Golf Course Reviews
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Played Friday, 6/14, with John_T. Paid $35 with the OB card. Teed off at 7, was loading the clubs into the trunk before 11, paired with 2 other locals.

Course is in great shape heading into summer. Lush conditions tee to green, but grass is longer than normal, so no roll in the fairways and some nasty rough. Greens are phenomenal after aerating a month ago. Smooth but slower than normal, slowest I've seen them. The bunker replacement have held up, sand was wet but still go early in the morning, started to get a little crusty on top as it heated up.

Mountain is where I gauge my game, if I score well, I know I played well, there's no hiding it a bad part of the game.
Played in the GK Plays event on 6/9 and had a great time. Course is probably the best Links style course I've played, especially for being in the middle of California. I loved the option to keep it on the ground on approaches if the path was clear. Fairways ran firm and fast, but were nice to hit from and did not have any bare spots. Unfortunately if you ran off the fairway you ended in the nastiest fescue I've ever seen on a course, and if you didn't see where the ball went in, you had less than a 50/50 chance of finding. The greens surprised me. While not the best looking, they were pretty true and medium-fast. As everyone has mention, the bunkers were not in great shape and a product of the environment. They're totally exposed to the elements and remind me of desert course bunkers in the dead of summer.

Course was fun to play, with a few short par 4s and some very long ones, and a nice variety of short/long par 3s. I did see a snake behind the 15th green, which if I saw earlier would of cut my lost ball search time to zero. Lots of undulation from tee to green.

Outside services was minimum and the drink cart made her last round while we were on 3, but you can swing past the bar after 9. Hydration was important and there's plenty of water coolers around the course. The restaurant, 3 Finger Jack, had incredible food. I had a sandwich before the round and a great sausage ravioli dinner afterwards.
Played on Saturday, 6/8, as part of Matt's birthday bash. I'll start by saying this now my favorite course. Even if you don't do the whole GR experience and stay in the cabins, the course is phenomenal. Throw in the solitude of the cabin experience, along with fishing the ponds and enjoying the rec center area, and it's incredible.

Course was in great shape. Fairways were lush, green, and carpet like. Rough was up enough to cause problems. Greens were superb. While supposedly running at 11 (not early in the morning), they were very receptive, smooth, and a medium pace. A little bit of course knowledge is needed as there is a few doglegs where you can really cut if you know (or run out of fairway if you didn't know). If you go deep into the shadows in the morning, you do come across some ice conditions. Driving range is huge, but into the rising sun so you may need a spotter. Course has a great variety of holes, and no hole is repeated.

Staff was super friendly, from the pro shop, to the bar, to the cart guys. Carts are some higher end gas models, but no GPS. Course has plenty of yardage markers, including a sprinkler in the trees on the right, 71 yards from the 9th green (yeah I found it). No drink cart but you pass the bar/grill between 9 and 10. Plenty of deer running through the property and they get pretty close. Just an awesome course and worth the trip.
Played on Friday, 6/7, for the start of Matt's birthday bash. Everything is what you would expect for a course charging $230 a round. Tee boxes were better than most courses' fairways. Most fairways were lush and carpet like (except for a handful that had been aeration). Rough was up around 2 inches and not very penal. Greens were smooth and medium-fast.

The employees were great. Awesome bartender, fantastic starter, and the staff at the halfway house was great. Carts are high end with GPS to the hole and multiple USB plugs. There's a phone and full menu on the 9th tee to call in orders to the halfway house on the 10th tee box (pro tip: breakfast burrito is not on the menu but they'll make a very tasty one). Cool trick: the 9th straddles the statelines, so you tee in California and putt out in Nevada.

It's a cool, fun course to play. Not a big fan of trees in the fairways (approach into 11, tee shot on 16), and there's a few around the greens that make you alter your shot. Definitely a splurge course, and not an every trip to Tahoe course.

**It rated out to 7.8, should be closer to 8.3
Played Friday, 5/31 with John_T. Paid $35 with OB Card. Booked the 1st available tee time, 5:45am, and was let off early. We saw a few groups way ahead of us, had a 2some stalking us from 14 on in, and finished just a shade over 3 hours.

Course was in great shape. Lush fairways. Rough has been grown out about 2 inches (thank you for the growth on #9, preventing my ball from rolling in the water). Bunkers were in the best shape I've seen, mostly loose sand even in the early morning. Greens were soft but pretty fast, and ultra smooth. They are aerating the greens on Monday. The only downside was the tee boxes. So many were not level or had lots of divots. On 9th tee box, the right stone was well above the left stone.

