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Played here Thursday 10/5/17. Overall, excellent condition.

Greens are 98% recovered from aeration of 9/5-6. Only a few square feet here and there around edges show any evidence. Rolling perfect, smooth as glass, with good speed. This is my home course and I've been playing here since it opened, and I can't recall greens in better condition. I did play early (700am) so did benefit from limited traffic, but in any case, greens are awesome right now.

I sprayed the ball off tee all day and found only a handful of fairways, but are excellent as well. A few spots either a little soft or a bit thin, but again, overall excellent.

Bunkers are very good. Found two, and both were perfectly raked / dragged, with good weight of sand.

There are a few tee boxes closed for minor maintenance, but all tees open are flat and level.

Fringe around green cut close makes for a great green complexes. If you miss, however, the kikuyu is tough to play from.

Beautiful day, great conditions. Take advantage and play now while most other course are aerating.

Always top shelf service inside and out.

Enjoy
13 Likes.
Played here Sunday morning, 10/1/17, as part of on ongoing effort to check out local course which I've not played before. I can't imagine I'll ever play here again....

To start, greens have been punched, on or about 9/26, so not a good start. Pro Shop mentioned to me when I checked in and gave me 10% discount...Should have been a 90% discount.

I should have read further on the recent reviews here, but made decision to play here based primarily on the most recent one. I wasn't expecting much, and as mentioned at the top, like to explore different courses.

I did not know this is really only a 16 hole course. Not sure how long its been since they 'lost' holes 5 & 6, but that's about where the experience got so bad I found it kind of entertaining. It went something like this:

From the 4 green, you turn around and drive backwards to 4 tee, past 3 green and 3 tee, out onto the street and re-enter at original # 7 green, which you have to drive past to get to the tee.
Keep in mind that original 7 is now #5. From there you play original # 8, which is temporary #8. Then onto original # 9, which now plays as # 7 AND # 8. (7 is now a short par 4, and 8 is short par 3). From here I had to ask for directions to # 9. A couple of guys just finishing 8, told me to follow them, and they would let me (single) to play through. So off we went through the sewer / drainage tunnels toward the back 9. Teed of on original 10, which is temporary 9. Then off on original 11, which (like original 9) is now two holes, 10 & 11. Again a short par 4 with temp green in the middle of original 11 fairway, then a par 3 to original # 11 green. I think it was here that I saw a golf cart abandoned in the hazard right of the fairway, and a couple of chickens poking around near the green. Cool ! Wildlife!

From here, all holes played to what I believe is original design of 12-18, including the narrowest par 5 (#16) I've ever played. Maybe the narrowest hole, period, I've ever played. Can't be sure but could not have been more than 20-25 yards wide, with trees and OB on right, and a drainage ditch and trees on the left. Downhill tee shot I hit a hybrid which I thought would have been in some part of the fairway, just to be safe. I didn't realize fairway actually got narrower on the left side and saw my ball ricochet OB over the drainage ditch.

At this point, just glad to be almost done, I chopped it around for 2 more holes and then toured the sewer tunnels again back to home.

Wow....I don't really like to hammer any course on a review, but this one, unfortunately gets one. Perhaps the worst course I've ever played. Not going to even comment on conditions around the course. All bad, from tee thru fairway to bunkers, to greens.

Avoid as you would the 91 freeway on Friday rush hour.
10 Likes.
Played here Tuesday twilight, 9/26, on an email special $32, which included green fee, small bucket and 2 domestic beers. Good deal from my perspective.

Always a little wary of course which allow you to choose 5 players on their on-line booking system, and turns our 3 ball was behind a 5 ball, so made for some occasional backup.

I have not played here for probably 20 years, and did not recall much about the course or layout, but found it to be quite a fun trip. Granted there are not a lot of holes with flat lies in the fairway, or at least fairways with hills to carry or to navigate with sideways rollout, but for the most part, nothing extremely mysterious here. A couple of semi blind tee shots over hills with parts unknown beyond, but for those that play here regularly, probably not an issue.

