There are ways other than fences to keep the private country club feel to your course. Tustin Ranch uses the 1-2 punch of incredibly high rates and incredibly average golf to keep outsiders away. I was able to find the rare TeeOff single player time on a Sunday that saved well over $100 off of rack rate and still felt like I overpaid.
Check-in was a look at the computer and a "You're good to go!". So I had to ask the questions of an outsider: "Go Where?" and "Go When?". Once directed to the carts and starter - I was informed that even though I was the fourth to a threesome. They were part of a larger group that all knew each other and had made themselves into foursomes of which I would not be a part. I could go by myself or wait until I was adopted. Since it was already past my tee time - I drove solo for six holes until a threesome of locals caught me and the four sloths playing ahead of me.
The course is an obvious "Squeeze as much as you can out of the basic plot of land you were given." The course is laid out like a airport concourse maximizing the houses parked at their respective terminals. So you have all the types of holes you might expect. Straight Par 5's and a par 3 with water next to the green. Straight holes where bunkers pinch way in to force a lay-up or a perfect shot to one side. Straight holes where you have to lay up before a unlikely creek. Normal straight holes. And a short "drivable" severe dogleg par 4 like the 3rd at Monarch beach - except there is no view here to speak of.
Someone has a sore pointer finger because there is a lot of white GUR circles out there. Fairways are pretty good elsewhere but can feel like light rough in areas - rough is never deep but could be anything else. I found the bunkers to look nice but be an inch of fluff over a dense pack of sand which led to too much bounce or too much dig whichever way I tried to play the shot. Greens were good medium speed and mostly smooth.
I'm not sure if there was another soul from the "outside" playing that day. Everyone I saw seemed to know each other. I felt like I'd bought a member for a day outing instead of a tee time.» Close