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Enjoyed a nice 36-hole day here with Itslikeimsayin. I had bought the SCGA voucher for a round plus free replay. We played the Classic #1 and #2 combo for the first round, and then played Lake + Classic #2 for the replay. It was nice to get all 27 holes in plus a bonus nine. First round (8:52 start) took about 3.5 hours and second round even quicker with only a little waiting on the last couple holes of our front nine.

Course was in good overall shape. Nice tee boxes. Fairways mostly quite lush and nice, with just a few small brown spots here and there. Rough mostly dormant and shaved down in most places. Some areas were very thin and firm underneath. Bunkers had decent sand but were VERY firm and compacted on top. The only nice lies were when the ball ended up atop a recently raked area. All the bunkers can use some fluffing up. Greens were very firm. It was hard to even make so much as a dent on the surfaces. However, because of that they were rolling quite smooth at medium speeds. We sure had a hard time figuring these greens out and the Indio effect never seemed to make an impact. If anything, it seemed a lot of putts pulled the opposite direction and we were thoroughly baffled.

I had played here once before a few years back, but only got to play two of the nines then. It was nice to complete the set and revisit the course now that I've played a lot more private/semi-private valley courses since then. It's a decent layout with a lot of history relating to the Bob Hope tournament. There isn't anything overly exciting about any of the designs. Only a handful of truly memorable holes out of the 27. I actually like the Lake nine best with hillier overall terrain. Solid course, but nothing I'll be rushing back to play again without another great deal.
8 Likes.
Enjoyed a nice day yesterday with the GK Gurus. This was only my third time playing this course, and I find myself appreciating the layout more with each visit. There are a number of great holes here and it's a fun and challenging track.

Not much to add to the other reviews about conditions. A little dry and firm out there from tee to green, with kind of a semi-dormant light color throughout. However, pretty good playability and I personally enjoyed the lengthy extra roll-outs when playing the blue tees. Tight lies, but still good turf to hit from on fairways. Rough more hit and miss with coverage, but generally not much of a factor. Bunkers had good sand. Greens soft and receptive and rolling at medium speeds.

Thanks to Johnny and the course for setting up the Guru deal. We had a blast out there on a nice day!
13 Likes.
After loving the experience on the Canyons course at last year's SCGA outing, I was eager to sign up and play the Mountains course outing this year. We had a 9:00 shotgun start with 120 players, so it was a sluggish pace of almost 5 hours. Still, when you pay this much and get to play a course so nice, you don't mind taking your time! It was especially fun playing with an all-GK group along with kg1791, bsparks1961 and sbogey.

The course, as expected, was in exceptional condition. It didn't seem quite as pristine as last year on the Canyons Course, but that was setting the bar at near-perfection. There was little to complain about today. Tee boxes and fairways were green and cut super tight. Rough lush and provided good lies (I actually preferred it over the tight, yet sticky rye fairways). I wasn't in any bunkers, but they looked beautiful with soft white sand. The greens varied a little in firmness, due to the transitional nature of the season. Some were more overtaken by the summer bermuda and thus firmer. Others softer. They said they were running 11.5 before the round and I would have guessed slower. They were definitely a touch slower than Toscana yesterday, so I left almost every putt short today. The slope off the mountains and down toward the valley has a MAJOR impact on putts here, so the greens are tricky to read.

They are still in the midst of building the massive new clubhouse here. I guess at some point awhile ago they switched the nines. We actually started on the 10th hole, so we played what would seem to have been the original routing. Though beautiful and fun, I was a little underwhelmed on our front nine (actually the back nine) because I had heard this course was more dramatic and target-oriented than Canyons. My expectations were met in abundance when we made our turn and played what is currently the front nine. It is very entertaining with major elevation changes and some serious target golf holes. I loved this side of the course and I was ultimately glad we started on the 10th hole to play what felt like the proper routing with a build up to the more dramatic holes. That said, the current 18th hole will finish with what figures to be an amazing new clubhouse overlooking the green. Ultimately, those plans are probably what dictated and nine flip whenever it happened. When done, the Mountains Course will have its own full practice area and range. It will all be impressive. I hope I have the chance to play here again someday, so I can see it all completed.
15 Likes.
A friend of mine who was playing in the SCGA outing was able to arrange for a second round on the South Course. I am grateful he was able to include me as a guest. We teed off at about 1:45 and basically had the course to ourselves on a gorgeous afternoon. We did play through a slower twosome at one point. We had to have a forecaddie with us for this round, as well, but our guy, Scott was great.