Conditions were good to very good. Some tee boxes were uneven, and chewed up. Fairways when a little spotty. Mostly old kikuyu throughout, with some unidentifiable other 'grasses' mixed in, but very playable.

Greens were very good. Very good dense coverage, nicely cut and very smooth, if not a little slow. Better than a lot of other local munis I've played recently.

Nice, bunkers with the right amount of weight to the sand.

Very interesting layout and some good elevation changes with excellent vistas. A couple of crazy dogleg, side hill par 5's (8 and 11 come to mind), but some really well designed holes too. Narrow in spots, not overly long from white tees (about 6200), and driver isn't always the best play unless you are Fred Funk straight.

I will return and give it another go, as this one falls squarely into the 'need to place more than once' category. Excellent service from Proshop, however, no beverage cart / ambulance on the course.

Enjoy
11 Likes.
Played here, 1st time, on Sunday 9/24/17.

Have been exploring more courses in the area lately, and decided to given RSJ a try.

Paid $67 online for 830am Sunday. Smallest bucket of balls was $10, hit from mats to a field of dirt, with a couple of flags for targets. On scale of 1-10, rate the practice area a 3. One large putting green near 9 and 18 greens. Did not see a chipping area.

Friendly starter and staff inside Proshop. Started as a single but joined 3 others on 6th hole when pace bogged down.

Course is near a few busy streets in Irvine so, don't expect a quiet and peaceful round, although not noticeable on every hole.

Fairways were average, very wet in spots, but playable. Spotty in areas as well. Not a great deal of definition from fairway to rough. One of the trickiest aspects of this layout, especially first time around, were the sight lines from tee. I recall at least 8 tee shots which were difficult to pick a line. Unsure about which way the hole moved when there was any bend at all. The guys I played with said the same thing. (Also playing for first time). # 14 in particular is poorly designed hole which puts players in fairway in jeopardy from shots from group behind. No way to know players are in fairway below, when teeing off of 14th.

Greens average to good. A few crazy designed greens, with big bowls and sideboards, which with course knowledge and pin placement, could really change your aim point from fairway. Rolled pretty consistently slow / medium pace, and a bit on bumpy side.

Bunkers had a lot of sand in them...So much that if you took half the volume out and added to the bunkers at Oak Quarry, you'd have good bunkers at both courses. However, rather have a little too much sand than not enough.

As mentioned at the top, so many tee shots with confusing site lines make for a frustrating day, if first time there, but won't be an issue the next time, if you choose to tackle again.

Although reasonably priced for OC, green fees didn't quite match up to playing experience and course conditions, but still had a good time out there.
9 Likes.
Played here (first time...I think) on Sunday 8/27.

I say first time, but I may have been here many, many years ago. Some of the holes looked familiar, but very unusual for me to forget a golf course I've played.

Anyway, wanted to try something different and recent reviews were good, especially in relation to the greens.

There is a driving range with lots of fun targets to shoot at (goal posts, giant dartboard, and an old van) but only, somewhat unforgiving mats on this day. $8 small bucket (not included in green fee).

Very good service from Pro Shop and starter. They call your name to on PA to the tee, which I like, to avoid confusion there.

I found tee boxes to be in good to excellent condition. Played back (Blue) tees at 6317 yards, which is the longest this course will play. I noticed most players on this particular day were playing from White, so maybe due to play on that set, tee conditions may vary.

Fairways were spotty. Found a few bad, thin lies within fairway, and off fairway was kind of mixed bag as well. Some rough (kikuyu) was quite thick and juicy, and tough to play from. Little better chances than a coin flip on quality of lie in fairway, but nothing to be overly critical about.

Greens were very green, lush, smooth and had great coverage. The highlight of the course. As nice as they looked, they were quite soft and a little on the slow side. Needed to take a pretty good swat at the ball if outside of 20 feet or so. Subtle breaks which are sometimes tough to see. Mostly large greens and fairly flat.

