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Played a solo round at Skylinks this weekend after booking online with GolfNow. I knew in advance that this course won't deduct the price if you choose to walk instead of riding, so I left my cart at home and decided to ride.

When I arrived around 40 mins early for my 9:10am tee time, I asked for a medium bucket of balls and leisurely got them, found an open stall and began stretching out. As I was just about to hit my first ball, they called my name on the loudspeaker to go to the first tee. This was about 15 mins before my tee time, which is normally not an issue, but if you they knew we were going out early, why let me waste the money purchasing a bucket of balls? I also had no time time to hit the practice putting green so we were off to a poor start.

I normally really love this course but I was already in a down mood after that start, and then found the course to not be in the kind of shape that justifies premium pricing just under $100 on a Sunday morning. In good shape, no problem paying that price. But yesterday the fairways were pretty thin and had lots of dry spots, while the rough was often very thin or just mud/dirt. There were of course some good areas as well so don't think it's all a mess.

The greens were in good shape for sure so no complaints there ... they were at nice medium-fast speeds but took me a few holes (and two 3-putts) to get the speed down after not having any warmup reps. Nothing overly tricky on Skylinks greens so you get what you give. Good lines, nice coverage and holding shots well if we're being honest.

The bunkers were very disastrous though. Mostly incredibly thin and just miserable to play out of while giving every golfer there minimum confidence to make the shot. I don't ever recall the bunkers here being as poor as they are currently. Very tough pill to swallow when you're constantly finding them with every errant shot on an erratic back nine. Tee boxes were also just average or slightly above.

No cart service throughout the day which is kind of wild on a busy Father's Day Sunday, but at least there's a quick and easy snack shop at the turn. POP was really great for the first 5-6 holes as we were all alone, but we caught the group in front of us eventually and things slowed down for the rest of the round, but nothing too horrific in the end.

So overall it's tough to give Skylinks a great rating after yesterday's many disappointments, but I have no doubts that my next visit will be far better. I would just personally wait until you hear that the bunkers have been reloaded with some actual sand.
9 Likes.
I was very much looking forward to getting back down to Redhawk six years after my last visit for my GK Cup match with mpisarski. Matt was good enough to book us an 8:30am time on Sunday morning and, after a nice little warmup on their quaint but effective little driving range, we set off, opting to play from the black tees and riding in their very nicely appointed carts (including the small, not so in-your-face monitor for the GPS that Matt was gushing about).

Really fun layout with a nice variety of holes, some decent elevations (including the wild par 3 17th), strategic bunkers and water features, and some very deceptive greens that have some wild tiers to navigate. My past memories of the course were quickly dispelled as we found a Redhawk that was in pretty prime shape from tee to green - a far cry from the dried out and somewhat unkempt version that I remember from long ago.

Fairways are nice and lush and almost always providing a nice lie, while the rough was very thick in spots and there was also a lot of boggy, muddy areas that still had nice coverage but were quite difficult to shoot from. The bunkers were a little underwhelming to be fair, but playable, while the tee boxes were all in good shape. The greens, and more importantly the green complexes, were super fun, challenging and rewarding of solid putts. They were deceptively fast though as we watched plenty of them race past the hole until we got better at judging speeds. But as previously mentioned, there are some diabolical tiers at this place, and no green ever felt like it was going to give you anything easy.

POP was very good all day after we let a twosome pass us on the fourth hole. We never got pushed from behind for the rest of the round and we only had minimal waits for the group in front of us, so that was very cool. Cart service popped around a few times as well so it all went very smoothly for the day.

With a riding rate of $100 I believe, it was well worth it to play this much-improved version of one of Temecula's better courses. I think if you're planning a trip there soon that you won't be disappointed after your round.
13 Likes.
Played Encino this past week with kviser for our GK Cup match and am happy to report that this heavy-usage track is actually in quite good shape right now and well worth your time for the value. We played from the blue tees and I walked with a ridiculously affordable $32 rate. That just can't be beat anywhere, can it?

No one is going to mistake Encino for Bel-Air anytime soon, but it's at or near the top of its user-friendly game right now with well-covered fairways that mostly left good shots available (yes, of course you're going to find some thin patches out there), decent rough that wasn't difficult to play from, average bunkers that were playable and tee boxes that were far from pristine but level and in good working order.

The greens were in very fine shape indeed, however they rolled a bit slower than they appeared, however we all adapted fairly quickly as the day rolled on. They are consistent, hold shots very well and rolled pretty darn true. I can't even complain about too many pitch marks as it seems that most patrons had done a good job fixing them. Long may it last!

