such as less deep faced as well as less bunkers overall. More challenging greens in my mind than the Champions Course. More open off the tee but with more mature trees coming into play. Less hilly of a course than Champions Course. As mention in previous reviews, there is some remnants of new sod repairs on a few greens of the Legends Course but they are not large sections and minimally come into play.

Fast pace of play and exceptional service all day long. Great overall experience.

Again, check out the photos I posted!
Joined fellow GK Gurus Tuesday at The Crossings at Carlsbad. We caught a beautiful day albeit more windy than when I’ve played the course in the past.

It’s a challenging layout that features some wild greens. With exception to hole #13, which is Par 5 blind tee shot I never can figure out, I love this layout. I normally play it from the blue tees, Tuesday was the first time playing it from the white tees, and enjoyed that experience as well. Accuracy off the tee yet rewarding for long drives, challenging approach shots to well bunkered greens, distance control heavily required for approach shots so to be on the proper tiers of the putting surfaces and smart golf course management to avoid hazards. The layout has some scenic views, especially on the back nine.

I thought the course was in great condition Tuesday. Granted they were in the process of overseeding the tee boxes but what I liked is they kept them open. So they were cut tight, brown, but level and firm. Was not an issue at all. Fairways, bermunda, lush, groomed, great lies and roll out. Greens, 5 weeks recovered from aeration, rolling very well, moderate speed, some a little softer than others. Rough in good shape, cut low. Bunkers in good shape, quality sand, well kept.

I had to leave soon after the round but normally I like to stick around to enjoy their food. Tuesday that had an $8 burger combo deal. Dang. The course has a gorgeous clubhouse with ocean views and excellent service. I will be back to play another GK Guru round hopefully next month. Thanks everyone that made it.
Given how much I enjoyed my first visit to Marine Memorial Golf Course in August, and how easy it is to get on the base to play it, I made it a point to return the following month. This time with 6 other GK Gurus and what a super time it was. Last time out, I was suffering from significant elbow pain and could only use a 2 iron off the tee, this time I was bombing my driver. Even at bombing my driver which carries about 250 to 270, Marine Memorial Golf Course still plays long and certainly longer than its yardage due to very little roll in the kikuyu fairways. Next time I will treat myself to the white tees and see if I fair better.

It’s a challenging, mature, original Billy Bell design with a recent renovation to the bunkers to fully restore them to the original Bell designs. Having now played it twice, I enjoyed it even more. Conditions were great again with excellent smooth moderately fast greens that held shots. Fairways/Rough mostly lush kikuyu grass. Bunkers immaculate white marble sand and meticulously kept (reminded me of high end country clubs). Tee boxes, lush but need to be leveled (which is the very next improvement renovation the golf course is going to make).

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the setting is secluded with no homes or buildings and the pace of play fantastic. The peak green fees for Civilians for walking is only $28 weekday and $35 weekend. The service is professional and respectful. At no time did I ever feel uncomfortable, in both visits to the course, as a civilian rather than military golfer.

My single disappointment was that I did not realize Mulligans Grill is only open for Breakfast and Lunch. The food was excellent and very affordable last time so next time I’ll make sure to eat before my round there. If you are an early morning golfer give yourself time after your round to eat there.

Highly Recommended.
Played Indian Wells Golf Resort Celebrity Course as part of our GK Cup 10 Final with kassper7, lotrgolfer48 and nodoubles22. Tremendous match between lotrgolfer48 and nodoubles22. This course and facility provided the perfect stage.

I thought the Celebrity Course was in great summer shape … as expected. The service at the facility top notch … as expected. I say as expected because between all the rounds and outings I’ve hosted here, it’s always been excellent. In more detail, the tees, fairways and rough all were lush berumada grass groomed well. Granted this was the summer, which mean no signature flower beds and wall to wall rye grass, but still, great lies all day. The bunkers were in great shape as usual and play a major role in the difficulty and strategy. They are predominately deep faced, well positioned on every fairway and green. The greens, typical summer slow, not as smooth and fast as playing during season on rye grass greens but in very good condition none-the-less.

