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Palm Springs Area; San Diego County; Ventura County; Santa Barbara County; San Francisco/North Bay Area; San Jose/South Bay Area; Oakland/East Bay Area; Sacramento Area; Fresno Area; Bakersfield Area; Monterey Bay Area; Santa Cruz Area; San Luis Obispo Area; Las Vegas Area
What's in Alex's Golf Bag
Last Updated: August 3, 2020
Cyclist turned golfer 5 years ago after playing Kapalua. I now ride just enough to stay in a size small golf shirt (they are always on sale). I have no problem playing the dirt cheap courses to get in some extra playing time and to offset the cost of nicer courses.
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Alex's Golf Course Reviews
Played Lake Merced Country Club this morning as part of the NCGA outing. After being a disappointed with last year’s overpriced outing at The Preser... » More
Played Lake Merced Country Club this morning as part of the NCGA outing. After being a disappointed with last year’s overpriced outing at The Preserve, I was hesitant to play Lake Merced. However, after seeing the course on TV when the LPGA play here, I had to give it a shot. I’m glad I decided to give it a go. Course conditions were excellent all around.
With Covid precautions/restrictions in place, we didn’t have full access to the club house which is modest yet stylish enough to make you know you’re at a premier private country club.
Range is on mats and they have a spacious putting green and chipping area. We started on the 10th tee and overall course conditions were top notch. Tee boxes were fantastic and easily rated at a 9. Fairways, were even better and rated a 10. Fairways had perfect lush dark green grass. They offered great roll out and still presented an excellent hitting surface.
Greens were also in great shape. The first half (10-18) rolled at a fast pace. Greens 1-9 slowed down to a more manageable medium-fast pace. The greens were medium sized and fairly tame as far as undulations go. In fact often I got caught thinking the green had more break in it then they did.
The layout is a parkland style track but you never really get the feeling that it’s an out and back been there done that type of course. The fairways are narrow with cypress and pine trees lining all sides. Several had large branches hanging out over the fairway making the opening even smaller. The dog legs are gentle on most holes but several have speed slots with a 40-60 yard down slope for extra yardage on the drive. The downside of that is they came with uphill approach shots.
The entire course is built on hilly terrain (as is all of San Francisco) but the course is definitely walkable (as we did) due to short transfers from hole to hole.
I was in about 4 sand traps. The first bunker was excellent and the others were ok.
Rough was only about 2-2 ½ inches deep but it was thick. I think POP was right around 4 hrs maybe a bit over. I'm not sure. I was playing with a buddy I hadn't seen in a few months so we were chatting away the entire day and didn't notice the time.
Overall the conditions were top notch and the course was certainly worth the entry fee. My only criticism of the layout is the lack of a water hazard course. There are no water features on the course or any forced carries of any kind. Other than that it’s a great track.» Close
Cascata Boulder City, NVReviewed by: Alex326, Monterey, Ca
I joined the other GK’ers for the Guru round at Cascata. Had the pleasant surprise of the appearance of the official Traveling Birdie Chain and Deep... » More
I joined the other GK’ers for the Guru round at Cascata. Had the pleasant surprise of the appearance of the official Traveling Birdie Chain and Deepsea14. I initially took a pass on the Vegas outing as I wasn’t planning to make my full return until Friday 7/31 but when Cascata popped up on the list, I just couldn’t pass it up! Cascata is such a great experience and easily meets all of my mandatory requirements for being a superb course. Great conditions tee to green, plenty of elevation changes throughout the course, numerous water hazards to add to aesthetics and challenge, plus top notch service.
Due to the COVID restrictions the locker room is closed off which is disappointing but totally understandable. I missed having my name on my own locker and using the showers but completely get the restriction under the current pandemic situation.
I meant to call and request a previous caddie, Casey (he was that good) but got busy at work and didn’t get a chance to do so. No regrets as our forecaddie David was spot on with his reads all day long. I’ve had other caddies tell me the hardest thing is reading subtle breaks and this is where David shined. He was confident in his reads and that breads confidence in the player.