POP was pretty good as well with no major delays until the par 3 15th. It's a very long and tough hole so it usually always backs up there with so many bogeys or worse on the table. Didn't see any cart service either to my recollection, but we refueled at the turn a bit.

I would definitely recommend Encino right now for a great value and a solid if unspectacular golf course that will give you your fill as required.
10 Likes.
Played a midweek round here with some buddies for a birthday and was looking forward to it as I had not played here in around three years. I always remember how tough this course is as it's target golf pure on the front nine and then eases up a bit until the last three holes get a little crazy again.

First off - big props to the starter as the person who booked our foursome online only actually booked a twosome, but they managed to move things around for us to accommodate all four of us and keep our 10:10am tee time intact. They even made sure we got the online rate so that was truly above and beyond and many thanks for that.

We played from the blue tees and rode as this is most certainly not a walkable course. The elevations and gaps between some of the holes would render this a six-hour round every single time. That did not stop us from having a slow round ourselves though, but that leaned heavily on our group as one of our players was very ... deliberate. One thing I had never seen before though - on the cart display we actually got a POP time warning that said if we received two more we would be asked to leave. I've NEVER seen that before! Luckily we never got another one as we kept better pace with the group in front of us after that.

In terms of conditions, well, the greens are by far the best part of the course. They were slower than they appeared though and I kept missing putts short all day. But the lines were true and the coverage was nice. Held shots well, too. The rest was not as great. Fairways are really thin in a LOT of areas, there's a lot of dirt patches and the rough isn't much better. The cart paths themselves dive into lots of construction zones and there's kind of chaos all around on many parts of the track.

Bunkers were very odd as well as on some of the early holes there was pure, white sand that looked like a country club, but I never landed in any of those. When I did finally find bunkers on the back nine, they were of the more 'rustic' variety meaning thin, dry and with a few too many pebbles for my liking. I don't quite understand the inconsistency but it is what it is. Tee boxes were generally fine with some a little more beat up than others but all level and playable.

We had cart service a few times on a VERY hot day so that was good, and the carts are pretty nice and have everything you need with a decent GPS system. One other thing that was odd that we noticed around the 17th hole was that there were no ball washers on any of the tee boxes? Or did we simply miss them? Some of the routing here is testy but we managed.

I'm not sure I would be in any rush to come back to Eagle Glen as it's a place that is a lot of fun when you're hitting your spots, but very frustrating and even 'gimmicky' when you're not. Conditions are simply not the best overall either, but if they were then it would be a fun challenge again, just not anytime soon I feel.
14 Likes.
Played a recent emergency round at local course Alondra and just wanted to leave a quick review on current conditions. In a word - 'meh.' The fairways have a ton of dried out or dirt patches to contend with, and sometimes even a perfect drive ends up on some patchwork thin landing area to really frustrate you. The rough is always of mixed length, but also a lot of mayhem off the fairways. Bunkers were actually okay but the tee boxes were particularly beat up.

The greens are 'okay.' They're not particularly fast, they're not particularly consistent and about the only good thing you can say is that they hold shots well because of their relative sponginess. I've seen them worse for sure, but that's not exactly saying a lot.

POP was not great either as we had a very slow group of older gentlemen in front of us who remained at least a hole behind the group in front of them the entire round. No cart service either (which is common) but a very good little cafe in a convenient spot at the turn.

One thing of MAJOR note if you're very familiar with the banal layout at Alondra. The massive tree in the middle of the fairway/landing area on the 18th hole has been completely removed. It absolutely changes the difficulty of the hole and more clearly defines the hole's line into the green. It may shock you the first time you get back out there but what's done is done!
11 Likes.
Played another RPGC tournament this weekend at Simi Hills and, besides actually finishing in first place in my flight, found the course to be in pretty great shape with one or two minor exceptions throughout the round.

I was in the final group with a 12:50 tee time starting under grey skies that eventually cleared out as we approached the turn. I was assigned to play from the gold tees and rode with a fellow competitor. We had a nice POP most of the round and had cart service on the course a few times so everything in that regard was very solid.

Fairways are in good shape with mostly good lies on any fairways, but of course there are going to be a few thin areas here or there. The rough is thick but not too penal. Bunkers were not the best to be honest - found myself in two and both were very thin and dry but ultimately playable with a good shot. Just not inspiring much confidence. Tee boxes were all level and fairly well kept.

