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Teed it up Sunday with Mattias, roarksown1 and kassper7 at Angeles National Golf Club on round the came together pretty quickly at a $60 rate. Good time!

The conditions of the golf course other than the greens being in excellent shape (fast, holding shots and smooth – with exception to some small slits that did not impact the roll of the ball much), was very dormant with thin lies. Looking back at the history of reviews this time of year it seems to always be that way. Add to the thin lies wetness you’ve got on your hands some very challenging conditions to hit the ball flush unless you are very good at compressing your iron shots. At first it was bothering and frustrating. Then I took what the golf course was giving me, the ability run shots from all over the place. I took a page out of rob1563 in Vegas’s book and used putter from all around the green complexes with much success. Rather than try hitting perfect wedges, I opted to hit low releasing shots. I ended up having a blast with it. Made me play the golf course as a links layout on many occasions. Had to get creative in ways I don’t normally do. What a difference the golf course was in terms of lushness the last time I played it in October. I believe most golfers will be very disappointed with the thin lies but very happy with the greens.

Great service all day from bag drop, proshop, range, marshals and on course food & beverage service. Not many golfers out there due to cold temps so we played at a relaxed pace. I’ll be back out here to play again in the Spring.
10 Likes.
Teed it up last week with 7 other GK’ers at Terra Lago North and had a great time!

It was my first time playing the North Course. I’ve read so many mixed reviews over the years about Terra Lago North I really did not know what to expect. I had a feeling it would be in great shape with exception to the bunkers as I had played the South Course a month prior. Well it was in even better shape than the South Course. Greens running med/fast, smooth and holding shots. Fairways lush like carpet. Rough dormant bermunda in most cases with good coverage and some occasional thin spots. On the far edges of the rough adjacent to the desert hazards it’s thin with occasion bare spots. You need to hit an accurate tee shot or there is decent chance it will release into a hazard. Bunkers in decent shape overall with firm sand. The weak link but certainly playable. Tee boxes mostly lush, a few thin ones here and there but good to play from.

What really won me over with this course, and instantly propelling it into my Top-20 desert courses is the layout. Total blast to play. Scenic views. Tight fairways beautifully framed by the desert landscape. Many risk/reward holes. Diabolical green complexes with tough pins and fun putts. And the last 5 holes are one of the best and unique closing holes stretches I've played anywhere. I just re-uploaded the photos in higher resolution so check them out. Can’t wait to get back there for another round.
10 Likes.
Week ago today I teed it up at Classic Club with GK’ers GDR23, rgm2525 and 24hourgolf. Super time. We went off at 12:35pm and finished just before sunset. Little under 4 hours.
I waited to post this review because I wanted to post high resolution photos on GK. Last night cychow coded it so we could moving forward. Curious what you think of the upgrade.
The photos are gorgeous as was the golf course. We also caught it on a postcard December day in Palm Desert.

This is a grand golf experience in every way. Massive clubhouse with exceptional food. Excellent service on every level. Fantastic large practice facilities. But most importantly, the golf course. It’s a Classic style layout in the middle of the desert. Very unique layout compared to other courses you’ll play in the desert. All the features are large. Large greens, large fairways, large bunkers, large water features…you see where I’m going with this. Check out the photos. There is not one let down hole and they are all beautiful and challenging. For those of you that don’t know this golf course was once a PGA Tour stop.

As for the conditions, excellent. Fairways and rough rye grass carpet. Bunkers well manicured with high quality sand. Tee boxes groomed and cut tight. Greens, as expected a little slow as pure rye grass greens are always in December. They had remnants of light verticut with no sand. They rolled smooth and held shots. The greens should be fantastic in January/February/March.

Classic Club is my favorite golf course to play in the Coachella Valley even though every time, and I mean every time I’ve played it, I’ve played poorly. Next time I play Classic Club I’m going to have one of the best rounds of my life. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

btw – if you order a hotdog and they ask if you would like grilled onions and peppers on it, get it! Also get the fries, so good.
11 Likes.
Played Reflection Bay Golf Club with KevBig for only the second time yesterday, this time in winter rather than summer conditions, next I got to play it in spring conditions, lol, because this place is just fantastic. Great conditions, service and quickly becoming one of my favorite desert layouts.

