Golf Course Reviews
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I played Porter Valley as part of the GK/GolfMoose event on Monday, 11/15/21. The event was setup well with registration a breeze, thanks to Johnny & others. POP was fine for a shotgun start event and the course was in great shape. The only issue was there was no food available and the cart girl ran out of sandwiches very early into the round. Note to self, pack snacks!

The course itself is a deceptive but fair challenge that although short on the card, demands good shot making. There are some great views of the valley and hillsides as it winds itself through some homes and a good number f the holes play uphill adding to the deception of what you see on the card.

The tee boxes were in great shape, somewhat small, but very well maintained. The fairways were excellent and I don't remember seeing any brown spots or ground under repair. The greens are the teeth of this course. They roll true and were somewhat quick, but being nestled among the trees and rolling hills made subtle little breaks difficult to see and prepare to hang on anytime you're above the hole.

I was warned by many that this was a very tight course. Because of the distance, driver wasn't automatic off the tees often so again, it becomes a shot makers dream. I think most of us in SoCal are so used to desert courses and wide fairways that tree lined fairways get in our heads a bit. The fairways are all tree lined and there are many well placed mature trees that just demands that you not always try to bomb it, but think through the shots and do your best to execute. In my case, that wasn't always the case, but I think with prior knowledge and good planning this course can be a a favorite of many.

I highly recommend trying to get out to Porter Valley whenever the opportunity arises. I definitely look forward to getting back there and hopefully getting the better of it next time.
8 Likes.
I played this gem on Wednesday, 9/15/21 as part of a Guru event, playing with Nate, Gary & Alan. We had a great time with plenty of laughs, even more help finding balls, and sympathy all around as this track is a challenge.

The staff was very friendly & helpful. The Pro Shop was very welcoming and pointed out areas we may need to visit or use as well as thanking us for coming by. The snack bar was nice a swell.

Onto the course. This is a classic 100 year old course that honestly reminded me of earlier years playing some classics back east. Large well positioned trees all around, beautiful views, deep and well placed bunkers and ample fairways keep you on your toes all day. It seems as though the first 7 or 8 holes all played uphill, but there are scoring opportunuites out there. Large green complexes are fair but difficult to figure out at points.

The tees were flat and showed few ball marks. The fairways were in great shape with great coverage. The bunkers were in nice shape as well. I thought the true test to the entire course were the approach shots. Greens accepted shots very well but had a number of false fronts, were large so you could have a 50 footer as easily as being tucked tight, and had many subtle but serious breaks, especially if putting across them. Downhill putts wee quick and uphill putts were difficult to get to the hole. You really need to be on your game here!

With the exception of Winged Foot, which I played some 30 years ago, I don't remember playing such a challenging course. It's beautiful, well maintained, with a great atmosphere, but at the end you'll feel like you've just tested everything you've got. I look forward getting back there one day, but if I don't, Im happy having had the chance. Thanks again to Johnny for setting this up!
9 Likes.
Played Indian Wells/Players course as part of a GK Plays event on 9/12/21. It was hot which is to be expected but this track doesn't disappoint at any level.

The practice facilties here are very nice although there were 2 junior tournaments going on so getting on the range was difficult. Customer service all around was fantastic, from the cart people to the Pro Shop and restaurant there is no stone unturned, they all make you feel as if your their #1 priority.

The tees are flat and nice sized with many tees to accommodate any skill level. Very few divots and all that were there had been filled in nicely. Fairways were great to hit from and lush. Many require precise positioning and there's plenty of water alongside and in front of you, some flat and some with rolling hills. The traps are well positioned and well maintained.

Green complexes are exception and challenging. It may look flat, but there's a lot of subtle breaks that make you shake your head at times. Fair, but demanding. They received shots well and most were quite large.

The rough was also lush and in spots quite thick. Again, very fair, but avoiding it will make the round considerably easier.

I had great time here and look forward to going back at any chance. Highly recommended!!
9 Likes.
I was able to play Valencia CC as part of a Golf Moose/GK event yesterday, 8/16/21 and was so glad I did!
This course lived up to all the hype. Big holes, wide fairways, big greens and lots of traps, but everything was in great shape. The fairways are lush with full cover and distinctly defined. The rough is thick and penal but not unfair. Tee boxes were in good shape, level and fairly wide as well. The greens is where we got a big break. They roll true, have plenty of undulations and tricky breaks, are large, but were covered with a very thin layer of sand, keeping them from being very fast. I honestly can't imagine what putting on super quick greens here would do to my scores here. They are were great!

The experience here was more than I had expected. Golf Moose & Greenskeeper did a great job of making everyone comfortable and got us off on time and kept the POP right where it should have been. The course staff were friendly and helpful as well.