Greens were in really nice shape. Held shots well, were rolling consistently at medium-fast speed and the coverage was nice and uniform. Not even a lot of pitch marks anywhere to complain about so kudos to the greenskeeping crews there for having their greens in pretty optimal shape.

Fun layout, great value and just an all-around good time at Simi Hills. Make it happen.
9 Likes.
Met up with Mattias out in Palm Springs this weekend and we wanted to try out a new course at the right time and price so we snagged an 8:30am tee time at Desert Island. Just our luck the restaurant shut down the day before for summer, but there were some snacks available in the pro shop to get us going.

Grass range is somewhat small but perfectly functional and the first tee box is directly adjacent to it. We opted to ride on a hot early morning and played from the blue tees. Having little knowledge of this course, I assumed it would be one of those tight but relatively short, limited space tracks like Woodhaven or the old Rancho Mirage. I was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like either of those. Desert Island gives good account of itself in terms of narrow target areas (with lots of trees framing), plenty of dangerous water features on select holes, tough bunkers and actual length, especially with the varied par 3s. It's a lot of fun.

Conditions at end of peak season were also quite good. The greens did not necessarily look their very best, and some of the later ones still had some punch damage, but they rolled very true and consistently in terms of speed, and they weren't too tricked out or gimmicky at all. They held shots well and generally rewarded good putts. The fairways were also in very good shape overall with a few dry and thin spots here and there, while the rough was very playable and at a perfect length for the strays. Bunkers had nice sand in them and were always well stocked, while the tee boxes were mostly all flat and level with a few of them showing some wear.

There was no cart service which was a bummer on a hot day and a holiday weekend no less, but the real killer is no food/drink services at the turn. I'm not sure if there's an alternative later in the summer, but I would advise stocking up yourself if it remains like that for the coming months. POP was excellent with no waiting on the front nine, but I believe a group started on the back nine just in front of us and unfortunately they really brought the pace down but we still managed to finish in just over four hours.

I really enjoyed this course a lot more than I thought I would and would love to come back some time during prime time when it's even in better shape. I think it's a fun challenge as well, especially that crazy 9th hole island fairway that managed to take a big chunk out of what would have been a really good scorecard!
17 Likes.
Played a recent RPGC event on the home course and can't say that I was thrilled with the current course conditions. Unfortunately there are a lot of aspects of Rancho Park right now that have dropped off significantly since prior visits.

Played from the blue tees and walked and already saw a lot of trouble on the first green. Quite simply, the greens right now are in pretty bad shape. They're bumpy. Picking your line is a guessing game with all of the ruts and damage. There's no consistency of speed. It's a real mess right now on the greens and I don't how it happened so quickly.

Fairways are okay in most high-traffic areas but there sure are a lot of new areas that could use some GUR flagging. A lot of thin and dirt areas just off the fairways on a lot of holes, plus a lot of mowed shavings everywhere to easily lose your ball. The bunkers were in good shape which was surprising, and the tee boxes were mostly okay being both level and decently covered with grass, but not surprisingly a few of them are quite beat up.

Playing in a tournament, the POP was actually moving pretty nicely throughout the round so that's about the best I can say. Unfortunately, not only was the snack shop at the 12th hole green closed on a busy day, but the vending machine next to it was completely empty. That's just lousy customer service when a lot of golfers know the layout and look forward to that nice refueling station before tackling the last half-dozen or so holes. Disappointing.

I'm more than certain that Rancho Park will get its act together again soon, especially when it comes to the greens, but I would certainly not recommend it right at this moment. There are just too many factors that are not up to their usual standards at this moment.
15 Likes.
Made the decent trek out to Chino Hills to play Los Serranos (south) with a buddy this past weekend and was not disappointed with the decision. We had a relatively early 9:20am tee time and opted to play from the white tees since at 6600 yards it's still all you can handle and with a par 74 and six par 5s you need all the help you can get.

It was a gloomy start to the day but by the back nine the sun came out and it turned into a glorious afternoon. The course is really in pretty darn good shape right now with no major complaints about any aspects of its condition. Greens are in a really nice way right now, holding shots and lines well and being a very consistent medium-fast speed. Nothing gimmicky about these green complexes - get the ball there, make a good putt and you'll be rewarded.

The fairways are green and have very nice coverage, while the rough fluctuates from very playable to quite penal. Bunkers were in nice condition and very playable, while the tee boxes were mostly good but some of the par 3s were in rough shape - most notably the 9th hole which was pretty much just dirt so that was the worst part of any of the course on this day.