Palm is such a fun course. Only 5900 yards from the blues and a par 70, it's par 5s are reachable in 2 with great tee shots and a great group of par 3s (#17 is brutal, 175ish uphill over a canyon). It's a great ego boost if you play well and you walk off disappointed if you don't score.
Played Sunday, 5/19, final day of the trip, with an early afternoon tee time. Arrived about 10 minutes prior to tee time (Orlando traffic is crazy, everything is 30-45 minutes away, no matter the direction or time of day). Course pushed back our time to allow us to play as a 5, which we appreciated, except we ended up pushing a 3some in front, who was waiting on the 4some who took our time. Finished in about 4:15 and was told expected pace is 4:30.

Found the course in great condition, and typical of what we found for the entire trip. Tee boxes were level, but were a bit thin with the Bermuda coming out. Rough was almost non-existent, as it had been punched and cut to fairway height. You only knew you were in it by how it looked, rough Bermuda compared to a different fairway grass. Bunkers were white sand, thin top layer with a clay like base. Fantastic greens, incredible undulations and elevated with shaved run off areas.

Another great resort course. An Arnold Palmer Design Company redesign of the original (unknown when). Wide fairways and crazy greens. There is water on almost every hole. Service is top notch, don't ask for directions without expecting to be escorted (not pointed), even if it's right down the hall. High end golf carts with to-the-pin GPS. Drink cart and snack shack available with ok prices.
Played Saturday, 5/18, late morning tee time, day 3 of the trip. We had to tee off as a split group, 3 & 2, then joined up as a 5 on the 2nd tee. Course was virtually empty and we never had to break up (carts have GPS that can be monitored from the pro shop), finished just under 4 hours.

Course conditions were what you would expect from a high end resort course. Nice tee boxes. Lush, green fairways. Rough was cut short with Bermuda coming out of dormancy. The bunker sand was what I found as common in Florida, thin layer of fine white sand over a clay like packed down. Greens were terrific. Soft to walk on but running fast and smooth with some ball marks.

This was such a fun course. An Arnold Palmer Design Company course, with typical AP feel. Wide open fairways. Small strips of rough between fairways and hazards. Undulating greens but not too tough to play and some great look par 3s. There's a cool section from 13-16 where you crisscross a group of lakes with shots over water to the green. Service was top notch. Nice carts with to the hole GPS. Only issue I had was the Palm course was so far from the pro shop (almost a 5 minute drive) you're not stopping at the turn for a snack, there's no shack on the course, and the drink cart only carried sandwiches and chips to eat. We did eat at the Evergreens Sports Pub afterwards, which is part of one of the resort's vacation areas (and part of the golf course area) and found great food and drinks at a nice price (for a resort).

NOTE: it rated a 7.6, but should be closer to 8.5
Played on Friday, 5/17, with a 9ish tee time. Day 2 of the Orlando trip. We were able to play as a 5 "as long as we kept pace," and we finished in exactly 4 hours, including a stop between 9s to grab some food. Service was basic, easy check in, friendly F&B staff (with great prices!), and a great starter. Carts are basic, no GPS or coolers.

Course was in really good condition. Flat tee boxes with the markers on the par 3s spread wide to give you plenty space. Fairways were pretty lush, with no bare areas. Rough was almost non-existent, Bermuda growing back in and cut short. Bunkers were the best of the trip, the sand was a little dense, but loose and easy to hit from. The greens had some of the craziest undulations and elevation changes I've ever seen. Great condition and running at 11.5 according to the starter. They were fast and smooth.

This course is definitely not a high end resort, but more of a mid to high locals place. I really enjoyed it. Laid back feel. The course has 2 different nines, the front is wide open, with few trees, but plenty of marshland areas. The back is very tree lined with pine needles everywhere. Not a destination course, but a nice break in the area.
Played on Thursday, 5/16, with a late morning tee time. 1st course of 4 of an Orlando trip and a heck of a course to start out on. There was 5 of us on this trip, teed off a 3 and 2, then joined up and played as a 5 with no issues. Finished the East-North in 4:20, then jumped onto the South and played in about 2 hours. No pace issues and the course posts 4:30 for pace of play.

Course was immaculate. Level tee boxes which are better than many fairways I've ever played. Fairways were lush, carpet like, and green every where. Rough was about 1-2 inches, no real issues, Bermuda coming out of dormancy. Greens were smooth and in great condition. My only issue was the sand in the bunkers. A thin layer of fine white sand with a clay-like hard packed underneath it.

