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Played Los Amigos on Sat morning with an 8:50 tee time. No carts, push carts sold out - all understandable and best to realize sooner rather than later that there will be some adjustments required of us golfers during this ongoing virus saga.

Recent rains have done Los Amigos a world of good. Fairways are nice and green - best it's been in a long time. Varied rough and nice sand as usual. Greens actually in pretty good shape as well, rolling faster than expected on well-drained greens. Tee boxes in varying shape depending on the hole.

Decent POP in the 4:30 range and can probably expect longer POPs elsewhere as LA golfers crowd the ones that are remaining open. Of course no cart service or food facilities open. New reality for the time being is going to be BYO-whatever - you're not getting it there. Inconvenient but if it means we can still play golf at the bare minimum, it's worth it.
Played Anaheim Hills on Sunday under threat of ominous skies, but lucky again this week with the rain holding off during prime golf hours. Met with my monthly group and we played from the white tees. Unfortunately it was Cart Path Only for the entire round and the nicely-appointed carts made sure you could not stray into the fairways despite some long recovery walks.

Overall the course is in good shape, with the main exception being the very shaggy tee boxes that are in dire need of a good mow. Other than that, the course is green from tee to flag and allows for some nice surfaces to hit from in the fairways. Rough is not too penal but the hazard areas (of which there are plenty) will make it very difficult to find any wayward shots. Bunkers I avoided all day but I heard mixed reviews, but of course many were a bit waterlogged so take that for what it's worth.

Greens were in nice shape from a coverage perspective and held shots well, but the early soak made them quite slow, however they sped up as the day went on, but not on every green. There were a lot of putts missed short, but also plenty that caught slopes and ran on for a good distance once the day warmed up a bit. In other words, speeds were inconsistent, but the surfaces were quite good.

POP was pretty good as we were the last of our three-group outing, but there was some bunching at points and we actually tee'd off around 15 minutes late. There was some cart service around but we did not see it until around the 13th hole. Price is a bit steep in all honesty at $75 for the round + cart, but it's in about as good a shape as it could be so it's not too outrageous. The lake surrounding the 13th green is empty right now and looks aesthetically sad.

A lot of tricky holes here if you've never played it before so I highly recommend playing with someone who has. I had a good round so it did not feel quite as gimmicky as it has during my early visits, but you're going to find some very unusual holes here that will test your nerve as well as your game. Just expect it. But there are also some very stunningly beautiful holes here, like the par 3 7th, that will make it all worth it.
Best conditions I've ever seen at Sandpiper currently despite the heavy rains that came down the last few days. It always seem that the ocean holes are in fine condition, but they slack a bit on the interior holes. Not the case right now. Not in the least.

Fairways are a lush and very verdant green, while the first cut of rough is thick but manageable. If you're on the bad side of THAT cut, well, you're in big trouble. I lost two balls in the rough after three holes, so keep that in mind when you see it drifting.

Bunkers were tough to judge as some had some residual water left over, but the ones that I ended up in seemed as if they would be fine if the weather cooperated. The tee boxes? We played the Gold tees and they were all level and well conditioned.

The greens were also very nice and rolled well at medium-fast speeds. I wouldn't call any of the green complexes at Sandpiper 'gimmicky,' but there are definitely some with some severe tiers to work with and take into account when judging distance and direction. Overall though they're very nice.

Unfortunately it was Cart Path Only but that's not difficult to understand when it rains this much, but it was surprising to hear that the driving range was closed. We did get a GolfMoose deal which was nice but also had to pay an extra $20 for the pre-twilight tee time. Regular rates are a good bit higher, and I'm not sure that I would want to pay that, but if there's ever a time that it would be close to being worth it, this is it. When the sun finally comes back out, it's going to be a serious treat.
GK Plays out at Sun City yesterday at the Deer Valley facility and found the course to be very playable and fun, with a few caveats. We had a three-person group with mpisarski and me playing from the blues and Abbacat playing from the red tees.

A few notes not directly related to the course conditions first. Make sure you bring cash with you as there is NO ATM at this facility. They have a small, comfortable pro shop right alongside the snack bar and prices are super reasonable. They also have gas-powered carts instead of electric, so there's a bit more noise than usual.

The course layout is pretty simple with a lot of water features that rarely come into play outside of a few holes. Most of it is more for scenic effect as the course basically winds in between homes the entire way but none of it feels too claustrophobic or repetitive. It's flat and straightforward and, now that I think about it, I can't even think of what its best defense is against low scores. Normally these courses have tiny, multi-tiered greens or massive greenside bunkers, but not this place. It's a shooting gallery for low-handicappers and a nice, steady test for the higher ones.