Compared to the summer conditions, greens a little faster, little more smooth and firm. Fairways lush but in terms of rye grass instead of bermunda. You don’t get as much roll in the winter. Rough, dormant providing a beautiful contrasting look framing every hole except hole #7 (guess because its along side of the road). Bunkers in great shape with quality sand. Tee boxes mostly lush, level, well groomed in great shape.

Have to say while there is not one let down hole and they are all a blast to play, holes #8 and #9 are breathtaking. They used to be holes #17 & #18 but logistically it made more sense to flip the nines a couple years ago and given that current holes #17 & #18 are awesome I got no complaints. The par 3’s and par 5’s IMO steal the show on this course. All the par 5’s are beautiful risk/reward holes and provide for big hitters a chance to get home in two. The Par 3’s provide a major test with holes #8 & #17 right on Lake Las Vegas stunning.

Another thing about Reflection Bay is the service. From the moment you pull into the lot to leaving you are constantly made comfortable with friendly smiles and professionalism. After golf we sat down in the grill which I understand was not there a couple years ago and had excellent food.

The only drawback is the golf course does not, at this time, have a driving range to warm up on. It does have some hitting bays. I’m not one that needs a range often but I could see those that do not too a happy about it.

Check out the photos I just posted.

Highly Recommended.
11 Likes.
Wow, another great Rams Hill outing. Thanks so much to everyone that came. I’ve got some photos posted on our GK Events page.

This place always impresses me on every level.

From a playing conditions standpoint, I was very glad we caught the golf course on a beautiful day given this time of year. It was a wet golf course for Rams Hill standards but still in excellent shape. The only blemish were the greens not being the typical immaculate shape. Reason being is they had many challenges over the summer with the abnormal heat and humidity combined with them being soft from the recent rains. Expect the greens to continue to improve over time. I still rated the greens an 8 and the rest of the course 9’s and 10’s.

Layout. Spectacular. Was my first time playing the white tees as I mostly play the blue or gold tees here. Loved it from the whites too. Fantastic views on an exceptional Tom Fazio design. Bunkers treacherous yet stunningly beautiful. Greens large, undulating but not unfair. Fairways with ample room to grip and rip but will severely punish if you miss them. Rough lush rye grass with dormant bermuda outlining the bunkers (love that). Be ready to play draws and fades but above all else you need to pitch and putt well. I love the contrasting colors that is hard to describe but take a few minutes to view the photos I just posted and you’ll agree. My favorite hole is my toughest hole, #18. Jaw dropper for a finisher.

From an organizers perspective, they always treat us here like we're members. Friendly and quick to respond to all our needs as well as organized. The staging area is perfect with the putting green, first tee and clubhouse spaced together. The driving range all grass with targets and proV1’s. Food is excellent as well as the service on and off the golf course. The patio restaurant is the perfect setting to wrap up the day. Just love this place and you can count on a GK Plays outing return in 2019!
13 Likes.
Super time running and playing in our GK Plays outing on the Legends Course Saturday. Thanks everyone for coming! Check of the photos on the GK Events page.

From an organizer's perspective this outing went perfect! Great playing conditions, weather, prizes and service. It’s the 3rd outing I have done at Omni La Costa and they have raised the bar each time. They are great people to work with and their attention to details with our outing showed. Love how they set up an area on the Vue restaurant patio to cap it off.

From a player’s perspective, I’ve played the Legends Course twice before over the last couple years and Saturday the golf course was in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. I am very impressed with the continual improvement. Even after the heavy rains days before the course played beautifully. Full lush coverage in all fairways and rough. Greens a little wet and soft still, ran mostly smooth and at good pace. Tee boxes a little shaggy but lush and only shaggy because they had not fully dried out enough from the recent rains to cut. Bunkers in good shape with quality sand. The story of the day for my group was the brutal rough they had not cut yet due to the heavy rains that week. Sort of a gnarly thick mix of 3 to 4 inch kikuyu and rye where the ball sat down every time. Man it was challenging but in a twisted way fun. From a service standpoint on the course, we saw the beverage cart 6 times (yes, a record for me). Also marshals a couple times ready to assist with POP and other needs.