Overall, I loved the course. Service is what you would expect from a high end resort, food and beverage prices were a bit higher than I'm used to paying. This is probably the tamest Jack Nicklaus Signature course I've played, and I was surprised when I looked up the designer. I would rate the 9s as South, East, then North.
Played Friday, 5/10, with a 10:30ish tee time. Joined Famed02 and 2 of his buddies on a fantastic Vegas day, slight breeze, temps barely hitting 80*. Teed off on time and finished at exactly 4 hours.

After my last experience at Chimera a few years ago, I've intentionally avoided going back. A late invite and no other tee times planned (overnight and early morning rain), I decided to give Chimera a chance to redeem herself and I'm pretty glad I did.

Conditions were outstanding. Tee boxes need some leveling, but mostly divot free. Fairways were lush but a bit wet, and green from tee to green. Rough was about a few inches and the ball would settle down, making it difficult to advance it. Bunkers were wet but it did rain overnight. Greens were smooth, medium fast, with a light dressing on them.

Service is saved by the outstanding F&B staff. Drink cart with specials and a bar/grill that specializes in excellent tasting pizza, staffed by friendly staff. Outside staff was non-existent, I saw them but never encountered them. Carts are upgraded above basic, with overhead bids, USB ports, and a great GPS system with distance to hazards, hole, and other carts on the hole (very underrated especially on a course with some blind shots).

The only sore point for me was the price, $60 for residents. The course is nice, but nothing really stands out about it outside of the approach shot to the 9th green (over water with a waterfall to the left). It's a Ted Robinson Jr design that feels like other Robinson Family designs, like Rhodes Ranch with more elevated changes and less dramatic par 3s. I'm a huge fan of making the par 3s different, but all 3 of the 4 here felt identical and #17 was a close cousin with only water to the right added to change it up. I used the same club on all 4 holes.

Would I play here again? Yes, but maybe only twice a year, due to the rates and the drive across town for me.
Played on Friday, 5/3 with an afternoon tee time, thanks to GK and Sixpez for the free foursome certificate! Very busy day at Royal Links. Valet/bag drop was only one guy, so I dropped my clubs and walked up. They were waiting for carts so left the bag with the cart guys, who had them all set and ready well before our tee time. Bar/grill was packed, which slowed down the service a little, but the food was fantastic. Like I said, it was busy, but running smooth and we actually were offered the chance to sneak out early but the next group pulled up as we did, so we declined. The course was stacked and we finished in about 4:30, not too bad, but the 3some in front of us was waiting for greens to clear on all the short par 4s and 3rd shots on par 5s. After running into the drink cart once on the front, ran into her 3 times on the back with excellent prices and specials.

Course was a little different from when I played in February. The Bermuda has come fully back from dormancy and the fairways are not playing as firm and fast. Very green from tee to green with no thin areas. Rough was just slightly longer than fairway and barely noticeable unless you really looked. I was in 1 fairway bunker (no green side!) and once I had a good chance to hit it, was good to hit from. I felt the greens were pretty good, but not as good as earlier in the year. Still firm but a little slower, and the back 9 had some top dressing on a few greens. Overall though the course was in really good, almost great shape.

Royal Links is based on holes from "The Open" rota, both old and current. Holes include the Postage Stamp (finally hit the green and not the front right bunker!) and St Andrews' Road Hole (just take it over the scoreboard to simulate the corner of the hotel). I only wish they had a set of tees between 5800 (plays even shorter) and 6600 yards (some really long par 5s and a few par 4s). Such a fun course and worth the experience.
Played on Saturday, 4/20, in the late afternoon with a high school buddy and his co-workers. Pretty empty course, but we caught a slow moving 4some (even after we took a break after 9). Thankfully they picked up the pace when they saw the nasty clouds moving in and we finished in about 3:45.

Course was in really nice shape. Tee boxes did have some divots but relatively flat. Fairways were lush, no thin or dead areas. Rough was thick and gnarly, about 3 inches, and the ball would just sink down. A good chance to lose one if you didn't see where it went in. Bunkers were nice with some decent sand, easy to pop out. The greens were amazing. Flat as glass and almost as fast. Some unfixed ball marks but they were great.

I can't believe this is only the second time I've played here. Such a nice course. It's an old school, flat tree lined course and not a Vegas style desert course. Anything hit inside the perimeter fence is playable (outside of the water hazards). Some course knowledge helps, there's some hidden hazards and lots of dog legs with different lines in play. Afterwards, an Old Vegas bar with tons of memorabilia to look through waits for you. It may not be a "must play" course, but it's worth a look if you can get a good rate.
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