Like the North, the South was in equally amazing condition. Lush, green and perfectly manicured throughout tee boxes, fairways and rough. The greens were more receptive on this side (older course, more matured turf), but rolling at similar speed and smoothness as North. The bunkers here use a beautiful white sand that's softer than the more standard sand on the North. The bunkers on both courses were a pleasure to play from. The South just looks prettier because of the brighter sand and the amount of bunkers on this course (120-something according to the caddie).

The bunkering is a big part of the story on the South Course, which is a very different overall design style than the North. It is awesome that they have to courses here that are different from one another. Whereas the North is more desert style, South is more lush with wall-to-wall greenery. There aren't any rugged desert "native" areas on this side (except for the 10th hole that parallels the 18th on North). Here, those areas are fully landscaped with shrubbery and flowers and they are much further away from any fairways. Otherwise, there is more rough and wide expanses of grass throughout the course. This gives you a little more room for error. However, there are a ton of bunkers and they are all to be avoided if you want a good score. Also, this course is hillier. No big elevation changes, but a lot of rolling terrain. Probably a tad less water in play compared to North, but there are a handful of killer water holes on this course, too. I loved both courses at Toscana almost equally, but may lean slightly toward South if I had to pick only one. This course reminded me at times of The Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe, largely due to the pretty landscaping and cool Tuscan-inspired homes/clubhouse surrounding the course.

One thing I really liked about both Toscana courses was that they seemed fairly laid out for both fade and draw hitters. Most holes here favor one shot or the other with some big doglegs, risk/reward angles over water and those pesky diagonal greens that Jack loves. However, the distribution is pretty even between shots that favor a draw or a fade. Many holes require both for the ideal play (for example, a draw off the tee and then a fade on the approach or vice versa). They are real shot-makers courses, yet still more forgiving than they appear. You can play conservatively and still score well as long as you avoid trouble. In case you can't tell, I really enjoyed everything about this place!
11 Likes.
Played Toscana yesterday in an SCGA outing. There was a little confusion with the registration for this event and I was lucky to get in at the last minute. Brenda thought we were playing the front nines of the North and South, and I wasn't interested in a half/half combo. However, it was revealed that we were only playing the full North Course in the outing. It ended up working out well. The back nine of the North Course is very new (opened last year) and that was part of the confusion. Otherwise, we enjoyed a good 4:20 pace with a 9:00 shotgun start (my group started on hole 15).

The course was in exceptional shape all the way around. The tee boxes were perfect and the fairways were pretty much perfect, as well. The rough was lush and green (starting to lighten just a bit in places), but not too much of a factor and actually really nice to hit from with the ball sitting up well. The bunkers were good. The greens were firm (a tad firmer on the newer back nine hols), but fair and rolling at medium/fast speeds. Grass kind of in mid-transition now, but surfaces were very well kept.

What a fantastic course! Though it has some challenging Nicklaus design features (plenty of elevated, well-protected and skinny/diagonal greens), it still felt like he wasn't being quite as diabolical here. There is a lot of water in play on the North (especially on the back nine) and it's more of a desert style design with native areas very much in play on most holes. Stunning views in every direction and beautiful landscaping throughout. Massive clubhouse complex and great practice facilities. It may be one of the lesser known high-end clubs in the valley, but if you ever have a chance to play it, you should jump on it. You won't be disappointed. Great private golf experience on every level!
11 Likes.
Played here today in an SCGA member outing. Was able to arrange an all-GK'er group along with kassper7, larryq2001 and sbarajasjr. We started on the 7th hole in a 9:00 shotgun start and the pace was pretty good, probably about 4:20 total. Round included a BBQ lunch with choice of dog, burger or chicken sandwich, so that was nice at the turn.

The course was in okay shape, generally playing better than it looked. Everything was pretty dry out there. For a private club, I would expect more greenery, but it's just not the ideal time of year I guess. The tee boxes were fine. A few could use some flattening out. The fairways generally provided good lies. Sometimes a little shaggy, sometimes a bit thin. The rough was not much of a factor. The greens were very soft early and then firmed up as the round went on. Still quite receptive to all shots. The rolled pretty well at medium speeds. Many of the bunkers had brand new sand that was too soft, so we saw a handful of fried eggs.

Ultimately, I think I was more impressed by the neat old style clubhouse and historic charm of Victoria than the course itself. It's a decent old school course, very reminiscent of a lot of other mid-range private clubs and various SoCal muni/LA County courses. It has some quirks and the routing was pretty confusing for us first-time players. The 15th hole may be the most bizarre par-5 I've ever played (but kind of in a good way). It was confusing and wildly entertaining to experience that hole with no knowledge of it whatsoever. It's not a must-play, but I'm glad to have finally checked it off my list.
11 Likes.
Another fun GK Plays outing. It was odd to be in La Quinta and getting rained on in May, but we still had plenty of fun on a nice course! I enjoyed my round with Rat-Patrol, Nickesquire and mendel as we started in the back of the pack (group 1B).

