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Having slagged it a bit on my last review, I felt the need to update. On 4/10 I was over at Altadena for super twilight to get in as many practice holes as possible. Playing two balls through most of it, I got in 8 holes, but two were repeated, so I actually played holes one through six.

The winter rains have had their effect. Overall, the course is probably peak green, with the wild grass and weed areas, that will get brown, thin or die off in the heat, being currently green. Fairways are bumpy in spots but greened up and providing a good hitting surface. Consistent with the few other courses I've seen lately, the rough is long and thick in many spots, and I lost my first tee shot not far off the fairway. The greens I played have recovered from the bare spots and blight that I reported last time — medium speed with good coverage and some unevenness throughout, they are serviceable and consistent with the practice green. Missed the bunkers, but they are usually OK here with pebbles in some.

The grass driving range is reasonably well kept up, if a little uneven in spots.

Hardly a destination course, it has recovered to the point of being worth a casual round. I almost always hit it at twilight or super, so it makes it worth my while for working on my swing and getting a pleasant walk in while I look at the mountains.
I played OQ Tuesday, 4/3, starting as single around 1:00, joined by a twosome on the second through eighth holes where they doubled back to replay seven and eight. A husband/wife twosome caught up on the 12th and we played out the rest as three-some. First pair kept mostly to themselves, but the second pair were pleasant.

Conditions overall were pretty nice with some reservations. Playing the whites, tee boxes were fine and level — with good coverage all around, the 17th could have used a trim but was still good. Fairways were consistently green and I can recall no issues with any lies. The rough was healthy, with many stretches that were lush enough to precipitate the occasional easter egg hunt and frequently costing a shot. I was in one fairway bunker and it was the usual firm and crusty, which helped me because the ball sat up high and was easier to pick clean. I saved par on that hole. Relatively speaking, the greens were the weak point. They were punched a little while back and I found them consistently a little bumpy and a medium quick speed. That medium speed felt slower because the practice green by the first tee was the more typically expected quick. It took some holes to unclench from the practice green speed and start trusting the actual green speed and put a little more pace on the ball, especially downhill.

I love the course and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Even if the greens could be a bit smoother and quicker, they were pretty consistent which is important. My comments in that area are observations and not really complaints. They were good enough for me to birdie the 18th with a 25-foot putt that tracked dead straight even as I was waiting for some last second redirection. Just be aware that the practice green and course green speed might be different.

Cart service knocks off around 2:00-ish, which feels a bit early with afternoon players out on the course, but all around service here is very good.

Pace was about 4.5 hours. Not bad, but more bodies on the course than you would have expected from the booking site numbers.
Greens aeration is going on at Simi today and tomorrow, so my experience there yesterday, 3/18, becomes somewhat irrelevant as a description of current conditions. A brief summary is in order. Well covered and level teeing grounds — don't recall hunting for a more grassy or level patch. Fairways were generally green and on the winter thin side. Most often the lie had some cushion and was pretty decent to good, but infrequently there were some tight and, less frequently, almost bare lies. Rough was reasonably forgiving and usually offered a recovery opportunity. The bunkers I experienced were pretty nice and groomed — finer than beach sand but not too soft — it kept the ball up and playable. The greens were smooth, clean, on the quick side and, based on my conversion rate of knee-knockers, pretty true.

With the effects of the rains, and by the time the greens have recovered from aeration, this course should be in very nice shape.
Went out at 1:30 as a two-some on Friday, 3/9. I was walking for a $20 twilight rate while my buddy elected to ride.

Short story is that it was well worth it. Fairways have the winter thinness and patches that are currently common, but predominantly green, generally quite playable, with some cushier lies to be found. Tee boxes here are pretty consistently level with coverage. The rough was anything from comparable to the fairways, to hardpan. I was in two bunkers and they were both pretty firm. The greens were in good shape — receptive, reasonably quick, and generally clean.

The two-some behind us joined us at the ninth, left us at the 14th to join friends on the fourth hole, and the two of us finished in just about four hours on the dot. Far from being the most demanding course around, but it has its challenges, friendly service, a nice facility and was quite enjoyable.
Joined Caligolfer1031 to play our GK Cup match yesterday, 2/17 with a 10:20 tee time and got out as a two-some, which was nice.