Conditions were pretty nice across the board as others mentioned. The fairways were in very nice shape and good lies were found all day, but it was a not a deep lush in any way. Rough was a bit thicker and had a different, yellowish hue to it than the fairways which made it easy to recognize good shots versus bad. I too found the bunkers to be a bit thin after the top layer and even putted out of one late in the round. Tee boxes were level and in good shape.

With the plethora of amazing courses in the Phoenix area, I don't think that Deer Valley is going to overtake Quintero or TPC Scottsdale anytime soon in terms of reputation, but it's a fun round at an affordable rate that ticks many of the right boxes if you happen to find yourself in that part of town. I look forward to seeing the other Sun City options in the future if I move here in the next few months.
I've been wanting to play the two Ojai courses for years now, and finally got the chance to scratch one itch this past weekend by visiting the fantastic Ojai Valley Inn course on Saturday. I got a deal through GolfMoose which was easy to set up and no problem at check-in.

I was paired with another single for our 8am tee time playing from the Blues. I'm happy to report that playing partner just signed up for GK and wrote his first review on this same course just now - great playing with you Sean! Neither of us had played here before but we had both watched some of the great videos the course put together to learn more about the layout and strategies to play each hole. And if you've never been here before, they definitely come in handy!

The front nine at OVI is quite varied terrain with lots of blind shots and a real premium on accuracy and correct distances to put yourself in any decent position for your approach shots. The par 3s are tight and super target-oriented, while the longer holes have designated landing areas and some barrancas to clear on some of them either at the tee or on approach.

The back nine is a much more traditional layout with some elevations, but it's much more forgiving than the front nine and gives you a chance to catch your breath ahead of the stunning 16th and 17th holes before a nice closing hole on 18 - if it wasn't shortened for an event that particular day. But as Sean wrote in his review - the par 3 16th is one of the most dramatic and beautiful tee shots you'll ever play, and it was an awesome feeling making par there.

In terms of course conditions in this rustic setting, it was far better than anticipated. The greens were absolutely spectacular. They rolled fast and true and held shots well. Nothing too gimmicky about them at all, which also holds true for the course layout, which was a concern pre-round. No, it's just a classic design that lets you feel the history as you move through the canyons and across the bridges and check out all the grandeur of the surrounding mountains. It's really a stunner.

Fairways were in very good shape with only the limited amount of thin areas. The rough was pretty significant but did not wreak too much havoc with shots played out of it. Tee boxes were mostly in good shape with some wear and tear, and I was in around six or seven bunkers but never had any issues getting out of the sand. It was not the white, fluffy stuff, but perfectly playable and suited to this course's more rustic style.

Staff was incredibly helpful and on top of things. There is a significant distance between where you park and the starter/golf shop, but they will come pick you up when you park and shuttle you back. The range is also pretty easy to navigate and is ample for your needs. They do give you a bag of balls with your greens fee to warm up.

So what else is there to say? I love this place and really can't wait to get back up here and play another round with more course knowledge and hopefully a not-so-sore back this time around. Ojai Valley Inn is a destination course without a doubt and a true treat to play.
Played with a fun threesome this Sunday at Hansen Dam. We had a 10:08 tee time and I had enough LA City points on my card that I got the round and my cart for free, so that was nice! Apparently I have plenty more points as well so may take more advantage of that in the future.

As for the course itself, it appeared to green up a bit more than usual thanks to the recent rain. I found the course to be overall in good winter shape with a few bits here and there that could use some fixing. But generally speaking, it's in good shape.

The greens were the highlight with consistent rolls, medium-fast speed and nice coverage. They held shots pretty well and made some decent-sized pitch marks when landing. Some of the greens at Hansen are a bit extreme in terms of their slope but for the most part they're gimmick-free and pretty simple.

Fairways are in decent to nice shape overall, but you will find some thin areas here and there. However, you're also going to find some very nice lies - it's hit or miss in those fairways, but nothing too terrible. The rough is a mixed bag when you're in the trees or off to the side hills, but anything fairways adjacent is pretty tame. Tough to see where fairways end and rough begins on many holes.

Sand was okay - not great, but not terrible. Tee boxes were flat and level but a few of them needed to be moved perhaps. You could see they were trying to find the best spots for them so that should be acknowledged.

