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Played at 10am Friday, 2/8/19, with my monthly club. This is a private club that allows outside groups in a shotgun tourney one Friday each month. Old-school layout, fairly flat with some elevation changes around the clubhouse at the highest point on the property. After quite a bit of rain last week, everything was wet and soft, but carts had free reign and the really wet spots were marked to be avoided.

Greens were soft and many approaches spun back a long way. They rolled pretty well at medium speed, and several pins were placed in sneaky positions. By 2pm they were showing and holding a lot of footprints. We played preferred lies in fairways, so scattered thin areas were not a problem. Rough was generally damp and a challenge to play from. Tees were flat and OK. Sand was in good condition.

Interactive GPS (TKv) with some on-course markings (plates/stakes). The screen says "distance to pin" but the number given is to the COG. The carts have a club cleaner/ballwasher (nice!), but also have a very strict no-go setting when you stray far from the fairway or path - we had to back up to safety several times, sometimes in the rough between parallel holes! Adequate water available. No cart girl or marshal - there's a snack bar at the turn, and a single bathroom at the junction of holes 6/11/16. The larger scramble tourney in front of us was the slowest scramble play I had ever seen - we could have been 30 min faster.
I played Santa Anita GC at 10am on Saturday, 1/12/19, with my monthly club. We generally play here every January. It had rained early that morning, but the weather looked like it might clear around 9am. But, oops, it started sprinkling on #7 and pouring on #9. About half of our tourney group bailed out at the turn, but by the time we reached #11 the rain had stopped and we had clearing weather afterward. The course was not very crowded as a result of the earlier rain, and the many defections during the storm resulted in a very light crowd in the afternoon.

Greens very firm but with few ballmarks and rolled at a medium+ pace (they slowed down during and just after the deluge – LOL). Fairways with pretty good coverage everywhere. Rough could be very thin and playable or deep and juicy – we played lift/clean/place so lies were generally not a problem. Traps appeared to have adequate sand but it was obviously packed down by the rains.

Tee boxes were generally OK but #18 (we played the blue tees) is badly uneven and sloping to the left rear – this is a long dogleg right with a huge tree just to the right of a tee. A fade is almost the only play available here, but it’s hard to hit that shot off an uneven tee with the ball well above your feet!

Hole 3 doesn’t have a very well-defined fairway area – it seems like you are on deep, soft kikuyu everywhere! There are a couple other holes where the fairway definition is “vague” or where the mowers had not been in a few days.

Overall good conditions for a casual round.
Kicked off 2019 at one of my favorites in northern San Diego County with a GN Hot Deal for $33 at 1130 on 1/1/19. Hadn’t played since the La Costa GK outing and was trying out some new swing thoughts – joined Carlsbad locals Ralph and Chris, and we had a relaxed, enjoyable round in about 4 hours. It was pretty windy when we got started, but the blustery NE wind dropped to almost nothing by the time we reached the back nine, and we had perfect weather coming in.

The course is in decent shape. Greens were a mixed bag. Some were OK, some had light/dark areas scattered across them, some had large turf patches evident. Most were firm with good coverage, but all were bumpy and rolled at medium speed. With the windy weather there was a lot of small and large debris on all greens, but not too many ballmarks.

Fairways are dormant and tight – you get some good rollouts downhill, but we also had good strikes rolling back toward us on the uphill holes – frustrating! Many unfilled divots in all the fairways. We liberally used the sand provided on the carts, but the refill rack on #10 tee was populated with empty bottles. There is only scattered use of entry/exit gates for carts onto fairways, and the entry areas being used are badly worn down and bare. Rough was generally cut low and easy to play from, but also wasn’t much of a deterrent for offline shots running on into hazards or other disasters.

There was plenty of sand in all bunkers encountered. Tees were level, and par-3 tees were not too torn up, divot mix provided on some of these. The course has also placed sand bottles on some par-4 tees, but all of these were empty when we came through.

Carts are basic – no GPS, a cooler with just ice. The carts did have a ball washer/club cleaner, which is handy. The driving range is on grass, but the left side of the hitting area is sloping behind a right-handed player. There are few targets; the ball machine was not working. The clock at the range is a nice touch, but it was not adjusted from daylight savings time. No cart girl today, and the snack bar is a drive from the playing route.

