Golf Course Reviews
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Played Torrey North on Wednesday as the last round of the San Diego swing. Overall the conditions are pretty good. Fairways are great. Nice and lush throughout without any thin or brown areas that I saw. Greens, were flowering but still rolled fairly smooth albeit at a much slower pace than Aviara. Not sure if Aviara greens were that fast or Torrey was that slow but a huge difference between the two. Tee boxes were level with ample coverage. Bunkers were also great as you would expect from a course of this quality. Rough was absolutely BRUTAL! Not that deep but super sticky and would grab your club.

I’m not a huge fan of the layout as there are only a few interesting holes. Most are just dead straight with little to no trouble. I get the no trees between the fairways as it keeps the view opened up to enjoy the scenic ocean below. But some dog legs here and there would hurt. Put in a water hazard on the par 5’s for a forced carry on second shot? Something to make you think. Just my opinion is all.
No trip to San Diego is complete without a round at Aviara. Tee’d off at 8AM in the thick overcast marina layer which never lifted all day. As anyone who has read my reviews, knows, I absolutely love Aviara and it’s a top 10 personal course. Course layout is challenging yet fun. Full of beauty with great conditions to back it up. Today was no exception. The course is just short of perfection.

Greens which are large in size, rolled perfectly smooth at a nice fast pace. Greens held well struck approach shots well. Fairways were super lush and a nice deep emerald green throughout. Because fairways were wet from the morning dew and watering, they didn’t offer superior roll out but enough.

Tee boxes were laser level with perfectly mowed lush grass. Sand traps had ample sand that was a bit wet early on then dried out nicely, presenting a perfect bunker shot opportunity.

Initial rough was decent enough but about a foot in it got a bit patchy. The one blemish on the course. Customer service is always top notch at Aviara.

I can’t wait to play it again soon!
Yesterday’s afternoon round was at Coronado. In two words LOVED IT! I’ve had this course on my to Play list for a few years now and I finally got out yesterday afternoon. The course did not disappoint. The views are awesome. Starting off on the first few holes with the Coronado Bridge in the background as well as the Naval ships. From there you continue through the flat, easily walkable parkland style layout that has some water hazards mixed in to keep the aesthetics flying while navigating mostly straight forward holes until you get to the back nine which has a couple of strategic holes including the horseshoe par 5 which even though I took the long way around on the outside, I nearly claimed the OGBC back from Long4par!! But not to be this time. From there you circle back to the bay and follow the water (as in the water is 10’ from the edge of the fairway) back in to the clubhouse. Views of the marina are plenty full.

Condition wise, the course is in excellent shape tee to green. Greens are modest in size and undulations. Enough to keep things from being boring, but mild enough to let beginners have a fair shot at a two putt. They rolled very smooth at a medium to medium fast pace.

Fairways were great. Lush and green throughout along with offering good roll out on drives. Bunkers had plenty of sand in them and tee boxes were nice and level.

Price was very reasonable especially given the location, views, and playing conditions. I will definitely play this course again!! I took plenty of pictures which I will upload in a day or two!!
Played Riverwalk this morning with a 7:30 AM tee time. This was my first time playing here and the short version is, the course is ok but I don’t know if I’d play it again. Not because the course was that bad condition or layout wise, it’s just that it was average all around and for my once a year trip to San Diego, there are better courses at similar price points that I’d rather play.

Greens are fine. They rolled smooth at a medium pace. I had a completely different experience with the fairways than Long4par. Most of the fairway areas I was in were thin and patchy. Layout wise, the course had a number of water features and forced carries so that was good. Again. If I lived in the area, I’d put it in the rotation but for me, it’ll be a few years before I play it again
I played Lake Chabot yesterday morning with an 8AM tee time on what was probably the best day for weather. I’ve been wanting to play this course and experience the infamous Par 6 hole. More on that later. In general it was a fun course with decent conditions at a reasonable price. As far as the overall condition of the course go, it was better than I expected. I was fearful that the fairways would be thin and bare. To contrary they were green with decent coverage throughout. Greens rolled smooth at a medium pace. Just a tad slower than I prefer, but in the acceptable range. Most greens are single tier with a traditional back to front slope. Greens are small here. And when I say small, I mean they make the greens at Del Monte look like Rancho Solano greens! Greens were receptive to approach shots and held well struck shots. I wasn’t in any bunkers and this course is light on bunkers. Tee boxes were flat with good coverage albeit with funky grass. Not an issue if using a driver with the ball tee’d up but could cause issues with an iron.

