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Saturday round at Mountain Meadows and was very excited to get back to this slightly out of the way track that always provided nice memories of fun rounds in days past. Today was mostly no different, however we got off to a poor start when our twosome had only been logged as a single so we were sent out as a twosome in between foursomes and the round lagged forever thanks that unfortunate positioning.

When we were actually playing golf though and not waiting for one of two different groups in front of us (we were allowed to play through at the 9th hole), the course was in really nice shape and is a very good value for riding from the blue tees at just $45. It's a very fun layout with some really nice par 3s and some tricky approaches that require some solid mental work to get the most out of each hole. Mountain Meadows is not particularly long, but it is narrow, has a lot of elevations and blind shots, and punishes errant shots with a multitude of tricky collection areas.

The greens are in very nice shape right now and were rolling at a consistent medium-fast speed throughout the round. Fairways mostly green and the rough very forgiving, it's a pleasant surface to hit from for almost every shot. The trouble areas? Well, some of the tee boxes are a little shaggy and could use a mow, and the bunkers were inconsistent at best. Many had very nice sand in them and plenty of it, while some were thinner and the greenside bunker on 18 even had twigs sticking out of it to make matters worse.

Overall though, a very nice day out at Mountain Meadows and I really wish this fun track was a lot closer to my place. The drive out in the morning is not too bad at all, but coming back across LA traffic to the South Bay in the afternoon is a bit of a nightmare. I will be back though without a doubt.
Picked a lousy day to have one of the worst rounds in a long time, but this time can't lay any of the blame on the course as Wilson was in probably the best shape I've found it in for years. Sure, the $15 cart fee seems a bit high, and the really long POP of over five hours without any water stations on a really hot day (there are water fountains but they're not in great shape), but the course itself is nice and green and the greens are the best I've ever seen them here.

Rode the blue tees on Saturday with a lovely Korean couple. We had a nice time despite my absolutely terrible play. What we found out there were well covered greens that rolled very nicely, had minimal ball mark damage and retained a consistent, fast speed on trickier greens than I remember.

Fairways were mostly in good shape with a few thin areas, but nowhere near the nightmare I remember here this past year or two. There's actual real grass on every hole right now! And the rough can be thick in places, but also thin, so be prepared for both. Bunkers were in okay shape overall - not the fluffy, white sand but serviceable and playable. Tee boxes were probably the biggest area of need but all flat and no difficulty getting a tee in there.

Would have been nice to see cart service on such a hot day, especially seeing as you don't reach the turn until the 10th hole at Wilson. The carts are as basic as they come, and the range at Griffith Park is nothing to rave about. But we're here to play golf, and if that's your biggest wish, then Wilson is a very nice option right now from the #1 tee box until the #18 green.
Just piggybacking off of joshuajcyoo's excellent review from yesterday at Alhambra, which I played with two buddies on Labor Day Monday. Price was $45 to ride and played from the blue tees. Alhambra, while it will never be the toughest course out there with all of its short par 4s and mostly reachable par 5s, is still one of the better deals around because they simply take such good care of this place and their hard work almost always shows.

Greens aren't fast right now but roll very nicely and have great coverage. The course is very green right now despite the hot summer temps, and the rough can definitely get very sticky and deep in places - one of the course's few defenses. One of my first-time playing partners also commented that the course was very 'targety' with so many tree-lined fairways and short angles.

Tee boxes and bunkers in good shape all around but not quite pristine, but that's just fine. It's a great course to go and shoot some decent scores at to get some confidence back and to really dial in that wedge and short game since most of your drives will not be leaving you a long way from the pin on at least seven of the par 4s.

I always enjoy coming back to this terrific little course and make sure to do so at least once a year. But if you're a handicap fiend like I am, be wary because even a great round here won't do much for lowering your handicap, if that's what you're looking to do. But definitely come check out this little gem if you want to have a fun, relatively stress-free round.
Played the final round of my Flex Tour season at Rustic Canyon on Saturday and it was an absolute pleasure to get back out to Moorpark. $68 to ride from the blue tees, and my playing partner was late to the first tee and they were cool enough to drive him out to meet us at the second tee box.