I like this layout more and more every time I play it. Makes you work the ball around big trees and putt very well. Level traditional layout with beautiful bridges over creeks and water hazards throughout. Fresh flowers to pretty the place up more. Well protected greens with risk reward par 4’s and 5’s. I’ve always been a big fan of their other course the Champions. Now I’m a big fan of this one too. Just a wonderful 36 hole facility.
11 Likes.
Had the pleasure of playing one of my favorite Vegas golf courses with GK’ers rob1563, kevbig and sixpez last week. With the growing support for GK in Vegas look for many more rounds to come out there with more GK’ers.

Rio Secco Golf Club was as expected a top-to-bottom excellent golf experience. Even on a windy day, even playing badly, even with a heavy head/heart that day after finding out about the shooting tragedy in my home city of Thousand Oaks. It's a strong testament to how fun of a golf experience this place is and why it’s a top high end Las Vegas golf course.

Rio Secco was in excellent shape. Fairways in lush rye grass conditions. Greens running fast and smooth. Rough almost completely dormant with some color hanging on (look for them to be blonde in a few weeks) had full coverage. Tee boxes, the back tees appeared to be overseeded but the white tees we played did not. Still level lies and well groomed. Nothing to complain about. Bunkers all in excellent shape with excellent sand. Love the texture of these traps. Might have found all of them – LOL.

Service is outstanding. Everyone super friendly and professional. We saw the cart girl three times on the front nine and twice on the back nine.

Layout is very challenging and with the gusty cool winds that morning it was even more so. It’s a fun layout that demands accuracy off the tee. There are lots of scenic views of the Las Vegas skyline so enjoy the photo opportunities. Especially with the crystal clear morning we played. Check out my photos I just posted here.

I’ll be back for more. Love this place. Highly Recommended.
14 Likes.
Finally got to experience Bali Hai in Las Vegas Thursday with Kevbig, rob1562 and famed02. Super time!

Bali Hai lived up to its image as a high rollers “Vegas” course and then some. What I liked most about Bali Hai was how “Vegas” the place is. It totally personifies it. Its right next to the famous Las Vegas sign, there are constant views of the Mandalay and Luxor hotels, hospitality Vegas style with friendly attractive staff, deluxe fancy clubhouse, fun atmosphere throughout the property, music, great food (get the Hole-In-One breakfast bagel in the morning and the Bali Hai ½ burger in the afternoon) … this is a unique one of a kind experience.

Regarding the golf course, fun challenging layout with an island tropic theme. Much more demanding than I expected and we played the Silver tees. I could have stepped back to the Gold tees but glad I did not for my first time. No way am I playing the Black tees. Forgiving off the tee but very challenging on approach with lots of big difficult bunkers to deal with. Some forced caries over water on the par 3’s yet many opportunities to go for the par 5’s in two. The par 3’s IMO are the star of the golf course. All of them beautiful with varying lengths. The layout can get repetitive at times with holes featuring the same backdrops and similar design … however they are all great holes so I didn’t mind. Check out the photos I just posted!