The entire staff is polite and customer service oriented. They maintained the perfect balance between attentive to our needs and maintaining social distancing.
Conditions are what you would expect for a top notch course like Cascata. Tee boxes were level, lush and nearly perfect. Greens were super smooth and fast. Reminded me a lot of the greens at Pebble Beach. Downhill putts were lightning fast and uphill ones were manageable. It really puts a premium on being below the hole.
Fairways were also easily a 9 and the rough was manageable. Enough to get you attention but not so nasty you just wanted to throw in the towel.
Cascata is always an enjoyable experience and this time was no different. I’m so glad I decided to throw my name in the had and join the others for a great GK guru outing.» Close
I decided at the last minute to extend my trip and join the other GK’ers on day three at the Mojave Resort Golf Course. I had never played it before ... » More
I decided at the last minute to extend my trip and join the other GK’ers on day three at the Mojave Resort Golf Course. I had never played it before so I wanted to see what it was like. When you first pull in you see a mobile home style trailer for a pro shop and you think, uh oh this is a resort course?! Then the kid comes out to greet you and assist with your bag which is always a nice touch. Pro shop is bare bones for sure but the staff is super friendly. Range is an all grass range located right behind the pro shop so no hiking 3 miles to hit just a few warm up shots. That was nice.
The course is flat so it could easily be walked (at least in the winter when temps are normal). We all had our own carts per COVID guidelines. The layout of the course starts out with some nice holes on the front nine but nothing to exciting. There was a nice par 3 with water on the right (a lake it shares with a par 3 on the back nine).
The back 9 becomes a fun course with water hazards on a few of the holes, a drivable Par 4 (for healthy people) and even a sand dune for off roading. OK, so maybe that was just our group that decided to go Dune bugging in the sand. I can honestly say, that will all of the courses I’ve played, I’ve never had my heart rate beat as fast as it did at Mojave Resort!
Condition wise the course is what you would expect for a place of this caliber in the middle of the summer. Fairways were better than expected. Nice and lush, green, no dead/thin spots and easily rated in the 7-8 range. A lot of the tee boxes were under construction during our play. They were completely ripped up and looks like come fall new sod will be put down. Because of that a lot of the tee boxes were combined. It actually worked out perfect for me because I had already decided to create my own combination of tees and move up on about 5-6 of the holes. Those happened to be the ones that the course was remodeling and had moved the tee box forward.
Greens were on the slow side. Hard to say if they were actually slow or just medium-slow pace but after Cascata felt like they rolled super slow. Given that our group had 8 birdies, they obviously weren’t too bad.
Rough was just that. Rough and super tough! It was easily 4+ inches deep and a bear to escape from. Bunkers weren’t bad at all. Not super fluffy but enough sand to escape from with a proper sand shot. I was in three and was 2 over for those three holes which in my world is good!
The course finishes with two great holes full of water hazards. 17 is a par 3 with the green guarded by a lake in the front and 18 is a par 4 which has you negotiate water off the tee and then on the approach shot into the green.
A definite go to course when in the area or as we did add it to the end (or beginning) of a trip.» Close
It’ll take me a couple of days to catch my breath and get caught up on reviews from this past weekend. I’ll start with Reflection Bay. This is my se... » More
It’ll take me a couple of days to catch my breath and get caught up on reviews from this past weekend. I’ll start with Reflection Bay. This is my second time playing this course and it may just have become a regular stop on my Vegas rotation of courses. Mainly because of all the great water features. As many know, I love a course with water features both internally and externally and Refection Bay fits the bill perfectly. The course opens up with a pond right in front of the first tee box that leads into a stream that follows the left side of the fairway. From there you get treated to some rolling hill terrain with another couple of water features until you come back around to the lake. Hole 8 & 9 are right on the lake’s edge with the greens being stuck out on the waters edge. Absolutely beautiful. The back nine has multiple water features mixed in throughout and then 17 & 18 finish up back on the lake’s edge. Because the finishing holes approach from the opposite side, the lake is now on the left and prevents the holes from being a been there done that feeling.
