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Well what a unique experience. There is much to write about. This review may be the longest one I type. This course was once Meadow Lake. In order to conserve water they have shortened the layout, rerouted some holes, even eliminating holes and reduced the rough by a large amount. I have mixed feelings about this. I appreciate courses trying to conserve water and reduce costs in this challenging golf economy right now but I think they over did it. There are some very difficult, if unfair holes out here. Number 6 has no fairway to hit. The fairway is tiny, slopes left to right and there is a bunker in the ideal spot to be. From the tee you must aim at the trees on the left and hope for the best. Number 14 is very similar only with OB. From the blacks on number 17 is simply diabolical. It is a huge carry to the fairway where anything right is trees and anything left is hardpan desert or a hole or a bush or water. Speaking of which if not on grass you will see crazy bounces and rikashays. I hit a tree(about 160 yards from tee) on 8 and with no grass to slow it down it bounced back towards me about 100 yards. What would have been a 250+ yard drive ended up being 60 yards. It was funny. The par 5 5th and 18th have no space for your second shot in the fairway. I had 8 penalty strokes. My ball trickled forever into the OB abyss twice, I lost a ball in ice plant just off the fairway, and I lost my swing.
On a positive side, I do appreciate the difficulty out here. To navigate this course requires patience, decent ball striking and lots of course knowledge.
As far as conditions go they were ok. Some greens where soft while others firm. The nicest part other than the great hamburgers and beer!! here was the putting green. It is immaculate. Hopefully the rest of the course can like the putting green. The tiny fairways are in nice shape.
The SCGA raters did a horrible job giving this a 116 from the blacks. The 67.3 rating is about right. Its a short course. But 116?? no way. It should be 126.
Unless you are very straight, it is best to play more forward tees or to leave the Driver at home. But what about 17th tee?? OK bring the driver.....
10 Likes.
I expected more dry conditions before coming here. The recent rains have help all courses especially this one. While not lush by any means the fairways were thin but at least not dried out as I heard they were. The greens were good. Some of them have ugly bare spots. But these are few in number. My ball stopped on such a spot on 10 but I moved it a foot to the left to putt. Yep, I declared it ground under repair. This layout in fun. You have difficult narrow holes. You have forced carries in excess of 200 yards (black tees) on 2 holes. You have an equal amount of downhill and uphill holes. And there are what you see is what you get less adventurous holes. If you can keep it in play on 10, 11, and 12...you have struck your ball well! I sincerely hope this course can continue to be playable. It deserves it.
8 Likes.
Don't let the 5827 yards fool you. You have to golf your ball out here. Houses come into play on several holes. Water is in play on three holes. 17 is a fantastic risk/reward par 5. The fairways were just a little thin to my liking. This is due to cart damage and can't be helped. Criticism ends here. The course is in great shape. The texture of sand in the bunkers is perfect. It is much easier to play out of PGA tour like bunkers where you have a cushion for the club to bounce rather than dig. Woodhaven doesn't have the glamour of PGA West, or La Quinta but if you are looking for a fun course in great condition you can't go wrong here.
8 Likes.
Balboa has it where it counts..the greens They are in great shape. The rest of the course is decent. It is not immaculate. But the fee is not $200 as well. Trees come into play more on this side compared to Encino side. It is why I enjoy the layout slightly more on this side. The difficulty of the nines are quite apparent. The front nine is tougher and longer. There are a lot of ground under repair areas where trees have fallen on both courses. The driving range is in shambles. You will get inconsistent lies in the rough around the greens. Or maybe I need to practice my short game more...not happening...no time
12 Likes.
Nice to get out and play Mr. Hansen after a 14 year layoff. Nice to get out and play period. Putts MUST be struck well out here. Any slight off center hit and the ball will tumble instead of roll true sending it on a line you never could have imagined. Why? There is lots of Poa Anna. Lots of it. But overall the greens are in good shape. The rest of the course as well. Thank you L.A city for lowering your fees, having a re-play rate, and eliminating resident rates.