As others have already noted the course was in very good overall condition. The tee boxes were great. The fairways were very nice. The rough was hit or miss depending on what type of grass you found. There were some fluffy sections of lush rye and others with shaved down semi-dormant bermuda that often provided some awkward chunky lies. Made for some tough shots around the greens with the big false edges. I was in a few sand traps. Good overall, but maybe a bit inconsistent from bunker to bunker. Greens rolling smooth at medium speeds.

Overall, another enjoyable experience. I personally like Nicklaus as much—if not more—than Stadium. Thank you to the course for having us out and to Johnny for setting up such a great event.
13 Likes.
While in town, you know I was going to attempt a full Wickenburg sweep. After Los Caballeros, I raced over to WCC. There were only two cars in the parking lot, but a couple of guys were gearing up their cart to play, so I knew the place was still open. The guy in the pro shop was very nice and let me know they usually close around 5:00 (it was about 3:45 when I checked in). He said as long as I had the cart in by 5:30, I was welcome to play as much as I could (with the option to keep walking the course after 5:30 if I wanted). Price was only $10. I started on the back nine to avoid that twosome teeing off at the same time. I still caught them on the 9th hole (my 18th) and I was returning my cart at 5:15!

The course was in better condition than expected for the price. The tee boxes were good. The fairways were pretty nice for the most part. The rough was more spotty with some bare areas blending into the desert. The greens were great. Rolling quick and smooth. The bunkers here made I wish I was in the WR gravel, though. They were just hard-packed dirt/sand and not good at all.

I came into this round with very low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by this course. The conditions were good other than the bunkers. The layout puts the "fun" in funky. It is very narrow, moderately hilly and there are a lot of awkward angles. It's not a long course and there is a massive gap between blues and whites. I chose to play the whites (only 5500 yards) at the end of a long day and to keep the round as quick as possible. Also, the wind was crazy all day. I am glad I did. Some of the blue tees really felt crammed in with semi-blind shots, so that would have been a real adventure as a tired first-time player! Some of the blue tees (6300 yards) struck me as an older course that tried to "stretch out" at some point and resulted in some wacky angles. I brought that up to the pro shop guy after the round and he seemed to think that wasn't the case. Either way, it's a huge difference between the tees here.

WCC is definitely a quirky course that is a bit rough around the edges (all dirt cart paths), but I found it to be enjoyable (especially for $10 with a cart and having the course basically to myself). It is still a clear 3rd place in Wickenburg. Just more entertaining than I would have expected.
12 Likes.
After Wickenburg Ranch, I headed down to Los Caballeros for a 12:00 tee time. Found a great GN hot deal for only $21 (plus tax/booking). I was paired with a couple and we enjoyed a nice pace. We caught up to a slower twosome on the back nine, but never pressed them too much and we finished in about 3:20. The wind was howling all round, so that added some entertainment!

The course was in decent overall shape. It's definitely starting to dry out and get ready for a summer transition, but the playability was still pretty nice overall. Tee boxes good. The fairways provided ample roll-out and good lies to hit from. The rough was maybe more inconsistent, but never too much of a challenge. The bunkers here had much better sand than WR (not nearly as coarse). The greens were on the inconsistent side. Most of them were quite nice and all were as well maintained as they could be, but a handful are dealing with multiple grasses growing in (a poa invasion I think?). They are very speckled in appearance and the overall surfaces on approaches and putts react differently than the normal greens.

This course is very different than WR and has a little more local/rustic flavor. The front nine isn't terribly exciting other than a couple of fun holes, but then the back nine perks up with more interesting scenery and hole designs. I found the course reasonably enjoyable overall and it kind of grew on me by the end. It is not a must-play like Wickenburg Ranch, but it's a good option for a 36-hole day or to mix things up if staying in town for more than a day. The staff was very friendly and the overall vibe is very laid back. When I was getting food the turn, a waiter walked by the bar with a tray full of fresh-baked cookies for the Derby Day crowd and offered me a potato chip cookie (you heard me right). Yum!
10 Likes.
Had the pleasure of playing Wickenburg Ranch yesterday morning. Booked a 7:10 tee time (big Wick/L'il Wick combo option—more on that later) on their site for $99 (plus AZ tax). A bit pricy, but not bad here for a primetime Saturday morning time based on the prices I've been seeing in the past month or so. I was paired with a local couple (club members/residents) and we went off second behind a slower foursome. We pressed them all day and finally they let us through on the 13th hole. Still, a great pace of about 3:40 overall.

