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Thanks everyone that came out to GK Plays Desert Willow Golf Resort!

I just posted a short recap on the GK Events page.

I played the Firecliff course back in early April when it was predominantly peak season rye grass course. Place was immaculate. Saturday the golf course was predominantly a bermunda turf course almost fully transitioned and it was in fantastic shape. Greens more firm and faster. Fairways and Rough lush. Tee boxes mostly lush with some thin spots. Bunkers all high quality sand and groomed.

From an organizer perspective the Desert Willow staff is as professional and accommodating as it gets. The practice area is perfectly positioned to the golf cart staging area and first tee of the Firecliff course. The patio and inside facilities are gorgeous. Only disappointment was I thought the restaurant/bar would still be open after our round on Saturday. Guess this time year they close early. I’ll do better research next time. Sorry about that.

Big thanks to our prize sponsors Linksoul and GolfMoose. And a big thanks to Desert Willow Golf Resort for hosting. We’ll for sure be back for another outing!
11 Likes.
Great time yesterday getting together with Mattias, roarksown1 and kassper7 for our GK Cup Team Match at Simi Hills yesterday.

For only $45 rack rate to walk teeing off at 9:24am on a Saturday this place is well worth the green fee. Golf course was in great shape. Greens soft, mostly smooth and medium speed. They will be hosting the Simi Valley City Championship starting June 1st so I imagine they will be much faster then. Fairways lush with great lies all day. Rough, about an inch higher than the fairways with a blend of kikuyu and bermunda was moderately challenging. My guess is they will start growing that up soon for the coming city championship. Tee boxes in good shape, we played the gold tees, by far the most popular so they were chewed up a bit on par 3’s. On the par 4’s they had many of the gold tees back on the blacks (thankfully not hole 8) and were all in good shape. I did not find one sand trap all day. Remarkable! … so I can’t comment on them. I did not hear any complaints from my playing partners about the bunkers although.

We had breakfast before the round. Reasonably priced yet proportions were small. Decent food.

On course service was excellent and marshals did a good job to keep it moving. We finished on busy day in under 5 hours.

I snapped a few pics to check out.

Highly recommended at this time.
10 Likes.
Thank you everyone that came out to Corica Park for our GK Plays outing! I’ve posted some photos and a recap on the GK Events page.

Despite the slow play on a very busy golf weekend in the bay area I had a super time out there. Golf course was in great shape and especially the greens. Having talked with the course management they have been very busy this year as you can imagine being a new course. However I hardly saw ball marks on the greens or divot damage in the fairways.

The greens were smooth, moderately fast and firm. Just a pleasure to play. The fairways were lush and firm. The rough lush and cut low unless you found the long wild bent grass or fescue which in that case it was very difficult to play from. The bunkers were in great shape with quality sand. The tee boxes in great shape as well.

Service all day very good from the proshop, starter, on course refreshments and restaurant. Almost everyone was commenting afterwards about how good/affordable the food was. A great atmosphere for having a drink and grabbing a bite to eat before or after your round.

From an organizer standpoint, I liked the staging area with the practice putting green, proshop, restaurant and first tee all close and in sight. Signals got crossed on my instructions on how to set up the outing but guessing that was a fluke and it was rectified. As an organizer given how busy the golf course is I would recommend weekday outings if possible. The staff is easy to work with. I can see us having another outing there.

I really like this layout. It certainly appeals to all skill levels. Easy shots off the tee that get progressively more challenging as you get closer to the green. Once on the green you need to be rolling the flat stick very well as there are many subtle undulations and sneaky quick putts.

Something super cool about the place is it has the ONLY Linksoul lab/proshop. It was loaded with all the latest releases. Great apparel you should check out while there.

In addition they have a premier driving range and practice facilities. Plus a fun nine hole 3 par course I wrote a separate review for.

Just posted a new set of photos in high resolution. Check them out!

Highly Recommended.
14 Likes.
Got to Corica Park a little early, Ron and Alex scoped out the Par 3 course, just $16, looked fun, so we went for it. Finished in an hour.

Great 9 hole short course very well-conditioned with beautiful greens, lush turf and excellent bunkers. The tee shots are off a mats but they have to do that of course. It was a perfect warm up for our GK Plays and for that matter any round of golf there. The greens were not the typical shaggy super slow but rather moderate speed and similar to the Corica Park South Course (not as fast of course).

The driving range is right next to the Par 3 course set aside from the main golf courses.
I liked the experience a lot and recommend it.
13 Likes.
Sandpiper Golf Club, one of my favorite courses and what a fun day on Monday with 7 other GK’ers. Golf course was in great shape!

Teeing off at 10:30am, we played the first hole in the rain… by the second hole the rain was done. By the 4th hole the sun was shining which made me very happy because you know how I love to take photos of this place. Check out the new set in high resolution.

Greens were fantastic. Smooth, fast and holding shots. Fairways were very lush and cut tight. Good roll out. Rough, mostly lush, not long however spray a shot badly off the tee and you might find some deep nasty stuff requiring a ball search. Bunkers, thin and firm yet playable. Tee boxes lush, groomed and level.