11 Likes.
I can't remember how long it has been since I have played here. and....nothing has changed except the added black tee on number 12 par 3. The course is in good shape. There are dry spots here and there. But the course is holding up well in this drought. The greens roll well but are very slow. My game has been in shambles lately. I highly recommend playing a wide open course like Woodley to get some confidence back in your game when in a slump. I think I did that today. The tee shot on 2, 9, and the 2nd shot on 18 require a little accuracy but other than that its bombs away. Bombs away still swinging within yourself. I am very happy LA city courses have lowered their fees and eliminated resident rates. I did a $15 replay. My boycott of these courses is over.
6 Likes.
Fast !! These greens match any private course in speed and difficulty! For both courses your tee shots are not overly difficult but approaches are vital for uphill or somewhat flat putts. This takes course knowledge and solid iron play. I mentioned somewhat because it seems every putt out here has some degree of break. I like everything about this facility. It was worth the drive from San Pedro. Conditions in and around the greens are great. Fairways and rough are good. If you can putt well here you can putt well anywhere. They will close the course on the 6th, 7th, for maintenance, and aerification.
12 Likes.
Anytime you come to play a course like this which is almost never you can either accept your score whatever it is and enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of such a hard course or you can try to play for a good score. But be forewarned: playing Koolau will humble you!! There are jungles on both sides of most fairways. There are numerous forced carries over ravines rich in grass, trees and plant life. Greens not hit in regulation will almost always leave tough up and downs. You can even just miss hitting a green only to find that you can't find your ball in the nasty rough. Due to the fact that this course sits right below a steep and gorgeous mountain side this place gets lots of rain. The soft conditions make it hard for your ball to roll into trouble but you almost never get "teed up" lies in the fairway. Anything slightly fat and your ball might end up in the jungle. At a 153 slope and a rating of 78.2 from the tips this course is ranked as the toughest in the world. I would recommend these tees only if you have a handicap of plus 1 or better. I can't forget the bunkers. While they looked ok from a distance most have hard pan underneath a thin layer of sand. The hardness of the bunkers and the softness of the rough near the greens created rather unfair golf in my opinion. However, I approached the round just to have fun and not worry about score. Especially, since I had rental clubs. And I really enjoyed playing here despite the conditions. Every golfer that can break 100 on an average course should at least come out and try a diabolical course like Koolau.
9 Likes.
Fantastic shape!! I have not played on fairways this nice on a busy public course in a long time. I loved it. I played alone and was the first one to tee off in the morning. I finished before 9 am. After the round I went over to El Prado and was paired with...lets just say they were clueless
8 Likes.
The greens are so good that they are better than those at many private courses. The fairways were bad but better than I thought. The guy I was playing with said that the new management is putting money into the course. Of course, given this courses' past I will not get my hopes up high on any long lasting good quality turf. I played on a Monday. It was not crowded. But the round took too long due to a few slow groups. Slow play reminds me as to why I don't play not nearly as much as I used to. It has ruined the game. But the greens...they were so nice!!!
10 Likes.
The conditions here are somewhat varied. You will find very nice fairway areas and completely dried out spots. The greens are a bit slower than the Chino Creek side. The bunkers need more sand in them. You can really play darts out here. The greens hold very well. No doubt, in these conditions approaches are much easier no matter what course you play. The Chino Creek has a slightly tougher layout. However, the fairways and greens are nicer over there. Both courses are well well worth the green fee. The grass diving range is a plus. I heard the number 8 ranked LPGA player practices here.
13 Likes.
I live not too far from this course now and decided to play it after about 17 to 20 years of not playing here. I actually went to the course at 7 and it was very crowded. I did not want to wait. So I went home did some laundry and came back. I got on right away but 9 holes took a very long time. The course is extremely lush. What drought?? The greens are very slow but the ball will not bump around that much. The layout is very good. The course is mature with character. Too bad its only 9 holes. The par 3 6th hole is tough with a blind tee shot if the pin is middle or back. The rest of the 8 holes are easy to average in difficulty.
12 Likes.
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