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I was invited by a friend to join regular playing group for Saturday, 8/10, morning tee times starting at 10:00. Apparently this group attendance varies anywhere from about five to 15 on a given outing, and in this case we had six, starting out as a couple of threesomes. The course was in good shape overall. Teeing grounds nice and level with enough coverage, fairways were generally well covered, a little tight and correspondingly, with better than average rollout. Rough usually had coverage and could play anywhere from an easy out to thicker and costly. I was in the bunkers too much and found them particularly challenging. The surface tended towards clumpy and a little crusty over a softer base. I can't remember playing conditions quite like it and had trouble figuring them out. The greens were in pretty nice condition as to surface, running right around medium speed that felt slower because they were clean and looked like they should have rolled a little quicker.

So conditions-wise, so far so good. The big negative was the pace. Slow from the get go and throughout. So much so that for about six holes in the middle of the round, the two groups decided to combine as a six-some until the marshals eventually caught on and had has us revert to two groups. It really made no difference. After a lot of waiting and, having an early evening engagement to get to, I had to quit after 17 which I never would have anticipated with our start time. It would have been at least 5.75 heading towards 6.0 hours to finish out 18 and it was the longest round I've played in years. There were marshals patrolling, but there was nowhere to speed things up and it makes me wonder what happened earlier to set things up this way. Cart service came around regularly and the staff was otherwise pleasant. Nice as conditions were, the thought of playing this course on a weekend again now leaves me a little twitchy.
Welcome to my semi-private thread reviewing the conditions at Altadena. Ran over late yesterday, 6/24, and got out for super twilight around 6:30 as a single. Short story is that I've probably never seen the conditions at Altadena as nice as they were yesterday. The Winter and Spring weather we've had have been extremely kind to our local courses. With the exception of a couple of tee boxes that have some less level sections to them, most teeing grounds were nicely level and all had good grass coverage of appropriate length. Fairways were green, well grown in, and consistently groomed — generally nice lies and they looked good. Rough was also generally well groomed and consistent — usually playable but lush enough to have a little grab to it, occasionally a little deeper. I avoided the bunkers but they are usually OK here, a little on the firm side, sometimes with some pebbles. Greens had a nice, healthy covering that ran at a medium pace. There were occasional, small, peripheral blemishes, but nothing significant. The greens especially looked as healthy as I can recall. For a course that typically is a mixed bag of verdant and burnt out areas, it is the overall impression of consistent green that struck me. I got around briskly with no waiting and enjoyed it very much. As always, probably not a course that merits any kind of pilgrimage, but if you are in the area, it will currently put its best face forward for you and it's worth a look for a casual, local vibe. Natural forces notwithstanding, the current management should get some props for the current state of affairs.
Not having been out there for a good while and inspired by more positive trending reviews, I ran over to Harding Sunday afternoon, 6/16, somewhat spur of the moment. Arrived as single sometime after 2:00 and was teeing off with another single and a twosome around 2:30 at $25 to walk. I only get over the Griffith Park occasionally, but enjoy the classic, muni vibe, and I was quite pleased with the conditions I found there. Tee boxes were in good shape, with grass and level. As has been noted, a few on the back nine have a bit harder ground for inserting your tee, but I really didn't find it a serious issue. Fairways were nice — good coverage/lies/and rollout. With some areas of exception, the rough was mostly not punitive and being a little bit off the fairway wasn't going to cost you much. This was something of a relief after getting beat up by the rough at Brookside a couple days earlier. Bunkers seemed on the firm side with the ball sitting on top, but upon striking, I found them softer than they appeared. One in our group complained about a bunker he was in as being like concrete, but I think that was an outlier. They were generally pretty playable. Greens were in nice shape — generally clean with a minimum of pitch marks and running a good medium quick speed.

Burying the lead here, it turns out they were wrapping up an LA City tournament that day (13th thru 16th), so we were following on tournament-ready conditions. Safe to say, it was about as nice as one could expect at Harding. As a bonus, the guys I was paired up were all enjoyable company. If you ever have had Harding in your rotation, now would be a good time to revisit it.
Got out reasonably promptly for a 2:30-ish tee time Friday, 6/14, with a buddy and another twosome. The course was fairly busy, but not jammed, and I was surprised how many open Friday spots had showed up on the website the previous night. We got a $20 per person special that included cart. Teeing grounds here are generally in good shape — level with good coverage — although the par 3 15th was a bit worse for wear. As for the rest, it sounds a bit inflated, but in many ways the course condition parallels the current US Open, albeit on a minor scale. Shorter and tighter than the sister course, fairways were well covered with reasonable rollout, but I found the rough was particularly, consistently challenging. You could get lucky and have the ball sitting up, but more often it was punishing — sometimes to hack-it-out depth and occasionally I-thought-it was-right-here-but-can't-find-it depth. Definitely a score multiplier when you got off line. In the same vein, the greens here tend to be small targets, usually with slope and crowns, and they were pretty quick on the day. Throw in the green side rough for chipping and it had everyone in the group tentative at times. Greens are a bit thin skinned so they produced pitchmarks easily and could appear blemished, although the surface was actually in good shape overall. Bunkers were clean, firm and the ball tended to sit up.