Layout is not incredibly interesting, but some local knowledge is helpful. Blind, dogleg left, downhill par 5, 6th, comes to mind. Even a decent tee shot over the left elbow can go a long ways down hill, where a well struck tee shot down the middle could run into OB. (5) par 3's and (4) par 5's, for a par 71. Kind of weird 3,4,3,5,3 finish, but overall, a fun course. Will try again some time.

Kind of a cool, casual vibe here. Easy to get to from 5 freeway, but aside from a little traffic noise on a few holes, felt like I was away from the noise and crowds you get at times in OC. Very nice open air bar and restaurant. Something like 25 50" flat screens, good drinks and food. Enjoy.
12 Likes.
Played here, for first time, Friday 7/21, as part of my back to back with the GK group on Saturday, at Yocha Dehe.

Appropriately priced, I played for 80$ for noon Friday tee time.

Nice grass driving range, large practice green and a decent short game area as well. Very nice property in the town of Copperopolis, a long way from any significant towns, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre range. Homes around the course, but not in play anywhere, on large lots. The resort offers stay and play packages in bungalow / cottages near the clubhouse and first fairway. Looks like a great place for a long weekend with a few couples or buddy trip.

Nice clubhouse, small-ish proshop, and a very cool patio / bar overlooking the 9th green.

Very scenic course, through rolling hills and oak trees, a good amount of elevation change (especially on the back nine).

Conditions were excellent and while I wouldn't normally compare one course to another course, since I played Yocha Dehe the very next day, I can say that Saddle Creek was in a little better condition. A little more lush, well covered and healthy fairways, and greens were almost perfect. Medium firmness and very clean. Rolled very well although were only medium fast. Bunkers well maintained and good fill.

A couple a soft areas in fairways, due to excess watering I assumed, but prefer the lush green over little thin and dry.

Very nice layout, I preferred the front a little better. More trees and interesting holes 1-9, than 10-18, but very challenging throughout. Water in play on 3 holes on front 9, only one with water in play on back. The elevation changes on back nine, made for a tougher half. More subtle elevation changes on front.

Customer service was excellent throughout. Even though the property has a local, retirement community feel to it (lots of members and residents out on this day), I received the same top shelf service, all day, as if I were a member or resident. Very good food in the restaurant as well.

Marshalls out on the course kept a good pace going and beverage cart came around 4 times, even with a 40 player shotgun event out in front of us.

Perhaps my favorite customer service feature was having a staff member offer ice cold towels to all players, on the course. They drove around in the same way a beverage cart would, against traffic and offered the cold towels and water. Course also had water stations on every other hole, to ensure you kept hydrated.

Highly recommend, and would consider the stay and play option given the location. Course has plenty of challenge and interest to play a couple of times in consecutive days.
9 Likes.
First time here, played Saturday morning 6/10/17.

59$ rate for 830 Saturday with cart. good start.

Very nice grass driving range, another plus.

Surprisingly, virtually no traffic on the course, so I had to go at it alone, no an issue. Played behind a 3 ball and took my time, as no one following me. Given first time here, allowed me to hit a few extra shots and explore. Plus # 3.

Fairways were decent. I found a good number of fairways, and all were a little on the firm / thin side. Very little cushion under the ball, but didn't run out much either. Cool, and a little light rain may have affected.

Greens were nearly perfect. Smooth, firm but holding pretty well, and rolled very nicely. Plus # 4. The greens themselves have a lot of subtle (and some not so subtle) wrinkles. Seemed to move much more than expected when ball slowed down. But overall, excellent.

Bunkers I found were good, but a little hard in spots, especially close to the edges, but very playable.

I enjoyed the layout. A few holes near the 10 freeway are a bit distracting, but nothing too serious. Routing is such that a few holes run adjacent to others but not so close that you run into another, and most are nicely confined, stand alone holes.