Layout, just take a look at the photos I posted. Stunning. Ocean views from most holes with the stretch from holes 10 – 14 as well as holes 5 & 6 amazing. Hole 11 green and hole 12 tee box is practically on the beach. These ocean holes alone on a great overall course make this a bucket list golf course. Even hole 18, which most would frown having a par 3 finisher, is a great hole and fun to play.

Service on the golf course, in the proshop, after the round, in the grill was very professional and friendly.

Highly Recommended.
8 Likes.
Finally my return to the The Links at Bodega Harbour. I loved my first experience here in 2017 and was not let down on my second visit Saturday. Teeing it up with 6 other GK’ers for fun filled day.

Take a look at the new set of photos I posted. Remember new photos are now in high resolution on GK.

The golf course is very unique as are the two nines to each other. The front nine is very tight and hilly. The first 4 holes play up hill providing beautiful views of Bodega Bay. Immediately you are greeted with severely undulating firm green with difficult up and downs. This is the way the entire front nine plays out. I’d say the front nine is a good 3 strokes harder than the back nine. As for the back nine, when you roll up to hole #10 you think to yourself you could easily fit 2 front nine fairways into the hole 10 fairway. It too is uphill but not as severe. It’s a breather as you grab your driver and finally start taking big swings. The highlight of the round are 16, 17 and 18. On holes 16 and 17 you have to walk due to the holes being intertwined in the ocean marsh. They are stunning golf holes. Once back in your cart to play hole 18 hope you did not chose to play the black tees because they are way back to produce a very demanding 460+ yard par 4. The approach to 18th green is something special as you can see in the photos I posted.

As for the conditions, very good. Greens running medium fast, firm and mostly smooth. Fairways are mostly lush and firm. Rough, oh boy, you do not want to miss the fairways by a large margin as 1 to 2 foot dense grass awaits you. It is very difficult to find your ball let alone play from it. Bunkers in good shape for the most part with decent sand. I hear it gets very windy at the golf course so that explains why most of the bunkers are pretty thin on sand. Tee boxes in good shape. Small tee boxes on the front nine and larger ones on the back nine.

Service was solid in the proshop and snack bar.

I think NorCal golfers have something very special with this golf course. Even the drive out to Bodega Bay sets the stage with this hidden gem with all its beautiful rural hill sides and ranches. I know I would be playing this course many times a year if I lived in the area. Highly recommended!
8 Likes.
Played with Nickesquire and sbarajasjr on Wednesday great time. Was supposed to be joined by my best friend from CU wvanherc22 however due to the “bomb cyclone” hitting in Denver he had to catch an earlier flight last minute. Glad I live in Southern California!

The Players Course was as expected in great shape. Of all the greens I played this week, the Players Course was the best. Super smooth, fast and holding shots. What a pleasure. The fairways were lush, full coverage, firm and a bit dry due to the heatwave this week. As for the rough, the Players Course does not overseed the rough so it is in the process of turning green as it welcomes the coming transition to hotter temperatures. Currently it’s lush in most areaa, thin in some. Bunkers in super shape, the best sand quality I played this week. Tee boxes in great shape, level, firm and lush. POP 4:15 minutes.

They call this the “Players” Course for good reason as it is well designed to challenge anyone with its demanding yet fair layout. You have to play well to score well here, no exceptions. It will punish off line shots severely yet give you ample room to stay online. The greens are very well protected with bunkers and at times water hazards. Off the tee it will help you to be able to work your drives in both directions while at the same time pipe one down the middle. There is lots a strategy needed here especially off the tee. Driver is not always the best decision. The greens are large, challenging and fair. The backdrop scenery is beautiful throughout your round. It’s an inspiring course to play.

The amenities, service, clubhouse are all top-notch. The practice putting course is awesome and if you have never come out at night to experience their “Shots In The Night” laser games golf experience you’re missing out. The food in the Vue restaurant is outstanding. This place has it all.

Just Posted Some High Resolution Photos

Highly Recommended.
7 Likes.
Part 2 - Mountain View

Our second 18 as part of an annual get together with some CU college friends was on the Mountain View Course. We finished the first 18 on the Firecliff Course around 12:15pm for a 4:15 pace. Then stopped to cool down (it was close to 100 degrees from rare heatwave the area was getting this week), had a delicious lunch on the patio, then teed off around 2:00pm. The break time was perfect.

As for the conditions, Mountain View was the first to be overseeded so it had some more Bermuda grass mixed in with the rye grass on the greens. Hence we found the greens to be more firm and faster. Once adjusted I felt the greens on the Mountain View Course were even better. The were fast, firm and smooth. The fairways lush full coverage groomed. Rough slightly higher than the fairways with full coverage and lush. The bunkers with a different kind of sand, more standard texture sand compared to the thinker heavier sand on Firecliff was in very good conditions. The tee boxes level, lush and immaculate. Fantastic shape.

Amazing clubhouse and practice facilities. Exceptional service.