To lead with the weak point, the fairways are thin and tight, probably the low point of conditions in a winter that has been short on rain. Not much pure bare hardpan, but grass is flattened and zero on the lush scale. That said, they were playable and you got a ton of rollout. The ball was going to sit up because there was nowhere to go down. Not taking much divot, it wasn't a big issue for me but could make for sore wrists if you are a big divot taker. While it could make chipping from the fairway trickier, it bought bump-and-run or Texas wedge more into play. In the end, it didn't seriously detract from my playing experience, but deserves a clear heads up.

Otherwise, all around conditions were very good. Teeing grounds were level with nice coverage. The fact that I barely thought about them all day is a good sign. Rough was generally green and had some body to it, a little fuller around the greens so the chipping opportunities were there. Greg and I agreed that we really liked the bunkers, and my opinion was based on an extensive sampling. Groomed, the sand had body and a nice granular quality that set the ball up, as well as a nice consistency to hit through and give you the best chance for recovery. This comes from somebody who historically struggles in the sand. The greens were very good. Quick but not crazy, clean and pretty true, challenging enough without a lot of surprises.

There was little bit of waiting here and there throughout but it was steady. We enjoyed ourselves and the time went quickly for me, but I lost track of what the actual pace was, which I do know was longer than it seemed.

The pro shop was on point getting us out, and at the back end they have a very nice clubhouse with a comfortable bar that has a relaxed but upscale feel for getting a drink and some food.

It was beautiful day for golf and an enjoyable round. I can offer a critique, but I can't complain.
Out this Sunday morning, 2/11, as single paired with a very pleasant ladies threesome. With the exception of some grinding on the uphill 10 and 11th holes, we generally kept pace for a five hour round.

Conditions overall were good for this time of year. Fairways were predominantly green and covered with a fair bit of rollout and the occasional thin areas or dirt patch. Fifth fairway is consistently more hardpan than the rest of the fairways. Rough is a mixed bag — frequently playable just off the fairways, but thick stuff, hard stuff, barrancas and the like will punish you, sometimes severely, if you get too far astray. Missed all the bunkers and can't say much there. They generally looked groomed and I noticed at least one a bit damp. With minor exceptions, the greens were in very nice shape and running about as quick as you would want relative to the slope and contours on most of the greens.

Pace not withstanding, an enjoyable round and conditions on what can be a punishing little course.
Another brief review, I got out this Sunday morning, 2/4, around 10:00, paired up with a twosome and another single — an enjoyable group — for about a five hour round.

The weak point right now is the fairways. Although there is some underlying cushion in most places as well as coverage, they are definitely firm-ish and on the thin side overall which can also reveal more subtle bumps and depressions in the lies — something for which a non-winter grass would compensate. Still playable, with a good bit of rollout, but definitely winter conditions. The rest was all good: tees had enough coverage and were mostly level or close enough, rough mixed but mainly green and playable, bunkers were groomed and clean, and greens were nice, running the quick side of medium.

It was a beautiful day to be out and I shot one of my better scores in a while, so any weaknesses in the the conditions didn't preclude making shots. Temper your expectations here and you probably won't be disappointed — maybe even pleasantly surprised.
Friday, 1.26, got out around 10:15 this morning for my free birthday round, paired up with a threesome of young Coast Guards and my dog, all of which were good company. We got around in about 4.25 hrs.

I don't get out to RR very often, but the Lakes course is on my list of favorite all around courses. Value, conditions, layout, facilities, accessibility, dog friendly and as good a birthday deal as you will find. I wasn't disappointed today and the all-around conditions were very good. Tees boxes were level, clean and well covered. The winter fairways were like hitting off a soft indoor/outdoor carpet — somewhat tight but with a cushiony base to it that made for a nice hitting surface that had a good deal of rollout. Winter coloring not withstanding, I don't recall any bare or thin patches as in hardpan type thin. The rough was generally consistent on the playable side. I was in some bunkers and they were clean and groomed with a nice medium density sand. Relatively tight around the greens, you frequently had the option to chip or putt from beyond the apron. The greens themselves were rated 11.5 and that's about how they felt —challenging and quick, clean, demanding your attention but not unfair.