The most memorable aspect of the course, was the many bunkers, mounds, and collection areas around the greens. All greens are very well protected. Slight misses can leave you with a challenging side, up, or downhill chip. A lot of pins are hidden by the mounding, making for tough approach shots when only 1/2 to 2/3 of flag is visible.

As noted in previous reviews: No GPS or yardage books, so first time out can be challenging. I used the VPAR app on my phone which worked quite well. No ambulance on the card (aka beer cart), and snack shop at turn closed. These were the only negatives.

I will be back to take another run at this enjoyable track.
Recommend.
12 Likes.
Played here for first time, Saturday 5/27/17.

Landed here after finding a $45 Saturday 745am tee time online. Called Pro Shop to be sure everything was in order as I was surprised to find such a reasonable price. They assured me course conditions were great, and they were right.

Conditions were excellent. Tee boxes level with very good coverage.

Fairways, while just a bit firm and thin, were also very good. Good coverage and green throughout.

Greens were also excellent. Very smooth, rolling beautifully. Minimal ball mark damage, and a well defined fringe / first cut, surrounded by a very nicely manicured and lush 2nd cut. Most greens are receptive and relatively flat. There are a couple tiered greens, #12 has a huge bowl on lower right which made for a very gettable pin location.

Layout is unspectacular but well done and great views of mountains throughout. Very wide fairways (widest landing areas, in some cases, that I can recall of any course in the area.) Greens are well protected with bunkers, and the last 3, a par 4, 3, and then a good risk / reward par 5, are perhaps the toughest on the course. Challenging finish.

Not a lot of traffic on the course. Very nice and large restaurant with a lot of outdoor seating, which was pretty full when we arrived. Appears to be a popular spot with the locals. Has a classic '50's vibe throughout.

One negative was lack of driving range. Only a handful of hitting stations, off of a very hard surface, into a net. However, nice chipping a putting areas.

Enjoyed the round, feels like a course which can yield a good score.
13 Likes.
Played here Friday 5/26/17.

One of the top rated par 3 courses in America, and every time I visit, it's hard for me to imagine there are other par 3 courses any better. The fact there are spectacular views of the Pacific ocean and Catalina island from every spot on the course, makes it that much more enjoyable, but conditions are also excellent.

The course is also a good test. Great bunkering all around, undulating greens of all shapes and sizes, and can be set up to be quite difficult when pins are on edges. Holes varied in length from 100 - 170 yards on this day. If breeze is coming off the ocean, can add to club selection by full club.

All tee boxes were near perfect. We were first out at 730, so benefited from that, but with large teeing areas, very easy to move tees around to ensure good, lush coverage. Each tee box includes a laser range finder, in the event you don't carry one. Very nice feature. Benches on each green to allow you to sit back and enjoy the view. No issues from my perspective if you have to wait. On this day we did not, and went around (3) times.

Greens were smooth, a little on firm side, but I'll use the common comment seen here often: "Firm greens but held well struck shots". Very smooth, a few ball mark issues, but clear the course makes attempts to smooth out unrepaired marks. Roll nicely and are fast. Some deceiving tilt in the greens and they don't always roll directly towards ocean, but there was some pull towards the water.

Bunkers were full and deep, with soft sand. I had a couple of fried eggs that were surprisingly easy to pop out, but bunkers do penalize bad shots.

Nice rolling contours from tee to green, and some short be kind of steep transition areas, which give you a decent aerobic workout, especially if you walk it (3) times.

Very professional and friendly service all around. Even had a chance to talk to the bird control gut who travels around the grounds in a cart with a German short hair pointer, and a Southwest Harris Hawk, which he has trained to keep the gulls and coots away. Very interesting to say the least...

No carts allowed, only walking with pull carts which are available to rent. A little on the pricey side for a par 3 course. We paid $54, then $25 for replays, but in my opinion, worth the money.