POP was pretty good throughout the day as we found a nice sweet spot in the day and were rarely left waiting for too long, nor did we feel much push from the group behind us. No cart service all day is problematic, but I can't remember ever seeing it at Hansen Dam. Perhaps they should?

It was a gorgeous day for golf with light winds and nice low-mid 70s temps - can't ask for more than that. I'm not always the biggest fan of Hansen, but it was fun yesterday and playing my best round there since 2017 or so certainly didn't hurt. Will be back again I'm sure.
Kassper7 and I played our GK Cup match today at Candlewood. It was a picture perfect winter day that was made for golf. Nice carts but no GPS as we tee'd off from the blue tees with an 11:40 tee time, paired with a nice couple. Oh yeah, there's a small range area next to the starter but it's well kept and you can purchase a bag of 40 balls in the office.

Really nice condition at Candlewood right now. It's definitely in its Country Club shape currently and it feels like a private club in the sense of attention to detail, tough course design, and a premium on accuracy and length.

The green complexes here are quite difficult with many of the greens hiding deceptive slopes and lighting quick speeds. You're terrified of hitting the ball too hard and rolling off the green in some cases (that definitely happened), but also nervous about going too soft and ending up precariously above the hole again anyway. But they're in great shape and very fast, however even some really well struck approaches strutted their way off the green. Beware.

Fairways are very lush and green. So many great hitting surfaces today that it was a pleasure to strike the ball well. Rough was fairly manageable but also very lush. Was only in one bunker late and it was not fluffy sand by any means, and probably the weakest aspect of the course conditions. Tee boxes were nice and well taken care of, while offering up a good variety of hole lengths for every golfer.

The layout here is tight. That's the best way to describe it. Very few 'grip it and rip it holes,' but a multitude of 'pucker up and pray at the moment of impact' ones. The par 3s are tight. The par 4s are tight. The par 5s? Yes, they're also tight. You have danger on every side it seems, especially on the back nine. But when you do hit the ball well, it's quite rewarding.

POP was great all day ... never pushed from behind, and never waited throughout the entire day. Ideal. Think we got around in about 4 and change. Nice to play at a place where they stagger tee times better.

This is a course that will tire you out. You have to be very focused and very deliberate with every shot or you're going to put up big numbers. Still, it's a unique layout and with such nice conditions, I will be back another day.
Played with Nick at Dos Lagos this past Friday for our GK Cup match and I was excited to finally play this course as I had driven past it so many times going down the 15 towards Temecula but it had never worked out. Glad I finally got to check it off the list.

Nick's review is pretty spot on. The track itself is like three courses in one. A lot of narrow and nervy holes on the front nine with some carries to manage, while the back nine starts out very parkland style, then the last 4-5 holes are quirky, hilly and somewhat gimmicky. You're going to get a little bit of everything at Dos Lagos.

One thing you won't get is a quality warm-up unfortunately. The only place to hit balls before your round is a dilapidated 'batting cage' with scuffed up balls you have to go find and the most worn out mats I've ever seen. It's a depressing site and I'm surprised, if that's the only place to get ready, that they don't put a little more time and/or money into fixing it up.

As far as course conditions right now, it's all quite yellowish right now with the fairways a slightly lighter shade to show which one is the fairway and which is the rough, but there's not much between them. Coverage is good but thin. You'll need to hit the ball crisply and square.

Tee boxes on the front nine were fine, but very shaggy on the back, as Nick mentioned. I was only in two bunkers and they seemed okay but certainly not fluffy. I found the greens to be in good shape, rolling true and holding shots well. They were quite quick actually despite not looking like it. Luckily I had a pretty good round in terms of putting.

Overall I enjoyed the course with the one exception of the 16th, which is one of those annoyingly narrow, small landing area, then straight uphill to a small volcano green holes. It's just not a great design there, but a lot of the other holes are quite fun and engaging.

Would I make another trip that far just to play Dos Lagos? Probably not right away, but I would definitely not have any issue playing there again if there was an event or outing with another group. From the pictures up for the course, I can see how much nicer it looks when it's green and lush, so I'd probably wait for that before coming back.
I like to think the vast majority of my golf course reviews are more 'glass half full' than not, but the experience at Chester Washington this past Saturday is definitely putting that theory to the test. It was an astonishing array of ineptitude from start to finish and cannot go unchecked.

