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Enjoyed a nice day with the GK Gurus yesterday afternoon, not withstanding the Great Carlsbad Mustard Shortage of 2017 (long story, but let's just say the snack shack was very poorly stocked before our round).

Beyond that, the course was in good overall shape. A majority of the tee boxes have been scalped in preparation for overseeding. Looked ugly, but never a problem teeing it up. Bermuda fairways a bit dappled in color, but playing fantastic. Ample roll-out and super cushy lies to hit from. The rough varied a little with different grasses in play (mostly bermuda and some thick poa patches, too). Sometimes easy to play from and sometimes not, so it's best avoided. I wasn't in any bunkers. Greens were soft and receptive, rolling well at medium speeds. Maybe a tad inconsistent in speed, or we just weren't reading the slopes well at times. These greens are rather tricky, after all. : )

Always enjoy playing this course. I didn't get down there this year for my annual birthday round, so the Guru visit more than made up for it. Too bad it's such a long drive for me now, but still worth the trek every once in awhile. Thanks to Johnny for setting up the deal and to the course for having us out!
10 Likes.
This was our second round in Roseville yesterday. With a quick early round in, we bumped our tee time up at Diamond Oaks to 8:58 and played as a twosome behind some slower morning groups. Nobody was really pushing from behind us, so much of our back nine was spent taking 10-15 minute breaks and then playing a couple holes at a time without having to wait. Better than waiting on every shot! Still, the overall pace wasn't really that bad. Probably about 4:20 total, which is good at a course that gets a lot of play. We used a Costco twosome voucher for a good price.

The course was in solid condition. Again, for a course of this caliber, nothing much to complain about. The tee boxes were fine. The fairways and rough were a mix of bermuda and kikuyu (more kikuyu, though), but fairly well maintained with mostly good coverage. You just had to pay attention to the lies before swinging. The bunkers were on the thin side. I found them just adequate enough while ppark81 found them to be way too firm. As was the theme for this trip, the greens here were excellent. They were receptive and rolling smooth at medium/fast speeds. I was impressed by the greens at almost every course I played on this trip!

I would say Diamond Oaks is a decent, slightly-above-average muni kind of layout (Ted Robinson). Some basic parkland holes and a few that are more interesting with trees and hazards in play. Not worth going too far out of your way for, but another good local option in an area (Roseville/Lincoln/Rocklin north part of Sacramento) that is stacked with so many courses.
6 Likes.
Yesterday was our last day up north and we started at the crack of dawn (maybe a little earlier) at Morgan Creek, so we could finish in 2 hours and get to another mid-morning tee time across town. The price was $50, which is definitely too much for a weekday round here. However, the staff was super nice and willing to help us get out early and quickly despite having to play through a lot of maintenance workers.

The course conditions were disappointing and by far the weakest of any of the regulation courses I played on this trip. I just get the feeling that this place has gone downhill ever since they went fully public in recent years. The tee boxes were flat enough to get a tee in the ground, but the ground was firm and the grass was patchy at best on most blue tees. The fairways were patchy and inconsistent. Some muddy wet spots, some really firm hardpan, some shaggy, some thin. Looked pretty green from afar, but not so nice up close in most spots. The rough was more of the same, just the grass was longer. They did have really nice soft bunker sand, so that was a highlight. The greens were pretty good as well, other than the amount of grass clippings left on top from the mower. We played around the guys with blowers clearing them off, so we only got a few holes that weren't covered with clippings. Otherwise, the greens were receptive and rolling well at medium/fast speeds, and I am sure they were much nicer for later players once the wet grass clippings were cleared off.