Enjoy, highly recommend.
12 Likes.
Played here Wednesday 5/24/17.

Unfortunately, the previous review is still applicable.

While fairways were in very good shape, the greens were is poor condition. Many bare or damaged areas on vast majority (14 o 15) of the greens. In spots where there was good coverage, still slow an bumpy. Very disappointing.

Bunkers I played out of (3) greenside and (1) fairway had good amount of sand and were very playable. Heard a couple of complaints from playing partners about lack of sand or wet, oatmeal like, sand.

As mentioned above no complaints with fairway conditions. Excellent Bermuda coverage, slightly dry in a couple spots.

Layout is challenging. Strategic bunkers which gobble up slight misses on approaches to greens. Found a lot of pins on edges behind bunkers on this day. No homes on the course (a positive).

Great customer service inside and out. Very nice restaurant and bar. Good food.

Attendant cleaning clubs behind 18 green assured us, without being prompted about the greens, that they would be better next time. That said, I think they need a couple of months to improve.
11 Likes.
Played here on a spectacular sunny Saturday morning, 5/13/17.

Wish I could say my play was spectacular as well, but that's ok. I noticed a couple of recent below average ratings for BG and wanted to see for myself. This is what I consider my home course.

My experience was very good today. Conditions overall were very good to excellent.

Blue Tee boxes had some evidence of fairly recent punch, but does not affect shots in any way. All level, with some divot damage, but again, no problem finding good teeing ground.

Fairways continue to fill in nicely. Where the kikuyu has filled in completely, very well maintained. Cut short, but with nice cushion. Areas under repair or in poor condition were minimal, and all were marked as GUR appropriately.

Bunkers I visited were a good shape, Good amount of sand all around, which has at times been an issue here. Today, no issues.

Greens were excellent. Medium firm and medium speed. Not as fast as I'm accustomed to here, but rolling well. A few were slightly bumpy in spots, but overall very good / excellent.

Always great customer service inside and out.

Driving range grass has come back and filled in well, as always great views, especially on Back 9. Very fun and challenging, but fair course.

Highly recommend.
15 Likes.
Played Monday May 8th. First time here. Overall impressions were excellent.
Very nice clubhouse, Pro Shop, Lockers and restaurant.

Practice area was very well maintained. Titleist practice balls were a nice perk. Good chipping area and large practice putting green. No issues at all.

Starter on first tee was very pleasant. Tees, ball markers, divot tools and full yardage book available at tee box. Another nice perk...

Tee boxes were excellent, level and lush. (played White tees on this day at about 6200 yards).

Fairways showed very minor remains of vericut, but did not affect play from fairways. Otherwise lush and just the right amount of firmness and cushion under the ball. A few spots on edges of fairways were soggy, perhaps from rain the night before.

Greens were medium fast and quite firm. Did not fix many ball marks, and greens were a little on dry side. Showing several very shallow brown ball marks, but didn't affect roll very much. (I don't completely understand the desert golf course maintenance and overseeing strategy, but I would imagine greens are usually greener and more receptive in prime winter season, and I probably caught the back end of prime conditions)

Visited a couple of bunkers and both had plenty of sand and good fill.

Layout was borderline spectacular, in my opinion. Nicely manicured throughout, clean water streams and water features. Ponds and small lakes as well, which come into play 12-13 holes. Important (more so than usual) to play away from water, because most holes with water in play, seemed to slope and pitch towards the water.
Nice landscaping...reminded me a little bit of Desert Willow Firecliff, but just a little cleaner around the edges. Great variety of holes which kept my interest throughout. Par 3 12th, over water, with water fall protecting one side and pond the other was a showstopper. Great photo op.

Also, loved the fact there are no homes on this course...Just you and the layout in front of you. Very nice change up from a lot of other course in the area.

Highly recommend, may be my favorite in the Palm Springs / Palm Desert area.


Service excellent inside and out.
15 Likes.
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