After our round, we had some good food and drinks celebrating the GK Cup 10 in the Vue restaurant upstairs. The have a tasty bar menu with burgers, nachos, good beer, etc. If you played golf you get some significant discounts on the menu. Nice comfortable place with a fun atmosphere.

As much as I thoroughly enjoyed playing here in the summer, you owe it to yourself to also come out here and play it when in the spring when its wall-to-wall bright green grass, flower beds galore and all the water features turned on. During early - late spring, Indian Wells Golf Resort is my definition of playing in a desert oasis.
Catching up on this review, was bad timing with GK down a few days last week as far as timing on posting this review but better than not at all.

This was my first time running an outing at Omni La Costa Resort, and it looks like I’ll be running another on Saturday, December 9th but playing the Legends Course instead. If I get the same exceptional service and experience as this last one on September 2nd on the Champions Course, I’ll be real happy.

Of all the outings I’ve run, Omni La Costa Resort made it most easy for me in terms of having everything set up in advance. During outing I saw the staff regularly checking in on my group as well as the on-course service. I liked how they purposely had the on-course service parked at the first tee before our shotgun start to provide additional service in addition to restaurant. It was a jammed pack Labor Day resort weekend that also included terrible traffic that proved to make a few of our group late. Omni La Costa was kind enough to delay our shotgun start to accommodate.

As for the course, it was my second time playing the Champions layout and I liked it even more. This time I played the white tees instead of the combo tees. It’s a very challenging layout still that I thought was in great shape despite the greens having so many ball marks. I know they are moving quick to purchase some specialized ball mark fixing machines and will be doing much more on course reminders so I don’t see this as an ongoing issue. The bermunda fairways were beautiful lush and provided good run-out. The rough was lush, penalizing but not brutal. The bunkers were brutal, as I found out my first visit, you do not want to go in them as they are steep faced. They were firm but playable. The tee boxes in good shape being lush and level. POP was 4 1/2 hour, excellent for an outing on a Saturday.

After the round, we had our post golf prizes celebration in the Diversions Sports lounge, I understand next time we’ll likely be in their Bistro 65 patio dining. I was happy to actually be in the dark cool sports lounge given how unseasonably hot the weather was that day.

I still have not posted the GK Plays recap with photos due to the delay with the site being down a few days last week but I will this week. Want to THANK everyone that came out and lets have some fun again in December out there!
Teed it up on Friday morning 8/18 with GK Gurus at Marine Memorial Golf Course. This was my first experience playing a golf course located on a military base … what have I been waiting for, this was a great golf experience and getting on the base to play it was simple.

I was very impressed with the conditions of Marine Memorial and their recent bunker renovation. They restored the bunkers to the original designer Billy Bell plans. The bunkers are in outstanding condition and pleasure to play from. They bring a ton of extra character to a layout that already has a lot character with its mature trees, many doglegs, demanding par 3s and if you play it from the blue tees, a stern challenge.

The golf course is predominately lush kikuyu grass so don't expect much roll off the tee, but do expect beautiful lies in the fairways with the ball sitting up yet very difficult lies in the rough and around the greens with the kikuyu playing all kinds of tricks on you. The greens are in excellent condition, poa turf, smooth, holding shots and moderately fast. The only blemish this course has, its not much in my opinion, are the tee boxes not being that level. But its my understanding that is Marine Memorial's next improvement project, to laser level all the tee boxes.

To be honest with you, I read many very positive reviews leading up to this round and was still a little skeptical about what to expect with the conditions/layout due to how low priced the course is, the course easily exceeded my expectations in every way. Playing conditions, layout and service. If I lived in San Diego or South Orange County, Marine Memorial would be close to the top of my rotation.