I'm typically not a huge fan of Brookside, but it has its charms, and in the interest of variety and curiosity I was overdue to play here and I enjoyed it. The conditions overall are pretty good and the rough definitely bumped up the challenge. We got around in just under 4.5 hours, so the pace was steady. Recommended.
Brief update since little change from the previous report. Played Saturday, 6/1, around 1:00 pm with two other singles — one in a cart, me and the other guy walking. Overall good conditions but the greens were a bit bumpy at times, especially on the front nine. The greens were also well on the slow side of medium, but they did seem to gain some pace into the back nine. Ya gotta adjust and putt what they are on the day and they were still enjoyable. If you are not a stickler for quick greens, I'd recommend the course overall right now. If you are a stickler, then keep an eye out for a report indicating an improvement. Got around at a decent pace of something under 4.5 hours and enjoyed the other two guys as company. With an LA County Senior card, paid $23 to walk which I thought a great bargain.
Returning from Santa Barbara on Saturday, 5/25, I decided to take advantage of the Memorial weekend $22-to-walk rate RR was offering. I lived in Ventura for a while back in the early '80s and had not been back to play RR until relatively recently — a few years back and long after the completion of the Lakes course. I took this opportunity to play the reconfigured Vineyard course for the first time, getting out early afternoon as a single with no one in front of me. I'd say the overall conditions were pretty good, and actually comparable to the conditions at Sandpiper a couple of days before. Good teeing grounds, playable rough, similar fairways that were green, leaning towards tight with good rollout. Bunkers were good, clean and playable while the greens were firm and pretty quick. I noticed the first green had a bit of a cauliflower looking texture to it but it didn't seem to affect the roll. I don't recall seeing it on the other greens.

The holes that had not been reconfigured since the old days elicited a bit of nostalgia in me and I appreciated the familiarity. But while I enjoyed it in general, now that I can compare it to the Lakes course, I definitely prefer the Lakes. I think one reason is that the Lake course is at least as challenging but more out in front of you as to what you need to do while Vineyard has more blind shots. That's all personal opinion and not a comment on the conditions, which were fine. Based on conditions, I'd definitely recommend it.
Got out as a walking single last Thursday, 5/23 at around 1:45. I hadn't been out on Sandpiper in several years and, spurred by recent positive reviews and Johnny's dog picture, decided I was overdue to revisit it. Check in and service was smooth and included having to be issued a loaner putter when I realized I had left mine at home. A warmup bag of balls, some putting and chipping and off I went, playing from the silver tees. All around conditions were very good. Clean, flat teeing grounds, good green coverage on the fairways, rough that was groomed to a pretty consistent length, and quick greens. One area I feel the need to clarify relative to previous reviewers is the term "lush" as it refers to the fairways. To me lush implies thick with a some length to it. The kind of thickness that would tee the ball up a touch. I considered these fairways nicely covered and green with no brown or dry areas, but also on the tight side — good for rollout. I enjoyed the fairways and thought they were very nice, but in the interest of accuracy, would not comport with my definition of lush. I thought the rough was worth extra mention in it's general consistency — not overly punitive but you weren't going to get off clean. I never hit into a bunker all day, so they looked pretty good from my perspective. The greens were firm and fast, not giving up ball marks easily. There must have been some light top dressing of sand recently. It was slightly visible and didn't affect the roll, but when an incoming ball struck the green, a light explosion of sand particles was evident. And while fast and tricky from above the hole, I don't think any of the greens out on the course were quite as scary fast as the practice green.

Generally grey weather lightened up to some sun as the breeze and the round wound down. I finished in about 3.25 hrs. on an only moderately populated course. There is enough up and down over the 18 that I was pleasantly worn out by the end. It is a beautiful course with some special holes in very nice condition right now. Fortunately for me, it was enhanced by a decent round of ball striking. Definitely enjoyed getting back to play here, definitely recommend it.
I got out Friday, 5/10 as part of a threesome with single joining us. I hadn't been out to SA since last June according to my score tracker. I think this was mainly because it had gotten bit dried out last summer and then seemed to be suffering a bit through the winter — at least according to reviews. In fact, the latest review from a little less than a month ago was pretty negative. For whatever reason, I had stayed away more than usual, so I was curious and game to take a look after all the course-improving weather we've had. Basically, I was not disappointed and pleasantly surprised. If I was to focus on the weak point first, I would say there are some scattered thin / scruffy patches to be found on many fairways. I mention it but it factored little into my round. They are scattered and not a dominant feature. The great majority of fairway is filled in with green and good lies to be had. I missed the bunkers but they looked OK. Otherwise, good stuff. Playing from the whites, tees here are pretty level with good coverage and I don't recall any distracing issues about any aspect of teeing it up. Of particular note were the greens, which have been slagged in reviews for their condition and speed. I found them as good as I've seen them in a while — clean with a medium quick speed that was very nice and probably about as speedy as they get there. There were a lot of pin locations conspicuously near the edges of the greens and I don't know why. That did not particularly bother me but I found it interesting. You have to put them somewhere, and sometimes that made it more challenging, but other times not so much.