Beautiful weather, temperature was perfect with a 1.5 to 2 club breeze at times. I can't think of a negative in the conditions and I'd play it again at the drop of a hat.
I want to make this a quick one. Teed off around 9:40-ish, 1/21, with a couple and another single for what was a bit over five-hour round.

Having played Harding not too long ago, I think it is in better shape than the Wilson I played today, particularly in the fairway department. An arbitrary estimate would be a 70% chance of a good lie vs. 30% for a funky lie overall. Extensive expanses of decent surface were offset by some thin, bumpy and sandy stretches, in some cases the negative was more extensive. The seventh fairway was particularly crappy overall. Otherwise, good tee boxes, mixed rough (from playable and green, to dirt and gopher holes), groomed bunkers, generally good chipping surfaces around the greens, and the greens themselves are actually in pretty nice shape.
Played Saturday morning 1/13 at 10:30 with a buddy, paired up with another two-some. I seldom get down to Harbor Park, which makes it a change of pace. Also it fit my itinerary for the day and I like it as a fairly straight forward 9-holer that includes two par fives.

Overall conditions were pretty decent for mid-winter. Tee boxes were level or mostly, and had enough coverage on them. The fairways were pretty green overall and mostly decent lies, but there were stretches where the grass, while green, was fairly thin and the sticky, damp undersoil was more of a factor. Rough could be either lush or bare, depending on where you ended up, but usually better around the greens. I missed the bunkers, so no intel there. I thought the greens were in pretty good shape — running medium speed, fairly true, reasonably smooth, and not particularly bumpy or marked up.

The pace was a leisurely but steady 2.5 hours. It was a surprisingly warm, sunny day — really very nice to be out for a walk— and I had no complaints. Not a course to go too far out of your way to play, but no reason to avoid either.
Went out yesterday for super twilight and got around with no delays as a single. If you don't know Eaton, I'm not going to sell you on it. The greens are decent, especially compared to the current mess over at the sister course, Altadena. The downhill, first fairway is typically harder, faster and thinner than the rest of the course, which is otherwise a dog-eared combination of reasonably covered and playable fairways with some stretches of hard dirt, the latter usually closer to the tee boxes and out of play. Teeing grounds are good enough, rough is a totally mixed bag, and I missed the bunkers.

Conditions not withstanding, interesting enough layout with great mountain views. Range but no lights, separate short game practice area, and practice green. The cozy bar is usually open after a twilight round. Good for casual play, it's not worth full price, reasonable for twilight, and a pretty good deal for super twilight.
Got a 9:28 tee-off on Sunday, 12.31, paired with a twosome on a calm, mild morning. Getting right to it, the tee boxes were generally nice — level, with good coverage. The consistent exception is the 10th hole, which is like teeing off the deck of a sinking ship. The winter-normal display of multi-colored grasses on the fairways offered a pretty good hitting surface throughout the day. Really thin patches were relatively rare, and I remember two instances of muddy patches or stretches in the course of the round. The rough grass proximate to the fairways was not very penal and frequently offered a good lie. I didn't hit a bunker all day so, while they looked OK, I have no feedback there. The greens, like the fairways, had a wintery look but putted pretty well, firm and speedy. I recall one green on which I was putting through some bumpy, exposed dirt patches, but that was definitely an exception to the general rule.

The course was not overly busy. The threesome ahead of us started with a short lead and, with the exception of a little catch-up and brief delay on holes 11 and 12, kept out of range and well ahead. No one was ever close behind us and we finished in about 3.75 hrs. on a Sunday morning — a nicely comfortable but efficient pace. I did have to keep my walking pace up since the other two shared a cart and moved at a good clip.

For this time of year, I felt the course was in pretty good shape. Most miscues were pilot error and not the result of course issues. I would have no reservations about going back, with the hope that I putt much better than I did on the day.

Happy New Year!
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