The clubhouse and pro shop are situated to overlook the lake for some nice views during a post round meal or drink.
Course conditions were very nice all around. Fairways were excellent. Easily an 8 or 9 They provided a good balance between offering good roll out yet a nice cushioned surface to hit from.
Greens were just a touch below the fairways being in the 7-8 range. They rolled smooth at a medium-fast pace. Some of the greens did have some different grass growing around the edges. Not sure if this is a seasonal grass change over for the high heat summer or some sort of disease. It seemed to always be on the edge of the green and didn’t affect any putts.
Tee boxes were also well manicured being level and lush with very few divots on the senior tees.
Customer service was excellent all round with attendants making sure your single rider cart was well stocked with bottled water before the round and at the turn. They were then ready to greet us at the end and wipe down our clubs which I always appreciate after a nice round.
I should be getting out to Las Vegas more often now that the Raiders are there. And on Sundays when everyone else is at the game, I’ll be at Reflection Bay!!» Close
Coyote Creek has two 18 hole courses on site. The premier “Tournament” course and the original “Valley” course. In the past the conditions between ... » More
Coyote Creek has two 18 hole courses on site. The premier “Tournament” course and the original “Valley” course. In the past the conditions between the two have been night and day but I had heard they have changed that in the last year and brought the conditions of the valley course up close to the excellent conditions of its big brother track.
We played the Valley course with a 1:30 tee time. This place is always packed on the weekends so I was prepared for the 5 hour journey that awaited. Because of Covid single rider cart restrictions, all power carts are being used for the hilly tournament course and the Valley is walking only. Easily a walking course as it’s completely flat though there are some longish transfers. The routing really is odd, but I suppose with a cart it’s not noticeable.
A couple of COVID things. Masks in public areas, outdoor dining available at restaurant, pro shop closed off except for check in counter and then the biggest thing. Coyote Creek invested in the neat little pin contraptions that have a lever about 12-18” up the flagstick that you can pull with your putter and it lifts the ball out of the cup. Except they DON’T work. I’m sure in the lab it’s a great design. But in the elements with golfers banging them around and dirt being blown into them. They just didn’t work. At best they would come up but you would have to force the plate back down. Unfortunately most golfers just left them up so they were in the way. Also, half would get stuck halfway up when pulling up on the lever and the entire flagstick would pull out often times damaging the hole. We stopped using them before the halfway point.
As far as conditions go, I was pleased with the overall state of the track. Greens were in really nice shape, holding well struck approach shots and rolling true at a medium fast pace. Greens are average size with a decent amount of undulations. Actually the perfect amount. Enough undulations that you could easily read the break, but not so much it was a rollercoaster. Only one green had some disease on the edges. There were a number of unrepaired ball marks but after 12 hours of play by the end of the day that’s not a surprise.
Fairways had good coverage throughout. A few brown areas here and there but with the 90+ degree heat of the summer that this area gets, that’s to be expected. Tee boxes ranged from 2-3 that were ok, most were nice, and 2-3 were excellent. Again, I played from the red tee’s so they aren’t seeing as much action.
The layout of the Valley course is nothing to write home about. Most holes are “been there, done that”. Only one (slight) dog leg par 4 and one nice dog leg par 5. The rest of the holes are dead straight. Two lakes on the course. One in play in front and left of the green on a par 3 the other way off to the side and out of play. Why? I don’t get that.
Fun factor: 4-5 out of 10. The overall nice conditions are worth the admissions price but don’t expect to be wowed by the layout. Side note: The course is directly next to Highway 101 so access is easy if traveling from afar.» Close
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