The course is hilly and difficult to walk so we opted for carts, but if you're feeling very adventurous then you can hoof it. The snack shop at the highest point of the property is very well set up and will provide everything you need but it comes well before the turn so plan accordingly.

Overall it was a very nice day at Los Serranos and I would highly recommend grabbing a time there right now if you can snag one.
15 Likes.
Piggybacking off yesterday's review of Chester Washington, the greens are indeed currently punched and sanded and an absolute travesty. I've putted on aerated greens before that still held lines or rolled somewhat true, but the current greens at CW are nigh unplayable and just plain awful. Sure would have been nice to have been informed in advance.

Aside from the green issues, the only bunker that actually had great sand in it was 'Ground Under Repair,' while all the other ones were thin, had rocks in them and weren't very pleasant to play from. I don't understand why the one good one was 'closed.'

Some good things? The course is more green than usual and the fairways are actually in pretty nice shape all around. The rough is thick and can be very penal if you find yourself in an extra thick patch or underneath some of the mowed shavings that can be find in a lot of areas. The tee boxes were mostly good but not all completely level so you had to find a good spot.

POP was not great with big lines at every single par 3 that often went three groups deep. It's somewhat maddening to get into a flow and then be constantly held up and lose all sense of rhythm and timing. There was no cart service at all during the afternoon and the snack shop is sadly in a very inconvenient spot going away from the 9th green in the opposite direction of the 10th tee box.

Luckily though, for all the course's current inadequacies, the cost is reasonable for a walking fee of around $43. The driving range is dated and kind of small, but it's functional and conveniently located near the first tee. But at the end of the day, why are they punching greens again in May when it was already done in April like everywhere else?
10 Likes.
Played Los Verdes this past weekend with Mattias and played a really decent round in somewhat gloomy coastal weather on a course that's about as good as it's going to get right now. We had a 12:10 tee time and played from the white tees as this course still gives you all that you can handle from that yardage.

As the previous review mentions, the course is in really fine shape right now from tee to green. No, it's not Riviera or anything, but if you've played here often, you know it can sometimes get rough around the edges from all the traffic, but right now the fairways and rough are well kept and producing many good lies, while the bunkers and tee boxes are mostly in good shape, and the greens are their usual devilish selves. They're running fast, true and holding shots well while simultaneously being tricky and challenging.

POP has not been a big issue here thankfully the last few times I've played Los Verdes, but for some reason on this particular day a slow round regrettably reared its ugly head again. We moved fine for the first two holes, then got caught up with two groups waiting at the par 3 3rd hole, but things loosened up later and we coasted nicely until the back nine. That's when the older, slower group in front of us decided to have lunch or something and when we got to the 10th tee box, they were just teeing off and an entire hole behind. This frustrating pattern continued until they apparently got the message and more or less skipped the green on the 13th hole. In the end the round played at around five hours.

Other than that though, it was a tremendous day despite the fog and cold rolling in later in the afternoon. The greens fee at Los Verdes is always a bargain for the nice course you get, and this day was no exception. They were also kind enough to change the online cart price for us as were both walking to get some steps in.

So basically, it's about as good a time as you'll ever get to play this legendary local course.
12 Likes.
Weekend round with Mattias at Rec Park and found the course to be in pretty good shape overall. The weather was not as nice as hoped for but luckily the course conditions were good enough to overcome that.

We had a 1:20pm tee time and played from the blue tees. Ordered online with carts late but we both walked and were happy with the starter who gave us the walking rate and didn't lock us in to the cart rate - well done. Driving range is pretty odd but functional. Very old mats and balls.

Fairways were in good shape with the occasional thin areas out and about. The rough was not thick enough to be penal but there are a few areas to get in trouble here. Bunkers were pretty thin and didn't look too great, while the tee boxes were mostly okay - flat and level. Greens were running very inconsistently from hole to hole but in good shape in terms of coverage. There are few tricky greens here but most are pretty manageable. Lines and shots held pretty well but again, inconsistent speeds made them more difficult than they should be.

We had cart service come around a few times which was great, but the POP started off amazing as we never waited on a single hole until the par 4 6th where everything came to a grinding halt and we were two groups behind. This lasted throughout much of the rest of the round which was disappointing after such a nice start. Ultimately we played in just under five hours.

Rec Park is certainly the most 'Muni' of all the Long Beach courses but it's still fun on its day and I would give it a recommendation right now.
13 Likes.
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