I really enjoy the variety in this layout and the opportunity to let the driver rip on many elevated holes. As usual, #s 6 and 17 are beasts – all uphill, and into that NE wind on #6 I still had a hybrid to reach the green after 2 solid shots! There’s a lot of trimmed and untrimmed debris lying around waiting to be cleaned up, and the main creekbeds are choked with growth and debris, which would improve the aesthetics here but really doesn’t affect play. To decrease maintenance costs, the course is doing some turf conversions, primarily in the areas around tee boxes and leading out to fairways. They’ve replaced turf with crushed rock and the look takes some getting used to, but is effective.

Still recommended.
Disappointing conditions here at GCRC on Thursday, 12/13/18, at 11am. It was bright and sunny and a full week after the rains in SoCal, so I was expecting pretty good conditions. This course reminds me quite a bit of the ill-fated Carmel Mountain Ranch GC – great bones, a challenging layout, but one that has gone to seed and needs a capital infusion and some serious TLC to get back to being a premier venue. While several fairways and tees looked busy when I drove in, only a couple of groups teed off in the hour before my tee time, and I played as a single in about 3.5 hr, catching the foursome ahead of me on #11 and plugging along behind them for the remainder of the round. Overall the course is in rough/seedy shape – I was expecting the course to be better groomed. Conditions ranged from nicely groomed to overlain with severe scattered debris.

Greens here are fairly large, most protected by deep bunkers. Many greens are elevated and have slopy fronts that can repel short approaches or see shots spin back down the slopes. Some minor tiering on some greens, but nothing too wild – none of my putts today had a large amount of break. While the practice putting green was very bumpy, on-course greens rolled fairly smoothly at medium+ speed. Greens were pretty quick downhill. Not a great number of ballmarks, even though greens were receptive to approaches. Several greens had scattered sanded areas on them, mainly around the green margins.

Fairways and rough were a motley mix of colors and quality. Both had scattered straw-colored and green shadings that gave the look of a camo outfit and made spotting the ball difficult – I spent a lot of time on some holes searching for balls that weren’t that far offine. Fairway coverages were generally good but the ball sometimes sat tight. Rough was a mix of several grasses and ranged from bare dirt to scattered clumpiness to a deep, juicy nightmare.

Many tees had a lot of uneven surface, but none were badly sloping. Par-3 tees were not badly damaged. Sand (there’s lots of traps and lots of BIG traps!) looked to be nicely groomed but not real plentiful. Many greenside traps may be so deep they have to be hand-groomed, as a worker was doing ahead of me on the 12th green.

Carts were pretty basic – no GPS, no ballwasher/cleaner, an empty cooler. Some holes had ballwashers mounted on the hole info tower (showing yardages, internal trash can, etc.), some did not. Par-3 tees generally had divot mix containers, and there’s a refill rack before the 10th tee. Quite a bit of maintenance work going on all around the course, although it’s obvious much more work remains to be done throughout. If I was a homeowner backing to the lake along the 13th hole, I’d be pretty upset about that ugly, stinking, fetid cesspool over my back fence. The pond in front of hole #3 had an ugly fence around it. Lots of birds in play on the back nine around hole #13.

They were out of the course yardage books in the pro shop. Some sprinklers are marked, and some faiways had 200/150/100 plates. The course uses a R/W/B rotation for pin placements – 3 of 4 par-5s were white today. My old yardage book shows the greens with a 6-location clock for pin placements – this more complex approach would likely result in less repetition. I used the same club on the first 3 par-3 holes, despite them playing in 3 different directions. A local resident woman was walking 2 unleashed, barky dogs on #15 – I wonder if homeowners get course access?

This is a fun, challenging layout that deserves play but needs more resources. Maybe we can have a GK Event there to get the word out and drum up more interest.
Played in the GK Event on Saturday, 12/8/2018, with GKers sixpez and kassper7 – thanks to Keith and Perry for an enjoyable round. After some pretty good rain a couple days before the course was still pretty wet. We started out CPO on some holes, but an hour in got a notice that CPO was rescinded and we were able to get on the entire course. The course hadn’t been able to cut the rough after the rains and some areas were really juicy, and we had to hunt intently for offline shots. Solid drives in the fairways died quickly. Bunkers were pretty wet and sand depth varied. Overall conditions were good and the course is right there in front of you, but it played longer than the card today. However, the tees on the par-3s were pushed well forward, so those holes played much shorter than the card distances.