The conditions were disappointing and the price was steep, which both marred what could have been a much more enjoyable round. I really, really liked the layout here at this formerly private club. Kyle Phillips drew some inspiration from Dye and the RTJs and then took advantage of a nice, moderately hilly creekside setting in Roseville with plenty of oak trees as you would expect in this area. Throughout the course, there is a lot of neat mounding and shelves/steps to create contour. I can only imagine how amazing this place looked in its heyday with nicer conditioning and cleaner lines. Hopefully they can restore that someday because the design deserves better. Still worth it if you find the right deal, but definitely not for the rack rate.
7 Likes.
This was our second round today. We teed off at about 9:35 and were paired with another twosome. I imagine this course is always busy and slow, and that was the case even on a Monday. It seemed slower than it was at times, and we still finished in a little over 4 hours. We used a GolfMoose deal for $49/2 players (plus an additional $25 off thanks to a GK prize voucher!!!). So for $12.50 each, not too shabby.

I was pleasantly surprised with the conditions as a fairly low-end muni course. Much of the "grass" from tee to green is a mix of different grasses, clovers and weeds. However, it is all cut down consistently and it plays fine enough. Tee boxes okay. Fairways decent. Rough okay. I was in one bunker and it had nice sand. Once again, I was very impressed by the greens. My number rating may skew a bit high because I scored the greens an 8. I fixed a few stray ball marks here and there, but they were pretty well-maintained despite the quantity (and quality) of players this place gets. They were soft/receptive and rolling smooth at medium/fast speeds.

Course isn't anything too special. Pretty standard old school parkland muni. Flat and tree-lined. What you see is what you get. After the main round, I went and played the Express 9 (par 29) course here. They let me go around for free and let me use the cart from the first round. Decent little practice/learning course with enough challenge on a few holes to keep you entertained.
5 Likes.
First round of the Sacramento leg of my trip. ppark81 and I played our dawn patrol round here and were first off as a twosome about 6:40. We zipped around the course easily with minimal encounters with maintenance. Rack rate was $45 with cart for weekday.

The course was in nice overall shape, though playing pretty soggy first thing in the morning. Tee boxes were good. Fairways were mostly quite good. Rough also pretty good throughout, not too deep with the ball sitting up most of the time. Bunkers were on the weaker side. Only in a couple, but they were kinda thin. The greens, like most of the ones encountered on this trip, were excellent. They were very wet and soft, so you had to fly it to the pin. However, as squishy as they seemed underfoot, there wasn't a lot of moisture sitting on top. The surfaces ran super smooth and quite quick. I can only imagine how they would be once dried out a bit more.

I didn't come in with any expectations and I enjoyed the course overall. Nothing overly spectacular, but a very solid mid-level option in the area. Funny that the two local courses it reminded me of most were Wildhorse and Wild Wings, so I guess the Sacramento "wild" trio has an unintentional theme. Not too long and fairly forgiving with the most memorable holes 16 and 18 providing a very strong finish.
6 Likes.
Second round today. Played with ppark81 and two other singles, and we teed off around 2:15. We started off with a nice cushion in front of us, but then caught a log jam of really slow groups. Ended up taking just under 5 hours to finish, with the back nine (or is it the back ten here?) seemingly taking forever. Price of $45 for a twilight rate still seemed a bit steep.

Course was in pretty good overall condition. Tee boxes solid. Fairways were mostly quite nice to play from with just some scattered thin spots. Rough a bit more hit or miss. Some areas nice and others not so much. Greens were firm-ish and rolling very well at medium-fast speeds. Had I not experienced near-perfect greens at Silverado in the morning, I might have felt even more impressed with Eagle Vines. Still I rated them an 8+. The bunkers here are the weakest aspect. Some adequate, some way too thin and hard.

This is a very fun and interesting layout and certainly a good complement to Chardonnay next door. I don't know exactly what holes used to be a part of the original Chardonnay 36 routing, but there are definitely quite a few at Eagle Vines that have a similar feel and then a few others that feel kind of like filler. Overall, I'd say if you like one of these courses, you should enjoy the other. I felt like Eagle Vines was a notch down from Chardonnay in terms of conditioning, and I would say Chardonnay is a stronger full 1-18 layout. Both are recommended, especially if you can find a deal, but I would put Chardonnay on top of EV.
7 Likes.
A friend of mine won a free foursome at Silverado at a charity tournament, and he was nice enough to include me in the group. We had an 8:20 tee time and it wasn't super busy on the course. We enjoyed our own pace and finished in about 4 hours. The staff is super friendly and treated us well.