After the round, had a delicious club sandwich and fries from their Mulligans grill on the patio. Under $10 yet excellent quality and even though they were busy, I got my food pretty fast. I am immediately a fan of this course, I will hopefully play it again soon, highly recommended, check out the photos I posted!
Out with GK Gurus on Friday 8/18 and being it was my first time playing Omni La Costa Resort, this round also served as a preview for our coming GK Plays on September 2nd.

This is a very impressive resort with some excellent golf. We played the Champions Course, which unlike it’s sister course that has paspalum fairways and overseeded rye grass tee boxes, rough, green surrounds in the winter/spring, the Champions Course is entirely bermunda grass with exception the poa greens. That said, it’s the course you want to play for better playing conditions in the Summer.

I was very pleased with the conditions. Greens ran mostly smooth, firm and moderately fast. Fairways lush, no thin spots and good coverage. Rough, lush and it seemed the further you got off-line from the fairways with tee shots, the thicker it got. Bunkers, diabolical faces and very challenging in the fairways and greenside. The sand was firm but playable. Tee boxes in good shape, lush and level.

We played the Combo tees 6481 yards and I found that a perfect yardage. You have to be smart off the tee and avoid the fairway bunkers at all costs. There are many doglegs and slight elevation changes. There’s water hazards and mature trees to deal with. You’ve got to be having a good ball striking day to have any chance to score well. The greens were challenging but not overly difficult (with exception to the 17th green) so once on the dance floor you’ll have many opportunities to make putts. It’s getting to the dance floor which is the big problem. I took a bunch of photos and posted them.

As other GK Gurus mentioned, we were moving through the course pretty fast until the 7th hole. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon and the resort seemed jumping so I think that had something to do with it. I very much doubt slow play is the norm at this course. It was a slow go to finish the round but in the end it took us 4hrs 30min to play so I was happy. As for customer service, outside of not seeing a marshal out on the course, what I experienced was excellent. Friendly proshop, bag service, starter, on-course refreshments and snack bar between 9 and 10. This course will be ready to host our GK Plays outing in a couple weeks and I’m very excited about it! Highly recommended.
Super time with GK Gurus last week out at Cascata! Thank you to everyone that came.

This was my third time “experiencing” Cascata. I say “experiencing” because unlike any golf course I’ve been too, it so much more than just your golf round. I’ve played courses with little bit better layouts and better playing conditions (not to say Cascata’s playing condition were not excellent, they were – and to be fair to Cascata, I’ve never played it in its peak Spring conditions), but to play Cascata is to experience the “treatment”. Luxurious, over the top service and attention from the moment you go through the gates to when they bid you farewell. The clubhouse and practice facilities are as beautiful as I’ve ever seen. The food it excellent. The caddies I’ve experienced are perfect. The staff is professional and polite. It’s an unforgettable unique day. Never gets old.

Conditions this time around had the greens running moderately fast and smooth. There we some brown marks on the greens but they did not affect the roll. Fairways and rough mostly lush with some heat stressed areas but providing great lies all day long. Tee boxes excellent shape, level and the views you get from them are as good as anywhere. So many elevated tees. The only negative, and I’ve never experienced this before, were their bunkers as they were very firm with occasion pebbles. I learned quickly how to pick it clean from them but it was their one blemish.

As long as Cascata keeps appreciating have GK Gurus visit, we’ll keep booking this outing and you can bet I’ll be the first one to sign-up! – Highly Recommended
Played out at The Club at Sunrise with 7 other fellow GK Gurus Tuesday afternoon. Teed it up around 4:45, heat of the day, but a breeze picked up on the back nine and as the sunset it helped lesson the heat considerably. We played in about 3 hours.

This was my third round here, first time in the heat of summer, and understandably, the typically awesome greens were being keep shaggy to fend off the heat. The greens looked very healthy and lush so I’m sure if they cut and rolled them, they would be pure. Fairways were improved since the last time I played a couple months ago, still some brown areas, and occasional thin areas but overall more lush and pleasure to play from. Bunkers were improved as they were better manicured with quality sand. Tee boxes about the same, lush and level. The Club at Sunrise was in good shape and had the greens been cut and rolled, would have been great shape.