Can’t wait to play again.
11 Likes.
Part 1 - Firecliff

Again part of an annual get together with some CU college friend, we selected Desert Willow Golf Resort as our 36 hole day. Played Firecliff in the morning, stopped for a relaxing 2 hour break lunch on the patio and then played Mountain View in the afternoon. Desert Willow Golf Resort has always been in great shape when I’ve played it, this time it was in the best shape I have ever played it. Both courses. Immaculate. Only difference is the Mountain View course greens are a little firmer and faster due to them have a little more Bermuda grass coming in along with the excellent rye green surface. Loved them.

Firecliff was wall to wall lush full coverage. Stunning. We played the Purple/Lavender tee combo which was an excellent choice. Shorten the beast Par 3’s (hole 17 comes to mind) and some of the other par 4’s. Lavender tees are clearly the most popular.

The Firecliff layout is more challenging. It’s got more difficult forced carries over water, more bunkers adjacent to the fairways and greens. Plus the bunkers are mostly all deeper. When I come to play this golf course I know my sand game is going to be tested big time. I played OK and fortunately I will get another crack at this course soon as I’m hosting a GK Plays outing there on Saturday May 18th. Come out for a great time. The golf course will for sure still be in great shape!

Lastly, the food and service at Desert Willow is outstanding. I recommend the crab cakes sliders.

Highly Recommended!
13 Likes.
Played Bermuda Dunes Country Club as part for the first round of a annual get together with some close friend from college Sunday afternoon. HOT day out in the Palm Desert ... who turned the heat on?

Golf course was in excellent shape. Its private but I know they sometimes allow public play. If you do get an opportunity to play this golf course, play it. Here’s in interesting stat, its hosted over 50+ PGA Tour events. Granted years ago but that says something.

Greens fast, firm and smooth. Fairways lush, cut tight with full coverage, rough blend of grasses cut just above fairways height lush, bunkers quality sand in great shape and tee boxes level tight groomed.

We played the Classic 1 + Classic 2 layout blue tees. You got be able to work the ball both right to left and left to right off the tee around some big mature trees. Approach shots pretty straight forward but once on the greens they have many subtle difficult to read breaks and don’t be behind the hole.

Tip - use the gate at Adams and 42 to get to the golf course.

Will post photos later this week - Highly Recommended!
9 Likes.
Teed it up with 24hourgolf (morning), GDR23, Alex362 and rgm2525 (afternoon) for 36 holes. Awesome time!

Just posted a bunch of high resolution pics here on GK. Check them out.

For years every time it rained in Santa Barbara I thought, good, means Rancho San Marcos will be more green. I know sounds silly but this is one of my favorite golf courses and it was painful seeing it struggle through the drought. In 2017 is was back to being green and now it’s in the best shape I’ve seen in over 10 years.

The ambiance of Rancho San Marcos tucked in a beautiful valley next to Lake Cachuma inside the Los Padres National Forest is tough to beat. Add it the ranch décor theme of the facility and you’ve got quite a stage for your round of golf.

As far as conditions, excellent. The whole course is very lush, green with full coverage. The greens are smooth, medium/fast and holding shots. The fairways are like carpet (amazing when you think back to the way they were during the drought). Rough, lush, with primary cut low yet secondary rough almost knee high and dense. Miss a fairway badly off the tee and don’t bother looking for your ball. And if you do be careful of snakes as it’s that time of year when they come out from hibernation. The bunkers all contain high quality sand which in some cases could use some raking. The tee boxes are lush and level. The course is a total pleasure to play.

Before your round you want to give yourself time to practice as they have an exceptional all grass driving range, pitching/sand area and putting green. You also might want to give yourself time to grab a bite to eat. Quality food priced right. I had a breakfast sandwich in the morning and delicious tri-tip soft tacos for lunch.

Service is in the clubhouse is great. I did not however see an on course food/beverage service all day. Guessing because it was a Tuesday round.

Something to note, they do not have GPS on the carts but do have 150 and 200 yards plates in the fairways. Advise to bring your own yardage devices.

I’m already planning to get back up there for another round in May!

Highly Recommended
14 Likes.
The rise is real. The new management has done a fantastic job improving playing conditions and cleaning up a true hidden gem. Anyone who has played Soule Park Golf Course knows what a great layout it is and how affordable it is to play. Now add to it great playing conditions (which include new sand in all the bunkers), lush turf and fast, smooth greens and it’s easy to see why Greenskeeper.org users have voted Soule Park Golf Course “Most Worth The Green Fee” in Ventura County 2017 & 2018.

Teed it up yesterday with a Facebook friend Garth who invited me out to play with his outing group. I could not resist. It was raining in the morning but cleared up so take a look as some the photos I just posted. The golf course was going to originally punch the greens on March 4 & March 5 but that moved to early April. For March, although there are obviously some wet thin areas in the fairways, it was green, lush and beautiful. The only minor blemish are the tee boxes that could use a good cut and possibly a future project to make them more level.
It was 45 minute drive from Thousand Oaks that I’d gladly make anytime. I feel this golf course is must play if you are in the area and can see its popularity growing very quickly. The scenery of the Ojai Valley and surrounding is gorgeous. Highly Recommended.
14 Likes.
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