As far as conditions its in great shape. Their fairway overseeding did not go as well as planned on the majority of holes, still good coverage but not as lush as one would expect. But they are addressing it with a deep veriticut + extra watering so I anticipate the fairways conditions to improve significantly within a matter a weeks. Greens in great shape with the back nine greens being better than the front nine greens. Mostly smooth, medium speed and holding shots. Rough, oh boy, its nasty difficult around the many greens. Being October the bermunda rough is still present and a good 4 inches deep in many areas around the greens. Quite a few times my ball was buried and I had to chop it out. Other times I’d hit a good approach just short of the green and it would shut my ball down. As far as the bunkers, well-groomed with quality sand. I found my share of traps for sure. Tee boxes, the Gold and Black tees looked like they were in great shape, but we played what I think 90% of golfers play out there, the Silver tees which were in OK shape. Some with noticeable divot damage and few that need to be leveled. Again Gold and Black tee boxes looked very nice.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about Bali Hai and I now know why. If you are someone that could care less about a one of a kind “Vegas” golf experience that no other golf course can replicate, you might be disappointed. My suggestion is everyone should try playing this course at least once although because the uniqueness of the full experience it provides if it’s in your financial means to do so. I really enjoyed it.
14 Likes.
Played with sixpez and Nickesquire Thursday morning. Was my first time playing Terra Lago after all these years. It pleasantly surprised me. I knew not to expect excellent playing conditions typical of the higher end Palm Springs golf courses which I have been accustomed to playing. Also the South golf course was fresh out of overseeding. What surprised me was how interesting, challenging and flat out fun the layout was. As a first time player that loves shot value, this course is loaded with them. Risk/reward tee shots, intimidating bunkers, lots of doglegs, forced carries over water, tough green complexes, hazards on both sides of every hole, elevated tee shots, a fantastic signature par 3 … a blast.

As far as conditions, very good. Interestingly is after the round I talked with the Superintendent who informed me the greens are not overseeded with rye but rather poa. That they are tiff bermunda surfaces that do well the majority times of the year but need a cool grass added for winter play. This explains why the greens rolled so well. They are basically all bermunda with some poa sprouting through. I was told the greens right now are as slow as they get and to expect them to gradually become faster and firmer. Makes me want to head back there for sure. With all those undulations and tricky pins, must be diabolically fun when they are running faster.

Fairways in very good shape mostly lush with some thin spots. Rough mostly lush greenside and adjacent to the fairways with occasional thin/bare areas. Bunkers, well groomed but in many cases very firm and depleted of quality sand. Fairway bunkers overall in poorer shape than the greenside bunkers. I did find a couple in decent shape and got used to the firm texture. Tee boxes in very good shape with exception to the gold tees on the 17th hole.

Service was friendly and excellent all day. After the round I grabbed a bite to eat in the restaurant. Decent burger with tasty fries and great view of the signature holes on the North Course.

Overall, I’d play the South Course again and want to try the North Course. If the track was manicured better and in the kind of conditions of a PGA WEST, Desert Willow Golf Resort or Indian Wells Golf Resort the layout would be on par with most of those playing experiences. Granted the courses I mentioned do have higher levels of service and amenities but my point is this place has great bones with a ton of upside potential. It looks to be moving in a positive direction. CHECK OUT the photos I just posted. Recommended.
12 Likes.
Good times out at Black Gold Golf Club Sunday with GK’ers Mattias, roarksown1 and kassper7.

Sunday was a great testament of how much I like this layout even when I was looking for my tee shot on the majority of holes. My driver was as bad as I can remember as far as accuracy and let me tell you this course will eat you up on a day like that. However, take a drop, or two (lol) and play out the holes, enjoy the great views. I still had fun with the approach shots, be it many different angles than I am used to. The challenging green complexes and putting greens.

As for the conditions, very nice for October. Like roarksown1 I was expecting the golf course to be a little on the brown side but rather it was green. Good lies when I found the fairway. The rough was hit and miss as far as lush long or thin in areas. We played after the big rain on Saturday so it was still damp in places. Damp + Kikuyu grass is a tough combo! Noticed many greenside bunkers with new sand. Played a couple shots from them. Very nice. Tee boxes in good shape. Some were closed for what appeared to be nothing more than just giving them a break to grow in more. Last but not least the greens. They were in very good shape BUT very soft for Black Gold standards and consequently a bit bumpy and slower than I’ve experience in the past. I’m sure it has to do with the fact the greens were softer due to aeration 4 weeks ago combined with heavy rain the night before. Add to that we played in the afternoon on full tee sheet of players before us. You put all that together and still get very good greens, you know these greens are going to be rolling fast and smooth again likely by the time you read this review.