Read some earlier reviews that seemed a little shaky with the greens, but found the course to be in really excellent condition all across the board. The greens were actually in great shape, running very true at around a 10.5 to 11. Such fun green complexes at Rustic so I was really thrilled to only need 31 for the round.

Fairways not crazy lush in all parts, but it's September now after a hot summer in a very warm part of town, so it would be crazy to be upset about the nice coverage out there currently. And there are definitely some lush sections, so don't misunderstand. Rough is not penal and just slightly longer than the fairway cut. Tee boxes are in good shape and the sand that I was in was only from the waste areas or fairway bunkers, but I did not hear any complaints from my playing partners who were in the greenside ones.

Nice GPS in the carts now so it appears they've upped their game there, and of course this Gil Hanse links style layout is about as good as it gets anywhere. Just a super fun round of golf in a beautiful setting and on an equally beautiful day. Loved it. Go.
After a long year away, finally made it back to Los Amigos and found pretty much what I expected to find there. 'The Friends' is a short track with plenty of good scoring opportunities and fairly simple layout with the exception of the last three holes which are beasts.

Conditions are about what you would expect right now at this course. You will find serviceable fairways with good to decent coverage but a slew of thin areas and browned out spots, but you can still get the job done. The tee boxes are pretty beat up without a doubt, but the bunkers as usual remain in very good shape. You'll almost always find great sand traps here.

Greens are running at medium speed, have good coverage, but are definitely a good bit on the spongy side, and far too many ball marks from lazy golfers who seem to think that a low-cost course deserves low-energy personal sacrifice to fix the damage. Speaking of low-budget, the carts are about as basic as it gets - no frills personified.

POP was great for a Sunday though so have to give props for that. No waiting outside of a few minutes on the par 3s but the rest was a breeze. So, in summary, Los Amigos is feeling a bit of the summer dry spell but it's still in good working shape and, as long as you're not expecting anything too spectacular, you won't be too disappointed.
Saturday round with my monthly golf group at Skylinks this past Saturday, riding the white tees with a $78 greens fee (a little steep but standard stuff on the weekends). Course was in good shape overall with a few exceptions, namely too many ball marks on the nice greens (who pays that much to play and doesn't think to fix ball marks on the greens?), some thin bunkers that even had twigs/small branches coming out of them, and beat up tee boxes.

The fairways though, while not a vibrant green, had very good coverage and it was rare to find a poor lie. Rough was not very penal so it often provided a nice, cushioned surface to hit from. Layout is always good fun at Skylinks and playing from the whites for the first time because of the group made it really enjoyable as a good driving day resulted in lots of short irons into the greens.

Carts are in good shape with a standard GPS system that could use some updating, as in the ability to be able to pick out layup spots and get yardage for them. Cart service came around often on a hot weekend day, so that was good.

Course was very crowded in the parking lot but actually moved pretty well throughout the day for a 4.5 to 5 hour POP - not bad for a busy Saturday. Fun day out and recommended right now.
Bit late on this review but played a twilight round at Harding last Friday and found the course to be in pretty good condition overall, but the real problems were back in the clubhouse where the line was huge because their systems were down, credit card transactions took forever, and of course the cafe/snack bar is closed so you have to use the food truck that's stationed outside for now.

Fairways are in pretty good shape overall and the greens were in serviceable, medium speed condition with a decent amount of ball marks to contend with though. Sand was just okay in the bunkers and the tee boxes are level but in some need of TLC.

POP was right on four hours as we finished up on 18, so that was good. No cart service around and the new ownership (I think) means that you can't purchase booze at the snack bar at the turn (8th to 9th hole actually), but that might be a question of the time you're trying to buy beers.

Always a fun time at Harding though which I continue to enjoy more than Wilson overall. But that's just me ...
Last golf day for a few weeks ahead of trip to Europe, so got in a very late twilight round at Balboa on Tuesday with a buddy who happened to be playing it solo with a 3:30 tee time. $30 to ride the black tees - no worries! Could we finish in time? Go figure - courses tend to be pretty quiet on Tuesdays so we buzzed through the entire course in just three hours. Fantastic!