As someone who comes here regularly if not overly frequently, I thought it was about as good as can be expected and really enjoyed getting back to it. One of our threesome had never played SA and came a away enthusiastic to return to it again soon. On top of everything, I got out walking (1:50-ish tee time) for $22 which was excellent value for this course right now. Recommended.
I have reluctantly been taking a break from golf for a while due to tendinitis in the right elbow, but I was jonesing bad and on spur of the moment decided to hit Alhambra to test the waters and get my fix. I didn't check GK first so it was my fault when I got there and found all the greens recently punched and sanded. For my purposes it wasn't a deal breaker, although for the rest of you, give it time to rebound. Greens here are usually reasonably quick with subtle breaks while today they were slow and bumpy — totally uncharacteristic of their norm. That said, the rest of the conditions were fine. With a couple of exceptions, good teeing grounds, fairways with nice coverage and decent rollout, and the one bunker I was in was a bit damp but not overly firm and thus playable. They got me out right away with a two other singles so customer service was on point as always. Behind a five some for the front nine, it was a bit slow, but they disappeared for the back nine and we down to a twosome, so the back went quicker and we netted just over 4 hours. Nice little course that needs a few weeks for the greens to recover. I made some progress rediscovering my swing, so having low expectations, I had an enjoyable round in the end.
This is late, but I wanted to back up and point you to Caligolfer1031's 3/10 review of the course from our match play there vs. Greg and Alex on Sunday. I generally agree with all his observations with only a couple of minor additions. He mentioned minor issues with unlevel tees. The 14th definitely required you to find the peak of the hump to tee your ball but, otherwise I wasn't conscious of any issues with the other teeing grounds, so that may be different levels of discrimination. Maybe I was preoccupied with how badly I was driving the ball, but that was all me. He also mentioned the bunkers and he was completely accurate. I would only add as someone who has played there numerous times before, that the lack of soft sand is, unfortunately, normal and expected at OQ once you've been there. I actually made decent or better shots out of a couple of firm fairway bunkers and a good green side bunker shot on the 14th hole, which did have adequate sand in it. I seem to have a knack for picking the ball in the firmer ones so, again, a subjective response and not a contradiction to Gregs review, which I thought was excellent.

Overall, I always love getting out to OQ and thought the conditions were very good with no surprises based on my previous experience there. Really stunk up the place with my game, but truly enjoyed the company of the the two Gregs and Alex. Everyone was fun to play with and on an even keel regardless of how their game was going, including the luckiest drive I've ever seen in my life. After the expectation of a rainy day didn't come to fruition, it turned out to be a gorgeous day. Good times.
Went out Friday 1/25 just before 11:00 as a threesome with a buddy and his son — foursome if you count my dog — collecting my birthday round. Much to my chagrin, I arrived in a rush right before tee time so no warmup. I hate starting out that way. That was on me because nothing about River Ridge disappoints me. Service was on point and friendly, The course was in its usual winter state, which is pretty nice. Tee boxes were all level and with good coverage. Fairways were well covered and on the tight side, but there is a nice underlying cushion to the dormant grass so it doesn't feel thin or hard pan firm, and you get some good rollout. Rough was generally not punitive at all and pretty easy to play from. Missed the bunkers, but they looked clean. Greens were in good shape, running at a nice speed, somewhere around 10/11. It was a beautiful, warm day with a consistent, moderate breeze. Just really nice.

As someone who takes my small dog out when possible, I feel obliged to mention that the roving marshal told me there have been incidents of coyotes snatching small dogs on the course. Late in the round I had close encounter with one taking a run at my dog. It ended well, but actually seeing them in action for the first time after numerous rounds, it is obvious the coyote was smart, opportunistic, and familiar with the concept of players' dogs on the course. The course welcomes dogs, but keep the dog close and your head on a swivel if yours is a smaller breed.
Took advantage of the birthday deal and paid $10 cart fee to play on Sunday before the Rams / Saints game. Got out around 8:15-ish and got 12 holes in before leaving @ 11:30. The greens were in good shape — reasonably clean and quick. As far as the rest of the course: same as it ever was.

Specifically, the fairways were about 10% bare or hardpan. While there were stretches of green grass and normal, if tight lies, there were also areas of extensive areas with tighter, white/blond dormant grass lies. The recent rains gave the surface an underlying softness and I'd say the net result on those surfaces was about like a driving range matt. I don't take a lot of divot, so I found it decent to play, but the tight lies and soft underneath could lead to fat shots if your swing path is steeper. Clean shots meant a good amount of rollout. The rest was business as usual: generally OK tee boxes, funky and variable rough, and firm but playable bunkers.

I don't come here much, but I have check at least once a year or so. I don't recommend going out of your way, but I still enjoy myself here because it's golf, I have reasonable expectations and an idea of the challenges of this course. It's well down the regular list but I don't want to see another course go away. If we get a few more significant episodes of winter rain to bring the fairways along, I would be curious to see what the place looks like in late Spring when grass has passed dormancy and started to fill in.

With the prices and deals they usually offer, it could make it a very nice bargain round.
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