As kviser mentioned, when you play this course you have to avoid the right side, the wash, in other words what many call the ditch. Balls missing the fairways to the right will almost always end up in it. And once in it, good luck hitting it, that is if you even find it. The rough is long and the ball will sit down. It’s going to be an awkward stance as well as with not a clear look at the green. And on the opposite side, you can’t bail out left due to homes and gravel. You got to be straight off the tee here, it’s the golf course’s biggest defense. I lost around 6 golf balls Thursday missing right. Fortunately I did not put any shots in the homes left.

They have nice small clubhouse, friendly service, affordable green fees, normally pure greens and always a fast pace of play. I think the course would be fun to play anytime but as a early morning or late afternoon round, when you want a quick round, this place is ideal. I will be back!
Very fun morning Thursday out with 6 others GK Gurus to play Riverwalk. We played the Presidio to Mission combo teeing off at 7:37. It was a good pace of play at 4:15 with some overcast giving away to sunshine. I thought the golf course was in very good condition with the greens leading the way. I don’t think I’ve ever played this course and the greens had not been at least in very good shape. They were mostly smooth (only bumpy at times due to ball mark damage), holding shoots and medium/fast. I thought the fairways were in better shape this time around with almost all of the past trouble spots gone or re-sodded. Again, I’m talking about the Presidio and Mission nines, not the Friars nine. However, Riverwalk is currently re-sodding many of the fairways on the Friars nine so look for that course over time to have good coverage too. Rough was mostly lush/at times thin adjacent to the fairways but lush greenside. Greenside bunkers were in good shape with decent quality sand to play from and the fairway bunkers I experienced were rather compacted but very suitable to hit from. Tee boxes mostly lush, level and in good shape.

Something I noticed about playing the Presidio – Mission combo. On Presidio nine almost all the big trouble in on the right side of golf holes. On the Mission nine it’s a pretty even split. Also the vegetation in the river that runs through the course needs to be trimmed. On holes 5 & 8 of the Presidio nine your view to the pin is obstructed too much. My favorite hole of the two nines, likely every one’s favorite hole, is #3 of the Mission 9. The green complex is stunning with its small creek/waterfalls draining into a lake protecting the front of the green and right side of the hole. Lastly, hole 9 on the Mission 9 is a beast of the finishing hole. I don’t think I’ve ever finished out with the ball I started with on the tee!

This is a challenging enjoyable layout that gets lots of play being in the heart of San Diego. I always have a great time out there and look forward to playing it again. Posted some fresh photos to take a look at :)
What a week that was for me, 5 GK Guru rounds and a GK Plays, loved it. My final review is of our GK Plays Yocha Dehe Golf Club outing. Thank you everyone that came! Please remember to post a review too.

I know many of you, myself included, had very high expectations of playing Yocha Dehe Golf Club in its typical immaculate conditions, it’s disappointing it was not due to the heat wave that ravaged the area for weeks of 100+ temps prior and during our outing. That said, IMO, the golf course was still in great shape and the back nine played beautifully. As a first-time player, Yocha Dehe Golf Club layout met my expectations as well as outstanding service and facilities. They did a fantastic job working with me as group organizer and the added touch of surprising us with souvenir hats was very nice. After golf, they provided our outing a private room, with servers and excellent food showed off how much they cared. I’m so impressed with how much effort they put into trying to make us happy, I’m going to be looking into coming back up here, in the Spring next time, next year for a GK Plays, I hope many of you will return next year to join me. I posted some beautiful photos of my round. I’m in the process putting together the GK Plays outing recap on our GK Events page, social media and forums. Ringworld will be making a GK Blog post to recap it as well. Was a great day of golf!
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