I'll start with the course conditions since that, despite their overall mediocrity at best, was not the worst part of the day by any means. Greens are a bit bumpy but rolled well and consistently while holding shots. By far the best part of the course. Tons of dry or thin areas in the fairways and rough, while the tee boxes are beat down and need work. Sand is good.

As for the rest of the day, well, let's just say it did not go smoothly. My foursome had a 10:12 tee time and when we arrived, all of the carts were gone. There was about a 35-40 minute delays as the crowds lined up at the first tee. Fine. I get that. But the POP was abysmal and it did not help that the group in front of us understood nothing of golf etiquette - no waving up, talking at the tee box while the group ahead of them was long gone, and one of their players even playing two balls. Super irritating.

Then, at around the 12th hole, our cart started to die. Called the front desk to ask them for a replacement and they said they'd get right on it. Yeah, that did not happen. Called again from the 15th hole tee box. Same story. Eventually the cart died in the fairway of the 15th so we ditched it and went on foot. It wasn't until the 17th hole that they finally brought another cart out. Great. Not much point from there.

But the overall damage? Once again, our tee time was at 10:12. Sunk the last putt on 18 at 4:30pm. Almost six and a half hours of my life I'll never get back. Didn't help to have also played my worst round there since 2014 due to all of the waiting on each and every hole. In summary, a total disaster.

But who cares, right? Clearly the tee sheet is beyond full so nothing will change there. Why should they? Change won't happen until they see that no one is showing up anymore, and that's not going to happen anytime soon with the dearth of decent courses in the So Bay area and surrounding communities. But I know I won't ever play CW again on a weekend.
Saturday round with three friends at Los Amigos this weekend. Had a 9:30 tee time and we all walked. POP was stop-start ... some places it flowed, others it jammed. No rhyme or reason.

Greens are a bit bumpy from traffic but roll pretty well all things considered, and even have some good pace to them. Fairways and rough, especially around the green, are thin and difficult to hit good shots from. Finding a perfect lie is a treat.

Bunkers are very good as usual here, and the tee boxes are a bit jacked up to be honest. A lot of traffic goes through here and just assume there's not a lot of room, time or the effort to really address that aspect of the course.

Fun fact: Finally went for the green on the short par 4 9th hole. Hit a bomb that landed safely on the back, top tier of that green, with a red flag. Three-putted for par. Hooray. The rest of the day was less extraordinary, much like the layout here until the final few holes.

I will always have a small place in my heart for The Friends, but I sure would love to have that romance reciprocated with much better conditions that I've seen here in days past.
Played a twilight round at Journey at Pechanga this past Friday after a work meeting in the area and you could not have asked for a better day or conditions. The course is in top-notch shape right now and I can't recommend it enough.

Fantastic greens - fast, pure and consistent. Fairways are green and lush with no bad lies all day. Rough is thick and varied in length so stay out! Bunkers are in good shape and the tee boxes are all just fine. POP was a breeze and we never caught anyone until the 13th hole.

Oh yes, speaking of the 13th hole, just a note on a new change at the course. They are in the process now of converting the par 5 13th hole into a par 4 and will convert the par 4 16th hole into a par 5 by moving the tee boxes back and widening the fairway to the right of the lake that extends down the entire left side.

Why they're making this change I have no idea, but that's what's happening. So currently they have the tee boxes on 13 really far up, but it remains a par 5 on the card for now, so rack up those birdies (and possibly eagles)!

If you've never played Journey before, it's a wild ride. It's got a little bit of it all. Wide open flats, target golf to the extreme, massive elevation shifts, water hazards, and just about everything in between. Just a fun place to play and when conditions are as perfect as they were on Friday, well that just makes golf all the more memorable.

Make it happen. Soon.
Got to play a recent twilight round at Encino and found the course to be in good winter condition overall, but have seen it better not that long ago. Greens are in very nice shape and much faster than you would expect. Definitely the highlight of the round.

Fairways and rough are winter thin. You're not going to get any lush lies here at this time, and even semi-lush is a big win at present. But it's not terrible, just not as good as it's been or could be. Rough is pretty much the same as the regular cut grass.

Tee boxes are worn and in need of leveling in some places, while the bunkers were serviceable on most of the ones I played. Not enough players raking the bunkers though, which is always upsetting.

Had a great POP which was nice, and the new GPS in the carts is basic, but appreciated. For $32, it's a great deal and a worthwhile place to stretch the legs and work on the basics. The course is flat, straight ahead and somewhat 'uninspiring,' but it's got teeth in its length and nice greens to keep you focused.
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