Greens on this course are a different grass compared to the Champions course – the turf on Legends greens is thin, and the firm greens held wedges but mid- and long-irons released quite a bit. Greens rolled smoothly at medium+ speed and in many areas are more slopy than they look initially, although there is very little severe tiering.

Staff was great throughout. The free valet parking for golfers is a must! Starter was great and on-course marshals helpful. Plenty of divot sand refills available, including a refill rack at the 7#/13 tee/bathroom. Nice GPS on the carts, although you have to work through a lot of secondary screens (notices, adverts, etc.). The GPS gives the pin position and distance to the hole.

My third time on Legends and I enjoy the course. I’d like to get back on Champions in a future GK event – only played there once, with GK last year. Nice to meet new GKers at the afterparty, and great prizes as usual – Thanks Johnny!
Played the Goose with my monthly group at 10am on Saturday morning, 12/1/18, on a cool sunny day with very little wind, a couple days after SoCal got some pretty good rain. We played lift/clean/place, but really didn’t need to as the course absorbed the rain very well and was in great condition, as usual. Greens and surrounds were pretty firm and chips and pitches could run out. Greens rolled pretty smoothly at medium+ speed. Tees were in good shape; I wasn’t in any sand. Fairway lies were good, although a few holes had not been mowed and lies there were a little hairy. Rough was generally good, starting out pretty wet from rain/condensation but drying out as the day went on.

Saw the cart girl a few times, and marshals frequently. Course was pretty busy Saturday morning and POP wound up being 5 hours.
Played OQ with my brother at 8:52am on Friday, 11/23/18, after recovering from Turkey Day. Weather was overcast and cool after the rain on Wednesday night, and overall the course was pretty wet after coming out of overseeding November 1st. The look is clean and trimmed, but OQ is not in fighting trim yet as greens are still pretty fuzzy, although with a firm base. They rolled only at medium-slow speed and were bumpy, and the fuzzy grass caused putts to wiggle left and right. Fairway lies were OK but could sit down. Rough ranged from thin to very juicy. Traps were damp, with fairway traps being thin and firm, and greenside having only slightly better material. All traps had lots of small rocks. Tees were OK.

No cart girl, but snack shack was open. The course should put a divot mix refill rack out by the snack shack. Many of the par 3/par 4 tees were set forward one tee box or more (we played Blue), shortening the course card by hundreds of yards.
Played in the 2-day SCGA Senior Net Championship, an individual net stroke tourney with shotgun starts at noon Monday and 8am Tuesday, 10/29-30/2018. We played the Gold tees at ~6200 yards as this event is for 50+-aged golfers; there was a Senior Flight and a Super Senior Flight (age 65+), with two subflights in each, based on index. We had two mild, sunny days with almost no wind, unusual at this venue. POP was usual for this type of event, at 5+ hours each day.

Overall the course was in pretty good shape, but very wet. They are obviously putting a lot of water on the course, even though temperatures the past couple weeks have been pretty mild. Greens were lush but somewhat spongy, accepting shots with huge ballmarks, and getting very bumpy at the end of the day with all the footprints. The rolled at medium+ speeds and could be very quick downhill. Fairways were hit and miss – you could get a lush lie sitting up nicely on the kikuyu, or get a thin/bare lie on firm, wet ground. Rough was wet and where deeper could be very challenging. Many areas in the fairway and rough with little or no grass were muddy and looked to have been scrapped. Tees were in good condition – sand containers are provided on most par-3s, but the box on tee #6 was empty. Bunkers were very thin and firm, even around the greens.

I’ve been playing Los Serranos for 40 years and my experience is that the course tends to put the pins (F/M/B) fairly close to the B/F centerline of the greens. The SCGA pushed the pins to places where I’ve never seen pin placements at Los Serranos, very much closer to the edges and into some very slopy areas of the greens, making for challenging putting, especially the faster downhill putts.