Now for the course layout. It sits on top of a hill so there are tons of elevation changes throughout. Course plays short so you will have a lot of short irons and wedges into the greens. Holes 14-16 have views of the SF bay, the City and the Bay Bridge so that was cool.

The oddest thing about the course is that the entrance road goes right through the middle of Holes 2-6. On an early weekday morning with little golfers out it wasn’t an issue but come prime time weekend, I see a lot of cars being hit with golf balls. Very odd! Speaking of elevation changes, I’m not sure if it was because I had a headache or if it was an optical illusion but most of the holes looked way longer than they actually were. Trust your numbers on you range finder, scorecard, GPS app etc.

Now for the infamous Par 6. It plays extremely downhill and really should just bee a par 5. I played two balls and one I hit into the right rough and had to punch out. Even with a couple poor shots I still had a 5’ putt to save “Par”. The second ball was a fantastic tee shot (that was probably in the top 5 of tee shots for me in the last 3 years). I followed that with a solid 4 iron for a second shot and had all of 80 yards left to the green for my 3rd. Still it was a lot of fun.

In fact i enjoyed the course as a whole. As I mentioned before, given the playing conditions, course layout and price, it gets a thumbs up from me.
Just a quick update since I mentioned the greens had tiny holes in my last review. Played in the afternoon on 5/23 and greens are in fantastic condition. Rolling perfectly smooth at a medium fast pace along with being receptive to approach shots. Rest of the course is in great shape as always.

Also, I believe they are allowing carts ( 90 degree rule ) out on most fairways. Always an enjoyable walk though.
After a couple month hiatus from Spanish Bay, I was back out yesterday with some good friends, including DeepSea14. Whereas the course is in great shape overall, I will say it is a notch below its usual fantastic condition. I may be a tough critic as I have a lot of samples to draw against. We tee’d off just before Noon in cool but not cold weather. I was in short sleeve for 17 1/2 holes so no complaints. We had a modest 1 club wind most of the day. For the afternoon, it was definitely acceptable.

Greens had recently been punched with tiny holes that were mainly filled in and hardly noticeable. In fact the ball rolled very true at an acceptable medium fast pace. Aside from the aesthetics of the greens they were in actually nice shape. I did notice that on Hole 12 there was a brown streak running across the green. It was in a perfect straight line so my guess is it followed the drainage pipe under the green and had something to do with that. My 7 rating for the greens is probably a bit harsh but oh well.

As for the fairways, I’m happy to say I got to actually experience all of the fairways this time! Again, overall the fairways were lush and a nice emerald green. I knocked the rating down to an 8 just because as I mentioned before, I’ve seen them in better shape. Tee boxes were excellent. No issues there. I was in two green side bunkers and they were fine. I was also in my share of fairway bunkers which I was quite upset about. It’s just wrong to punish a player for hitting it straight!! I propose a new rule. No fairway bunkers in the MIDDLE of the fairway!! Anyway, they were in excellent shape. We had a big gap in front of us so no issue with the POP.

I love this course with its scenic views and solid playing conditions. Course layout offers a great variety of holes with a handful of forced carries to really keep you on your toes. the greens are tricky to say the least, but other than that it’s a double thumbs up in my book.
I played yesterday and the greens are still recovering from recent aeration. They rolled very slow and a bit bumpy. The rest of the course is in nice shape. POP is always on the slow slide here. Usually 5 hour rounds minimum.

It’s a challenging layout that makes it fun but my guess is it leads to a lot of lost balls which causes the delay while people are searching
I wanted to try a new course and picked Peacock Gap. It sits just off the bay in San Rafael. Sadly it sits on a flat piece of land which is surrounded by rolling hills that block any view of the bay. Being flat, the course would be easy to walk, especially since the transfers are very short. The pro shop is small in size, however it looks like they have a few different restaurants, catering halls that are all new looking.

The layout is pretty much completely flat but does have a couple of creeks and a water hazard to keep things interesting. The course yardage is short, however due to some longer Par 3’s (made even longer with the nasty wind today) the course feels longer than it actually is. Condition wise, in short, I’d say average muni like condition. Greens were ok. Moderate size with some challenging slopes but nothing crazy. Greens rolled smooth albeit on the slow side. Greens held approach shots fairly well. I will say that it was super windy which had more effect on the ball checking than the greens. Naturally shots into the wind held great while downwind shots would easily roll off the back of the green if not landed in the right spot.

Fairways were firm and offered great roll out. They were a bit on the thin side for ball striking purposes, but nothing too bad. Rough was only about 1.5 inches tall. Manageable but shots coming out of the rough with the wind were unpredictable.

