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Played BG with the GK Gurus on 6/25. Another fun day with the group, glad we are finally able to start these outings again. I thought the course was in very good condition. Greens were smooth, quick, but still very receptive to full shots. We did see a couple of unexpectedly firm bounce on chips. Saw a couple of minor semi-bare spots on a couple of greens, but they were well away from the cups.

Fairways were the best I have seen them here. I saw a recent review that thought the fairways should have been mowed tighter for more roll. I have the alternate view, I don't mind thicker fairways. I much prefer hitting off a layer of soft grass versus hitting off a hard ground. The fairways now are much more to my liking. Rough and tee boxes were good.

It appears that they have been adding sand to the greenside bunkers, so those are nice and fluffy. The fairways bunkers haven't added sand yet, so those are more paced dirt.

Black Gold still continues to get a highly recommended rating from me. It is a fun course to play, and usually in good condition.

First time playing off the white tees here, and that makes for a stranger course. Should have taken the driver out of my hands many times, but I am much more confident in my driver and that brought some unnecessary trouble into play.

Do take precautions to protect yourself as best you can here. The range and clubhouse area was packed all afternoon, may have been a high school age tournament although I didn't see them on the course. Many of the youngster had face masks, but many did not even in the clubhouse. Busy place.
12 Likes.
Played Twin Oaks first off on 06/16/20. There was a big junior tourney going off in the morning, so the course was well prepped.

Greens were really nice. Smooth, and a little quick but not difficult except that I could not read the breaks at all. Fairways, there were several bare areas marked as ground under repair, but outside of those spots the fairways were really nice. Tee boxes were a bit soggy, but generally in good shape. Rough is average - sometimes good, sometimes iffy.

In all, course was better today than I remember it in the past. Fun to play.
11 Likes.
Played GC-Cal early on 5/28. My first time back out in 3 months! Course is in very good shape. Greens are as good as I have seen them since their private club days. Fairways are good. Traps were nice as the staff must have raked them before we started.

Still one of my favorite tracks in the area. Highly recommended with the following warning.

Weber is correct, that fence on #12 is awful. After reading his review, I expected a fence brought in from the farm boundary. However, that fence runs right down the middle of the tee boxes, which effectively means you have 1/4 tee box remaining. The fence cuts off a good 20 yards from the left boundary. Yes, those 20 yards are in the trees, but with the left to right fairway slope to the lake. that means you have a safe landing area of 1/4 of the left edge of the fairway. 10-15 yard left - OB. 10-15 yards right - pond. And it is a 200+ plus yard carry from the tee to the safe landing area. It used to be a miss left rattles in the trees, then drops down the slope into the fairway leaving a long approach. That option is gone now. It requires a 225 yard shot more accurate than a par 3. It is just a bad hole now, I'd vote for turning it into a short par 3 rather than a bad par 4.

I inquired about the reason - apparently Bonsall ISD has that area marked for a new high school, but has lost the finance vote over several elections. So they have fenced off their land. Must have been a surveyor issue as it does take a hunk of #12 away.
10 Likes.
Played Oak Creek on 3/11/20. The bones are pretty good....tees, fairways, greens all in good shape. Greens are pretty slow for this place - give it a good whack. Sand is good.

Rough is very hit or miss.

There are numerous cart path sections being ripped out and replaced. Makes it an adventure to get around.

POP was not good given the limited crowd. We had a single playing multiple balls two groups up, and she was holding up the twosome and threesome following. She finally joined the twosome in the middle of the back 9, but that didn't help things.

All in all, not bad. Definitely not worth the rack rate, but there are deals available.
8 Likes.
Played Rams Hill on 3/4/20. RH remains in its usual great condition. If you get the chance, go!

The grounds crew was working hard on some thin spots on a few greens, they were being spot-aerated, but the pins are kept away from those areas. Small holes, so the greens still rolled fine even with the aeration. It looked like #18 fairway was about to be punched, as they had marker flags on every sprinkler head.

Staff at Rams Hill was perfect as always.


I did talk to a guy who used to work at the Borrego Springs Resort Course. Outlook for that course returning is grim. Prior owners were happy to run it at a slim/zero profit. Those owners got too old to manage, so the resort was sold to another group from out of state. New group tried to run course, but required greens fees in the $50-$60 range to make it work. Locals were used to the bargain rates of the prior owners and balked at the new rates. Unfortunate, but that is understandable on both sides. While BS Resort was not as spectacular a design as Rams Hill, it was still a solid layout and the two times I played it, the course was in the best condition of any course I have ever played. It made for a great 36 hole day, RH and BSR. So I had to go with 36 at Rams Hill this time.
11 Likes.
Played Talega on 02/19. Things are trending upward.