The course was in really nice shape with the Safeway Open just a few weeks away. I think they are shutting down soon to get it fully ramped up before the tournament. Course was cart-path-only today. Things were extremely lush and green throughout, though everything from tee to green was very soft and damp on a cool, overcast morning. Tee boxes great. Fairways really nice other than a few mushy spots because of the wetness. Rough was thick and nasty as they get it tournament-ready, and it's a brutal mix of grabby kikuyu and sticky rye. Was hard to find the ball at times, and recoveries were very difficult. The bunkers had super soft sand and were fantastic. Then, there were the greens. Dang!!! They were firm, pure and lightning fast with some evil Sunday pin placements. Perfection. Just a tiny taste of what the pros will see, though they will only get them faster and firmer as the tournament approaches!

I've been looking forward to this round, especially getting to play without staying at the resort. Silverado has gone back to being totally semi-private in the sense that only members and resort guests can play the courses. Hope to find a way onto the South course in the future after such a wonderful experience on North. Much more interesting layout than I expected (based on what you see on TV). Challenging, unique and beautiful. Really reminded me a lot of The Greenbrier Old White TPC in various ways, which I certainly wasn't expecting. Excellent course on all levels.
9 Likes.
Thought I might have time to squeeze in one more round this evening, so I called over to Blue Rock Springs and they were super nice. They let me know it wasn't too busy and I'd have a good chance of finishing before dark. They suggested I play the West Course because they just aerated the East this week. However, they also let me know the East was more wide open because of the aeration, so I would be much more likely to finish. I sucked it up and decided to take the safe bet to finish. They only charged me $16 with cart, so it was a good deal. I played through a couple groups, but otherwise zipped around in about 2 hours.

The aerated greens were tough, but you can tell they are normally in very nice shape. You gotta have maintenance to keep them nice! Otherwise, the course was in pretty good shape. Fairly lush and green throughout. Fairways a tad on the shaggy side, but mostly good lies to hit from. Tee boxes, fairways and rough were all fairly nice in general. Bunkers pretty well kept, as well. Give the greens a few weeks and they will be just as good as the rest of the course.

I enjoyed the layout overall. Has that East/North Bay kind of setting that offers pleasant scenery. Very hilly with a few tricky holes. Good overall course and I could see enough of the West course to know it also looks perhaps even more fun and interesting. I look forward to coming back. Staff super nice and good facilities. Recommended.
6 Likes.
Booked a 12:30 hot deal as the first round of my current Norcal trip. I ended up getting off a little after noon, paired with a threesome. However, they were very slow players (one first time playing, another novice at best, and no understanding of etiquette). A twosome caught up to us on the 3rd tee, and in the process of letting them play through I ended up joining the twosome and jumping ahead of those other guys. It was a big move because it probably shaved at least 1.5-2 hours off my round! Overall, it ended up being about 4 hours.

The course definitely has a very run-down feel as others have noted. It's too bad because it has such a rich history and the layout/setting has a ton of character. The tee boxes were adequate. The fairways were mostly okay, with plenty of weak spots and inconsistencies to be found. The rough is really just dirt and debris. You definitely want to stay away from the outer edges because you will likely lose a ball or have a terrible lie at best. The greens were pretty good. Very soft and rolling on the slow side, but not too beat up. Some bunkers look like they haven't been maintained in years, while others appeared okay with at least enough sand to get by. Best to avoid them when you can.

I was drawn to this course as they claim to be the oldest course west of the Mississippi, though there are others that claim the same thing or some other version of being the "oldest" (Gearhart and Del Monte come to mind). At some point, they flipped the nines. What is currently the front nine is very interesting and hilly. Kind of canyon/links hybrid. The back nine is a totally different animal with more trees in play, less elevation changes and a lusher overall look. I like the old school vibe, but this place needs a ton of TLC. Lots of potential that it will not reach anytime soon.
6 Likes.
I always like any excuse to play one of my favorite courses in the desert, so I tagged along with the GK Cup Final extravaganza. I don't think I've ever played Indian Wells this late in summer. With the grass being lighter and having some brown spots, along with the gloomy skies Saturday, it wasn't quite the ultra-pretty Celebrity presentation that I usually drool over. However, the course still plays great and there are never any complaints with service.