Balboa is actually in very nice shape right now in relationship to expectations for this heavily-trafficked course. Fairways, while a bit thin in places and somewhat burned out, provided mostly good lies with the exception of the frequent divot damage from a clientele that does not use the sand in the carts. But there were also a few nice sections with great coverage. Rough was very thick in some places but inconsistent overall.

Greens were rolling pretty nice as well and held shots perfectly. A few too many ball marks of course (see divot damage remark above), but overall the simple and straightforward greens here with minimal adventure to them played quite nicely. Medium-fast even. Solid job from the grounds crew.

Worst part of the course as usual are the bunkers with their thin layer of hard-pack sand, and the tee boxes which seem to rarely be rotated and are beat up pretty good, but at least they're very flat and you won't spend all day trying to find a soft spot to dig your tee in.

No cart service unfortunately on a very hot day, but understood for a quite Tuesday afternoon. Luckily there are drinking fountains all over the course, but they take a minute or two to get 'almost' cold enough to be refreshing.

Overall, not a bad time to play Balboa at all. Oh yeah, it was also kind of wild seeing the local fire raging in the distance off the third hole tee box. Looks like LA's finest though did a good job of putting it out pretty quickly - thanks for all you do!
Our GK Cup final result notwithstanding, it was a fabulous day to play at Oak Creek and the club went above and beyond in terms of customer service, hospitality and course conditions overall. It was a really great experience in Irvine from soup to nuts.

First off, wanted to thank Oak Creek for taking such good care of us for the event, and Johnny for working with them to get it all organized. From the bag drop to starters to the wait staff in the restaurant - all top notch performances and the type of service that makes one want to come back again and again.

Course was as intriguing and fun as I remember it from my first and only time last year playing it, but this time the green conditions and overall playability increased to maximum effect. The Fazio design is one of his best and really allows for some experimentation and expression on the course, which is fun. Penal, but also generous with sort of 'bowling alley bumpers' fairways that help funnel you back into play. But all within reason of course to still challenge the good players! Super fun layout.

Greens were really nice to play from. Fair and accessible, not overly-gimmicky or sloped just for the sake of making your day miserable, the putting surface played medium fast and rolled like a dream. You could definitely land decent approach shots with little trouble of rolling off, yet it was still imperative to rein in the speed of your putts. But overall, a joy to play on now.

Fairways were in good shape overall with mostly great lies and some sections even very lush. Not too many thin or browned out areas to contend with, even with the high temps of late. The rough was varied in length but some of it was quite deep, like on the left side of 18 where one of Gary00's shots was magically discovered by Kassper7 because it could not be seen whatsoever from two feet away, yet was not plugged in the least. Good times.

Bunkers that I experienced only on the front nine had nice coverage to them, and I heard no complaints from the others in our final group on the back nine. At minimum they were getting the job done just fine. And the tee boxes were mostly in good shape as well, with just one having some 'firm footing' hard to find and a few others a bit shaggy, but nothing too terrible.

Cart service came around early and often on a super hot day, so that was great. Food and drink in the restaurant pre and post round was very nice as well. Carts have a fantastic GPS system with a huge screen ala Tesla cars and it seemed to be quite accurate in terms of distances, while also providing flyovers with actual voiceover tips. Great!

All in all, a top experience and Oak Creek definitely went above and beyond the call of duty to make this GK Cup final an incredible experience. The only thing missing at the end was that darn trophy! But congrats to Andrew and Gary who played absolutely LIGHTS OUT for the win!
First time playing Talega this weekend with a monthly group that moves all around SoCal finding new places to play. I was excited to test my game at this challenging course, and I'm actually glad that my group (12 players) all decided we'd play the white tees so the skins would be even. I don't think I would have had as good of a time struggling with some of the carries and narrow approaches from the blues.