Tee boxes were all level with good coverage. I was in five greenside bunkers and all had decent sand in them. Nothing as good as the bunkers at Hunter Ranch, but good enough to get a quality shot out of.

As I mentioned before it was super windy (2-3 club wind) so I’d be curious to see how this course plays in benign conditions. Would I recommend it? If you’re in the area, sure. If you only have a chance to play one round while here for a week/end, you can probably find better options, but this course will work.
Was out at Hunter Ranch yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve played this favorite course. Hunter Ranch is a super fun and challenging course that offers a good mix of strategic shot making skills and enough grip it and rip it holes to let it fly. The elevation changes make the course fun but yet it’s still definitely walkable for those in decent shape.

The greens rolled super smooth at a nice medium fast pace. Greens are almost always in excellent condition here. Right now the fairways are also in top shape. They are super lush throughout. Sand traps have some of the best high quality sand in the business. They rival any top notch course.

I can’t say enough about what a fun course this is that also has the playing conditions to match. Prices are on the rise but still worth it. If you are traveling between Nor Cal and So Cal, Hunter Ranch is a great place to stop and play to break up the drive. It’s also in the middle of the Central Coast Wine District so it’s the perfect place to go for a weekend getaway. Golf in the morning and wine tasting (or bike riding) in the afternoon. It’s surrounded by some great back roads too for the car enthusiasts. Just remember, clubs in the trunk, wife in the front seat. I always get that one wrong!!
Played Pacific Grove GC on Wednesday afternoon with JusGas88 for his first round back after a ten month layoff due to injury. The course was in fairly nice condition overall, though the greens were on the slow side. We tee’d off at 2:30 PM. Afternoons can get windy here as it’s right on the ocean as everyone knows. Wednesday was no exception, though the wind wasn’t too bad. Easily a 1 club wind and sometimes a full two club wind. Most of the greens are traditional back to front slope. They rolled on the slower side but did roll smooth. The odd thing was they were a tad firm and even good approach shots didn’t check up.

Fairways were in very nice condition. Lush throughout but still offerred good roll out. Front nine is tight, placing a premium on accuracy, while the back nine fairways widen up some, so you can grip and rip it. Back nine also has unobstructed views of the ocean which is right across the street. Rough wasn’t too penal, thick enough to stop your ball from rolling but manageable to hit from.

Tee boxes were all in decent shape. Level and good coverage throughout. Even the short Par 3’s had good enough coverage amongst the divots to get a clean area to place your ball on. I don’t remember being in any sand traps. POP was …. Well that’s a different topic but we had two slow groups in front of us. One was a foursome of younger guys (20’s) in which two were just learning (sharing clubs). Given their experience they weren’t too bad but yes they fell behind. Here’s the thing. They were out mid week late afternoon so it wasn’t like they were taking prime tee slots and holding people up. We were all beginners at one point so I guess the afternoon during mid week is the best time to get out on the course. Once we got around them at the turn we had about 3 holes of clear sailing. Then we caught up to the next slow player(s). It was an older gentleman who was out with his (high school aged) grandson. The guy had bad arthritis and could barely walk (it was painfully slow), but man he could swing a club!! Gotta be patient with the elderly. We will all be there someday (hopefully).

All in all it was an enjoyable walk in nice enough weather to keep the sweatshirt off until about the 16th hole.
DeepSea14 and I played out GK Cup match at Rancho Solano. This is a really nice course. Sure the weather was perfect when we played on Tuesday afternoon and with prime spring conditions, most courses are in good shape right now, but Rancho Solano seems to be in this nice condition every time we play here. Country Club conditions with Muni course prices? Yep, that about sums it up.

The course is hilly and has a handful of water hazards so you already know it has a big plus in my book. Fairways are fairly wide. Definitely room to get a little loose with a drive but there are plenty of trees lining the edges that you are doomed if you get wild. Fairways were in great shape and had the perfect blend of lushness with roll. The rough was thick and penal. Only about 2”-2.5” tall but the ball would often sit down and make it tough to get a quality shot.

As mentioned before, the greens are huge here and have several undulations. The rolled smooth at a great pace. Wicked fast downhill but otherwise manageable.

I don’t remember being in any of the bunkers (probably why I won the match). Tee boxes were level and lush. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable layout with good conditions. We stuck around and had a burger in the clubhouse afterwards. It’s nothing fancy, but has that locals feeling. Plenty of folks in there enjoying a meal/drink which is always good to see.
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