As others have noted, the tee boxes, fairways and rough all had nice coverage. There were some weak spots and some soft/muddy areas, but mostly great lies to play from. The greens were receptive, still showing some signs of recent aeration. A tad bumpy and definitely on the slow side. I was only in one bunker. It was a little crusty on top, but just enough of softness I like underneath. I got up and down, so it worked just right for me!

For late summer heading into fall maintenance soon, I would say the course is in pretty nice shape right now. Far from peak season, but that is to be expected at all desert courses in September. Celebrity is a fun and challenging layout, even though I always gripe a little about only having two par-3s and two par-5s. So weird and I can't post a Celebrity review without commenting about it! : )
7 Likes.
Another fun GK Plays outing. The service and staff were excellent in keeping things organized for us, and it seemed like everyone had a lot of fun out there. I was in group 5A with Kassper7, roarksown1 and mattias.

As others have noted the course is in good overall shape, playing a lot better than it looks with the light summer coloration and bermuda turf. Tee boxes (whites/Members) were good. Fairways were really nice to play from as they provided ample roll-out and fluffy lies to hit from. Rough not much of a factor unless you found the super nasty deep native grasses around the edges. Usually a ball lost if you went in that stuff. The greens were receptive and rolling pretty well at medium/fast speeds. Definitely very pock-marked, which was unfortunate for the presentation. However, I don't think I personally had any putts knocked off line by any bumps. The sand was a bit thin and crusty. I agree they could use more sand or just fluff up what's there a bit more.

This was my second time playing the Champions course. I find it to be a very good overall layout that is challenging and never boring. However, I am kind of like Mark and don't feel a whole lot of "wow" factor, especially relative to this place's price and reputation as a world-class, championship resort course. It was a great venue for a GK Plays, though. As noted, the service is good, the facilities are great and conditions were pretty nice this late in what's been a very hot SoCal summer.
15 Likes.
Finally made my return to Goat Hill yesterday as a warm-up for La Costa with the Pisarski boys and Gregholla. We had a 7:40 tee time. $39 out-of-towner rate with cart felt a bit steep for an executive course. Our round took about 3:20, only because we were stuck behind a much slower foursome all day.

This was my first time returning to the course since it was Center City and absolutely one of the worst courses I had played. Obviously, the renovation has received a lot of hype, but I still had some skepticism. I will say it is light years better now than it was then. However, it's all relative. It's still a funky layout. It is also still very rough around the edges.

Conditions were pretty decent. Tee boxes a bit lumpy, but fine enough. Fairways on the shaggy side with some inconsistencies in the kikuyu grass. Where there is rough, it is pretty thick and also quite inconsistent. Then, there are all the bare dirt areas around the edges that will easily come into play with only a slightly stray shot on some holes. In my opinion, these dirt areas are kind of ugly and take away from any aesthetic appeal the course could have. I will say the bunkers had fantastic sand (super soft), though not always well raked by fellow players. The greens were also nice. They were soft and rolling pretty well at somewhat slow speeds. The greens here are definitely very tricky to read with a lot of lumpy undulation and the hill breaks to try and figure out. If they had these greens running too fast, it would probably be a nightmare.

It's nice to see what they've done to make this a better community course in a community that is in need of some revitalization. It was such a dump before and they've obviously put a lot of work in. There were plenty of people out there playing and using the practice facilities. I wouldn't rank it as any more than a kind-of-charming local's course, though. I agree with the "working class" in their slogan, but not at all with the "world class." It is not one of the best short courses in the country. Maybe a top 10 short course in SD County. Maybe. It's much better than it used to be, but it is nothing that I have the desire to play again. I am a supporter of short courses and often a fan of "quirky" layouts, but nothing about this place really does it for me other than a couple of the par-3s that are treacherously fun (holes 5 and 7 specifically).
13 Likes.
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