The course was in excellent shape. They just hosted the Arizona Senior Open on Wed/Thu, so it was conditioned for that level of play. The tee boxes were perfect. The fairways were fantastic. If you look really really hard, you might see a tiny light brown spot here and there, but it was really lush and green here. The rough was well manicured throughout, cut low and not penal at all. The fringes were cut as tight as the greens at some courses. The greens were firm, yet receptive enough. Rolling smooth and pure at fast speeds. The greens on a few of the shorter holes were a bit pock-marked, but nothing that affected putts.

My only gripe with the course conditions is the bunkers. The sand is very coarse with a lot of rocks and pebbles. One bunker I was in was also very damp, so it was like hitting out of wet concrete early in the morning. The sand (gravel?) itself was well kept and raked, so the coarse style sand here is purposeful. Other than maybe staying put in the wind, I don't understand why they would have it on such a top-shelf course.

Bunkers aside, I wouldn't have anything else negative to say about Wickenburg Ranch. It's a first-class golf experience all the way. The clubhouse is beautiful, the practice facilities are great and the staff is very friendly and helpful. And, the course is really neat. Very hilly/undulated with a lot of deceptive sight lines. More forgiving than it looks sometimes and less forgiving than it looks other times. Bring plenty of golf balls because anything in the desert just disappears. This is a must-play course that makes a side trip to Wickenburg worth the stop!

After the main round, I played a quick nine on "Li'l Wick," the 9-hole par-3 course. For maintenance reasons, they don't open this course until 11:00 daily. However, they do have lights on the final four holes, so it can be played later. I believe any round on Li'l Wick is good for unlimited play. There are speakers throughout the course playing music. There is a cool bar area. There are "chill stations" throughout the course. It is meant to be more of a hangout/party spot with a little pitch and putt golf mixed in. The course itself is really fun. The greens here are big and have some crazy shapes/undulation, making for some interesting pin placements and good variety from day to day. There are three sets of tees. The shortest keeps everything under 100 yards for pure fun. The longest set stretches out quite a bit if you want much more challenge. It's worth checking out if you are at Wickenburg Ranch (especially if you are with a group) and have the time. If you book on their website, the Big Wick/Li'l Wick combo price is usually the same (or close enough to) the regular 18-hole rate, so why not?
11 Likes.
Snagged a GN hot deal for $25 at 7:08. Good deal for an early morning round on what is anticipated to be a really hot day. I ended up teeing off by myself at 6:45. Played through a threesome and a twosome, and then had the course to myself for a 2-hour round.

The course is in okay shape, for the most part playing better than it looked in places. Tee boxes fine. Fairways light in color and firm/tight. Some dead spots here and there, but I always had good lies. The rough was cut down to nothing and there were some noticeable dead spots scattered throughout. I was in several bunkers and I thought the sand was fantastic. There are a lot of waste bunkers here, too, and those are much more wild in appearance. The greens were receptive and rolling pretty well at medium/slow speeds. Again, playing better than they looked at times.

I wouldn't expect pristine conditions here this time of year and I get the sense the courses were a little rough around the edges this winter, as well. What I saw of North looked a bit nicer than South, though. Overall, the whole place feels a little long in the tooth. My cart barely made it around the course, the cart paths are pretty beat up and the course just feels a little more ragged than the first time I played it 6 years ago. It's too bad, because I really like the layouts and desert setting of Terra Lago. I think they are vastly underrated courses for the valley because they offer something different than the cookie-cutter "Palm Springs" style residential courses. Would love to see this place rejuvenated. That all said, it was well worth $25 for a prime morning time. I wouldn't feel great about paying too much more than that right now, so your enjoyment may be relative to the price you pay.
12 Likes.
I always enjoy any excuse to make the drive out to Rams Hill (especially now I live a little closer), so the GK Guru round was ideal. We had fun on an always-great course!

It's a little crazy when a course sets such high standards of conditioning. Yes, there were a few little dry spots and some browning here and there. Not quite the deep green carpet at this point in the season, which is understandable as the weather heats up. However, everything played perfectly. Never had a bad lie all day and everything was well manicured from the tee boxes to the fairways to the rough. I was in a handful of bunkers. Generally very nice, though maybe a little inconsistency from trap to trap. I love that the greens have matured and are very accepting of shots now. I even had to fix a couple of my own ball marks! The sign on the pro shop said the greens were rolling at 11. I would have guessed 10.5 while on the course. 10.5-11 is usually an ideal speed for my tastes. However, I had previous Rams Hill lightning greens in my head all day and could not adjust to slightly slower speeds. That was just my own problem, though, because the putting surfaces were still rolling smooth and pure.

This is such a great course and well worth the drive once or twice a year. I will certainly look forward to future visits and GK Guru outings here!
17 Likes.
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