Service was excellent all day. Check-in, starter and on-course beverage service. After our round there was a wedding taking the whole clubhouse but normally I always enjoy their food/drink on the patio. I might try to get back out here again this fall/winter. Need to redeem myself for my poor play but more so just love this place.
14 Likes.
Found myself in Santa Barbara late afternoon yesterday, 10/8, so decided to swing by Sandpiper Golf Club for a late TW round. Beautiful weather, clear day, played as a single. Teed it up at 3:45pm. Hardly anyone out there that late. It was a surreal experience. Fabulous views. Peaceful sounds. I can’t recommend a late TW round at Sandpiper enough.

Golf Course conditions are very good despite very dry Summer/Fall weather the region has had. Greens in super shape despite some tiny hole venting aeration (no sand). The tiny holes did not affect the putts whatsoever. Fast, holding approach shots, running out on pitch shots and smooth. Fairways in very good shape. Firm with a good padding to the hit the ball from. Light green with occasional light brown areas. Primary rough is cut low just above fairway height. There in no longer tall secondary fescue rough, likely to conserve water so they can focus resources on the fairways, so if want to cut the corner a little bit on hole 15 go for it. Bunkers in good shape, firm but decent sand. Light brown coloring in most traps. Tee boxes in good shape. Lush, groomed with some tee boxes (played the gold tees) needing to be more level.

Finished in 3 hours. I only had to skip one hole to play through a foursome. I also had to stop playing to take a couple phone calls which resulted in 20 minute delay. Add to that I took a ton of photos which I will post some on GK this week.

Some might feel like for a golf course that expansive, and actually if you are a tri-county resident (live in Ventura, Santa Barbara or San Louis Obispo County) it’s a significant price break, that conditions should always be fantastic. I disagree. The high green fee is 100% justified by the experience of playing a very fun layout with some of the most beautiful golf course ocean views anywhere I've played. In addition the peaceful unique ambiance of the place is special. The stretch of holes 10 – 14 on the cliffs of the ocean is simply spectacular. Holes 5 & 6 on the front nine are also excellent ocean golf holes. You can see the ocean from almost everywhere on the golf course if you look in its direction. Just a handful of holes that are mediocre in my opinion such as 8, 9 and 15. Some might not like that 18 is par 3 but its an fantastic par 3 IMO with one the toughest greens on the golf course. I love this golf course. It’s one of my very favorites. I highly recommend it.
17 Likes.
Had a meeting at Angeles National on Tuesday that pleasantly turned into 15 holes of golf. Been a while since I’ve played it. I was also curious how it looked after the brush fire damage from last year. Have to say looks even better. I love how they’ve incorporated wood chips, gravel and landscaping (lots of blue agaves which I dig) into the layout. Plus it’s nice to get a free drop from those wood chips bordering some of the fairways ;)

Golf course was in great shape for this time of year. The fairways are light green, excellent coverage, a few thin spots, firm and dry. Which is to be expected. I talked with the superintendent Matt before the round and found out the course in built on very rocky terrain where they only have about 6 inches of top soil. What this means is the fairways roots can only go so deep and doing a deep fairways aeration is impossible as the rocks will break the machine. However they do 3 shallow holes aerations on the fairways per year to keep them healthy. I thought they played very well and enjoyed the extra roll.

As for the greens, really good shape, fun, mostly smooth, not as firm and fast as some of my previous visits but I expect them to speed up moving forward due to coming cooler temps. It’s a hot climate so makes sense to not cut them down yet. My favorite aspect of Angeles National are the green complexes. They are very big yet diabolical. They allow you to get creative with all the contours to play a large variety of shots. On every hole you can find a spot where you could enjoy practicing your short game for hours. Makes the golf course a blast.

Tee boxes in great shape. Lush, cut tight and level.

Bunkers are well groomed but need more sand.

Rough, there really is not much. Through the green the golf course is pretty much fairway height. Definitely puts more demand on the tee shots and approaches to keep it in play.

As for the views and ambiance of Angeles National, love it. Yes there is some freeway noise but that becomes unnoticeable, at least for me, after a couple holes. The backdrops of Angeles National Forest Mountains are stunning. You feel like you are on a desert golf course at times. The clubhouse is beautiful. You know you’re at a high end golf course from the level of service and amenities that immediately greet you. They have an excellent driving range and practice facilities.

Check out the photos I just posted.

Recommended!
16 Likes.
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