If it sounds like I'm gushing here, I probably am.. It was a fun event, the course is difficult and challenging but not unfair at all. Course knowledge would have helped in a couple of areas, but now that I've seen it, I look forward to getting back whenever I have the chance.
11 Likes.
Played Ridge Creek at Dinuba Sunday 8/8/21 as part of a GK Guru event. What a great golf course! The staff is friendly, attentive, and happy to answer any questions or address concerns. The practice faciity is second to none! There's a huge range, multiple chipping greens and 2 great areas to work on your intermediate game as well. When I read on their webpage that they had one of the largest practice facilities in California it didn't prepare me for what I saw. Amazing!

Onto the course. The tees were in great shape and some of the largest tee areas I've seen. Some tee boxes were fully 25 yards wide! All were flat and in very nice shape. The fairwarys are fully covered & lush, and more often than not felt like you were teeing it up. The penalty areas are penal. Thick long grasses line the fairways and many native areas that leave you with some difficult lies. Fortunately, I didn't have deal with them often. The greens are true and receptive. Speed was medium and very few bare spots. The tough part here is that apparently water is n't an issue here and they were very soft. Even soft floating approaches left huge ball marks and repairing them can be daunting. Many didn't take much time with repair and as a result they were bumpy in many places. This golf course doesn't dissapoint though.

If there was one negative, it was there is no cart girls and water is tough to find on course. Although there were 3 well placed restrooms out there, some were locked and didn't have any running water. In a location where triple digit temps prevail, hydration has to be a concern and seemed to be overlooked. Although this was a concern I will definitely be back, just more prepared.

If you're looking for a challenging, pretty course in the middle of nowhere, this is the place to be. There are many difficult holes, but it's completely fair and a joy to play.
6 Likes.
We played Simi Hills last Tuesday 5/4/21 and were able to have 2 matches in the GK Cup.

The course is shaping up nicely after recently punching the greens and in anticipation of the City Championship the first week of June. Tees are flat and lush with a few bare spots on edge, but typical;;y not in play. The fairways are much the same with nice grass and occasional bare spots along edges but not normally in play.

The greens are firm, receive shots well, and are running medium fast but true. There are a few difficult multi-tiered greens but for the most part, although challenging with minor undulations and a few false fronts are nice sized and well manicured.

Customer service is great. We saw the cart girl all day long, orders food on the turn and it was ready when we got there, and the desk guys were welcoming and friendly.

for a muni that gets a lot of play, I don't think you can do much better for the price. The marshals do a fair job of keeping the pace moving and although it is my home course, I highly recommend this to anyone coming out to Ventura County. You won't be disappointed.
8 Likes.
I played here on Saturday 4/10/21 with a 9:50 tee time as part of a Men's Club event. POP was decent, getting around in 4:10. Customer service is somewhat sketchy as they are still completely using Covid restrictions. The grill is only open through a small door and only outdoor seating is available. There was only 1 person working the grill on a fairly busy Saturday afternoon.

Although the course is short, we played from the Blues, at under 5900 yards, it is still somewhat challenging and a nice respite from stepping up and thinking you have to bomb it to score. Sadly the greens were punched almost 3 weeks ago and are very bumpy. For the most part, the fairways were in pretty good shape although there were a few really thin spots. The traps were in good shape and the rakes are back. Tees are flat but were a bit shaggy for my taste.

This was my first time here and I definitely want to go back after the greens have completely healed. I think it would be a fun round with friends. Of course, the ocean breezes come in the afternoon, but it just helps keep the high temps from being unbearable. Easy access from the 101 in Ventura, but were is almost no practice area with the exception of 2 small netted slots beihind the pro shop.
6 Likes.
We played the GK Cup final here on 3/14/21 and had an 11:25 tee time. The staff were wonderful and attentive, the practice facility is great, and the weather was also amazing.

At first look it seems as though there a ton of traps and that they squeeze a lot of drives into smaller spaces, but there's more room generally that you would expect. The greens are all well trapped as well with some big lips and faces, but there was plenty of firm sand in them which allowed for some nice recovery shots. There were a few rakes scattered about as well which was nice to see.

Tee boxes were in great shape and the fairways were firm and well manicured. The greens were very firm but accepted shots and rolled true and not as fast as I had remembered. Many pin placements in the front which demanded that you land short of the green and let the ball release to get anywhere close. Thankfully, it wasn't real sticky or soft and with well executed shots those front pins were accessible.

As always Desert Willow showed it's best. It was beautiful, fair, but challenging, and left very little to be desired. I will always look for opportunities to play here and am already looking forward to our next stop there.
16 Likes.
I played a shotgun start Men's Club tourney here on Saturday 1/9/2021. It was a good time but as a result of the format, the POP was slow at 4:35 and it was chilly to start, but once the sun came out it turned into a beautiful day.