Greens are in good shape. Fairways are still thin, but starting to grow and turn green. Rough is generally good and playable. No issues in the sand.

We've got it good in SC. The muni is a solid track and a bargain. Talega is a nice mid-price step up. And then, there is Shorecliffs.
6 Likes.
Played CG Cal on 01/27/20 after paying La Costa in the morning. I was surprised to see GC Cal in significantly better condition than LC. This is as good as I have seen it here in years.

Greens are in good shape, rolling very smooth. Best grass on the fairways that I have ever seen here. Rough is good, although patchy in spots. Sand is fine.

This is a definite positive sign for this course. Course was in really good condition, and the tee sheet was pretty crowded for mid-day on a Monday. Recommended!
15 Likes.
Played LC Legends on 01-27-20. Course is not good right now.

Greens - looks like a battle between two strains of grass in playing out. Crew was doing some small aeration, followed immediately by rolling, so they were smooth after maintenance.
Fairways and rough - not bad. Patchy in spots but acceptable.
Tee Boxes - Horrid. More bare dirt than grass.
Sand - Looks good, but 2 of my 3 sand shots bottomed out on the hard base under 1/4" of sand.

The grounds crew was working furiously, so I suspect things will change for the better. But I'll let someone else find out.
9 Likes.
Got out for a quick early round on 01/23. Conditions are really good out here.

Greens are nice. A bit brown in spots, but coverage is good. Putts are quick and smooth rolling. Rough is healthy. Sand is fine. There are some rough tee boxes, but nothing too bad. Lots of players and not a lot of teeing ground, so that's normal for SC.

Fairways are as good as I've ever seen them in 23 years of playing here.

It's still a muni, so there are rough patches here and there. But for January, I can't remember the course as a whole being in much better shape than this.
8 Likes.
Played my home course on 01/14/20. A bit rough for winter conditions right now.

Greens are ok. Grass looks healthy, but it was a bit bumpy. Fairways are decent, but there are a few collection areas that are pretty well bare. I had a couple of wedges bounce pretty hard off of tight fairways lies. It seems like every review I post bemoans the "fairways that are actually hardpan with an appearance of grass on top"... but that is what we have here exactly.

I had one sand shot where it seemed like the sand was fine, only to have my wedge get caught up in a fabric layer below the sand and basically chunked out a 6 inch hunk of fabric. Luckily, the fabric let go before my wrist did.

Well, I focused on the negatives, but still Talega is a very good layout in playable winter conditions. I see enough positives to think it will be in very good shape in another month or two.
7 Likes.
Played Oak Creek on 1/10/20. Pretty standard winter conditions at OC....greens are nice, very smooth and not too fast. Rough is thick. Sand is better than I expected given the amount of rain last month.

Fairways are generally good, but the grass coverage is very thin and cut very short, making lies very tight. It is bordering on punishment for hitting fairways compared to hitting the rough. Chipping from the fairway is very difficult. Our foursome probably had 10-15 chunked chips, you have to made perfect contact off the hardpan.

Fairway complaint aside, still a great layout in very good conditions. Highly recommended.
10 Likes.
23 years in SoCal, and I finally made it out to Sandpiper. Played on 11/19/19 using a nice deal from GolfMoose ($129 with free replay).

An amazing location with almost continuous close-up views of the ocean. The course itself is pretty much wide open - bombs away.

Greens were really fast - just as fast as The Saticoy Club on the prior day. However, Sandpiper does not have the severity of Saticoy's greens, so you could make some putts here. There are a few greens with some small aeration holes - but that is visual only - they never impacted line or speed. The greens are really outstanding right now.

There are some obvious areas where the grass is not growing in fairways and rough. Most of the course has good coverage, but there are a lot of areas with little coverage. Play it "up" and have some fun. Tee boxes and sand were great.

POP was 4.5 hours.....but for 36 holes. It was empty today. Played 36 as a single, saw nothing but singles or twosomes, and never caught anyone. Hold your nose on #11, whatever industrial facility is on the other side of the trees STINKS! But that run of holes from #10 through #14 is amazing.

Staff was super-nice and helpful.

Sandpiper is definitely a "gotta do it once" course, and I would love to go back again on the GolfMoose deal anytime.
15 Likes.
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