There are some interesting quirks to this course, so let's get those out of the way. The driving range is a solid 7-8 minute cart ride from the clubhouse. The 10th tee is so far away from the clubhouse that you start worrying that you've certainly missed it if playing for the first time here. And what can you say about the 15th hole? You reach the tee box, look around in every direction, and have absolutely no idea where to hit. Why? Because there's not even a glimpse of the fairway as it's completely obstructed by tall trees grown up along a ravine. Luckily two our guys played there regularly and were at the tee box to let us know. Trim those trees!

Now for the good stuff ... very fun track to play with a nice variety of holes. There are surprisingly a large amount of wide fairways to attack, which is sometimes rare with these hilly, target-oriented courses. The approaches can narrow for sure, but mostly it's the uneven fairways that will test you the most. There are some forced carries and there are also plenty of water holes that are really fun and challenging, like the par 5 6th and par 4 18th.

Greens were in nice shape with the exception of a patchwork on that famous 15th green. Rolled medium fast, held lines well and the greens are tough, but manageable. A few bigger slopes to contend with, but mostly fair and forgiving. Fairways were a mixed bag of mostly good with some great areas, but you could also find some thin lies, especially around the greens. Bunkers were pretty thin and disappointing, and the tee boxes were just a tick below good for all 18 holes.

We had a good cart service throughout the day and the discounted $89 greens fee was borderline acceptable, but it's the OC and it was a beautiful day and it's more than enough fun to justify it. Just. Carts were just a tick above good with one of those basic GPS systems that only spits out numbers but not the course overview. It is what it is.

Talega is a fun and engaging track that is worth playing right now, but even more so if you can manage to get a little bit of deal. Just don't go there to get in a light, quick practice because you practically need to bring your passport by the time you get to the range.
Twilight action at Montebello and the course did not disappoint for $32 to ride from the blue tees. Met up with two friends there on a beautiful, warm Friday afternoon after braving the infuriating traffic on the 60 for far too long and arriving just before the late tee time.

Greens are definitely the highlight of the course. Holding shots well, really nice coverage, rolling medium fast and true. No major tiers or difficult slopes to navigate here, and even when you see a break, it's probably not as severe as you may think. But they're very fun to play.

Fairways had some nice coverage in a lot of areas (especially on the back nine), but there are still plenty of thin or burned out areas to avoid, especially on the fairways fringes. Rough can be pretty thick in some spots with patches big enough to hide your ball away, but other sections are not as bad. Tee boxes were a mix of good and very shaggy and poor, while the bunkers were all very poor. They just can't seem to get the bunkers in order here. Like ever. And that's a shame. You're basically chipping out of every bunker. There's no sand to take.

No cart service all day which was a bummer, but maybe we started too late and it's only for the weekends. Either way, the course layout is actually quite fun and you'll likely use most of the clubs in your bag. The 18th is a quality closing hole as well, but there are a lot of fun holes here despite the overall conditions not being all that great.

I would definitely go back to Montebello if the opportunity came up again soon. The track just agrees with my game and, with the exception of those pesky bunkers, never leave without having a good feeling.
Just a quick review after last weekend's GK Event at the usually very solid La Costa resort. Like most of the others have stated, it was not in the ideal shape that usually greets you when you get down there. And to make it worse, the three-hour drive in inexplicable Saturday morning traffic already got things off to a bad start.

We got out to the first tee though (in our case the third hole for our shotgun) and were greeted with burned out fairways, poor bunkers and far too many Cart Path Only holes which was all the more frustrating due to the less-than-ideal course conditions.

Greens were in pretty good shape though and very tricky to manage. Plenty of tiers, false fronts and severe slopes to test the best of putters. This was a PGA course for a reason. Routing is very strong though and some of the holes are pretty awesome, just a shame that they were visually so disappointing.

Cart service was good though and the staff did a good job taking care of us. Always a fun time to join up with fellow GK'ers, in this case new GK stud Matt and the terrific father-son duo of Ken and Kendrick. Special thanks as always to Johnny for getting us out there.
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