Most of the water fountains on the course are not working, making it difficult to get water. Long drive to the clubhouse and back if you want to use the bathroom after 9 holes. Snack bar closed at 5pm on Monday.
Signed up for a SCGA/Roger Dunn outing at the MS Classic course, beginning at 10am on Saturday, 10/27/18. We had a great day for it, with clear skies, warm with only a little breeze. Starter said greens had been punched about 3 weeks ago. Enough players to have the last group teeing off around 1130. I was hoping to see some GKers out today, but didn’t recognize any names. Was paired with 3 very nice guys and we had a relaxed, enjoyable round. Tee prize included a sleeve of Callaway Superhot Bold (their answer to the electric colors of the Volviks), a $10 RD gift card, and some small stuff. There were a few CTP prizes given out, and a gift card for low net (men/women). Play was as usual for SoCal on a weekend morning, with the round taking just over 5 hours.

Greens were in decent shape – you could still see some light sanding, and they were pretty soft and receptive. They rolled at medium speed with quite a bity of bumpiness. Fairway lies were generally good, as the ball sat up on the kikuyu. Rough could be dry and thin or lush and 2-3” deep. Sand was thin and firm in the fairways and a little more abundant greenside. Tees were OK – you could see the tee construction GKer chevelle mentioned scattered around the course.

Course was in good condition for a relaxed round.
Wet kikuyu – even more fun than regular kikuyu!!

Played with my monthly group here Saturday, 10/13/18, at 10am after quite a bit of rain the previous night and this morning. Just scattered sprinkles by the time we teed off behind only scattered groups – very unusual for Lakewood on a Saturday morning. Course was very wet and we played LCP, so I didn’t rate the course. Greens were in good shape – receptive, rolling well at medium+ speeds. Wet bunkers with some standing water – no LCP there!! We were able to avoid wet deep rough areas through the LCP. Many areas with muddy ruts from carts and equipment – I was surprised they were allowing carts on the fairways. Many fairway areas squishy from pooled rain.

Overall decent conditions following the rain. We caught the group in front of us on the 17th tee, finishing in just over 4.5 hrs, which is breakneck speed here on a weekend morning.
Had some business in Ontario late Thursday morning, 10/4/18, and hopped over to Goose at just before 2pm. Got the $40 afternoon twilight rate and was paired with 2 regular players having a running match/smack talk session – amiable guys and fun to play with. We never caught anyone ahead until the approach shot on #18, and never saw anyone behind us except a fast single who played thru on the #12 tee. We finished in just over 3 hours. Weather was warm with some cloudiness – no wind to start, with the breeze freshening around 3pm.

Be aware that Goose Creek’s annual heavy “maintenance is coming” – the course closes Sunday, 10/7, for a week. Everything is punched – greens, fairways, and tees. They re-open Tuesday 10/16, and it will be cart path-only till the end of October. Tees were already shaved down today and the fairways had been cut close, with scattered patches of scalped ground. I expected drier, firmer conditions as the course dried out leading up to punching, but fairways and greens were fairly soft, with little runout on fairways and receptive greens. Maybe due to the rain showers Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Also saw a lot of tree-trimming going on throughout the course, lending a more open look everywhere. No mix containers on the carts so they didn’t expect you to fill divots – those of you who have played with me know that this resulted in an ongoing twitch in my arm the entire round!

Even as they prepare for maintenance, Goose is in better shape than many local courses in their prime season. Fairway lies were mostly good, unless you happened to land in one of the scalped areas. Rough was not as lush as usual but could be 2-3 inches deep. Tees were flat! Yes, flat – like they are supposed to be everywhere! I wasn’t in the sand, but partners played out a couple times and I heard no complaints in between the smack talk. Greens did have quite a few old and new unrepaired ballmarks.

The tightened fairways and softer turf, combined with vagaries of the wind, resulted in my leaving several approaches short, especially to front pins. Those several situations really brought out to me how pushed up many of the green platforms at Goose are to the green approaches, something you don’t necessarily see from a short-to-mid iron distance out in the fairway. I often was only 5 yards short of the green, but several feet below the level of the pin in an area where the green was running slightly away from me over the front edge. My wedge/putting game was found wanting in these circumstances!
Joined the party today for the GK Cup 12 final match – congrats to Ron for joining the Cup winner fraternity. Had a great time playing with Greg, Tom, and Gus, and seeing other old and new GK acquaintances. Conditions were similar to my round last Tuesday, but the course was drier and firmer throughout. And unfortunately, the POP was much worse – overall 5.5+ hours with a lot of waiting on the back nine in the hot sun. Saw the cart girl several times, as well as a marshal driving around but not making much impact. Excellent breakfast burrito before and club sandwich after in the grille.
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