The course was mostly dormant so all of the fairways were browned out and very thin. In some spots there was no grass, but the ground, for the most part, was soft yet firm, so making shots wasn't impossible. The interesting part as a result of so little grass was some crazy long run outs. Playing short of the green was a viable option often, especially to a front pin location, as it almost always would end up on the green. If you hit a decent drive and was fortunate to catch a downhill landing area, drives would run 50 -60 year's routinely.

The greens were bumpy but receptive and of medium speed with a lot of subtle breaks. If they had been any faster these greens would be exceptionally difficult to putt, but for the most part they were ok.

Tee areas were mostly lush and level. Some damage here and there but mostly along the edges and not in play. Finally the traps were in nice shape with somewhat dark, fine sand and although there were no rakes, well maintained.

The layout could be fun under slightly more lush conditions. you will use most clubs in the bag. Driver isn't the go to club on many mid length par 4's as you could easily go way through the fairways on some hard doglegs if you don't cut off big chunks of the corner. Many elevated tees and there are a few blinds shots, off the tee as well as approaches.

I look forward to going back in the spring after some rain but don't think I'd make the drive to go in the winter again. Customer service was great, the cart girl was continually coming around as I think we saw her at least 5 times. Standard Covid rules are in place and there's a nice practice putting green and the range has both mats and grass options.
9 Likes.
Played here on 12/13/2020 as part of a GK Plays event and had a blast! I was paired up with Alan, Dean, and Peter and couldn't have asked for a better group, we joked, played hard, and commiserated with one another much more than we had hoped. I look forward to getting together with any of them in the future.

Now onto the course. Although limited, the customer service is top notch. They were all helpful, friendly, and just made you feel as though they wanted you to have a great time. All off our carts were lined up and had our names on them, for a comfortable, nice touch. I look forward to being here post Covid and experiencing them at the fullest.

I enjoyed the layout. There are a lot of sand traps but they are wonderfully maintained and very fair. Fazio did a great job of making things challenging but still fair. Typically there was more room than it originally appeared, but visually at times it was intimidating and demanded solid shots. The views of surrounding mountains and the valley were exceptional!

Tee boxes were in excellent shape, level, full coverage and with very little divot damage. Fariways were also in good shape although, in a few spots the tough weather season had taken a bit of a toll. Honestly though, not enough to affect the round terrible.

The greens were rolling medium fast and with multiple levels on most and plenty of undulation they were challenging but again, fair. I asked the rest of my group if they thought the greens were accepting shots well and they all shrugged their shoulders which didn't help much, but we had a good number of shots that hit a bit deeper middle of the green that jumped hard and ended up quite a way off the back. This isn't necessarily a complaint but something to adjust to and after about 15 holes I finally figured it out. (Guess that's on me).

I look forward to going back, it was a great place to play. Sadly it's quite a drive from Ventura County so will only go down there for an event, but I highly recommend this one as one of the nicest tracks in SoCal.
12 Likes.
Played here yesterday with the Guru's and had a blast. I arrived early and was shocked by the number of cars in the parking lot on a Monday. Sadly, this was reflected by our POP today as the course was packed. Still, after a touch over 4 1/2 hours I have few if any complaints.

We played the Creekside/Ridgeline pair. Fairways were in great shape for this time of year with lush covering all around, rating 8.5/10. Greens were slightly fast but held shots nicely and rolled beautifully. Whoever cut the holes today must have had a terrible weekend! Pin positions on many holes were very difficult and definitely not what I expected on a Monday, rating 8/10. Tee boxes were level and well maintained, rating 8/10. Rough is as usual here, thin in a few places and very thick in others, but fair all the way around, rating 7.5/10.

Very seldom does this track disappoint and today was another great example of that. Customer service was great, they have a great practice area, and its hard to imagine a more scenic track inland. I highly recommend to anyone that's not a beginner.
6 Likes.
Played GK Cup Match with Mike.Pugh & SR714 with an 11:56 tee time. Typical Covid protocols were in place, check in outdoors, masks required in all public areas, snack bar was open and a few tables were missing on the patio. POP was 4:15.

Overall it was a great day! We had a spirited match where we split points right down the middle. It's pretty easy to review this course. The greens were amazing, slightly faster than average but smooth and ran true. The fairways were in very nice shape considering all of our recent weather and the tees were also in great shape. Tee markers seemed very narrow and I felt didn't give you much room to try to shape a shot or be creative, but that's honestly the only concern I had here.

The course layout is great with a good mix of tough holes, a few routine holes and a couple of quirky holes that you need to have some experience with to play them correctly. This was my first time at this track but I am already looking forward to going back. Definitely recommend!!
11 Likes.
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