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Los Angeles County; 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
SIM 3 wood
Last Updated: November 12, 2021
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. I fully admit that I am a bit of a Golf Course snob, in that the further I drive, the nicer the course needs to be. Also, Dress for Success.
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Alex's Golf Course Reviews
Played Hunter Ranch on Tuesday mid morning. In short, this is the worst I’ve ever seen this course. The winter storms have taken their toll. Fir... » More
Played Hunter Ranch on Tuesday mid morning. In short, this is the worst I’ve ever seen this course. The winter storms have taken their toll. First, let’s address the good. Had breakfast in the restaurant before the round and it was excellent. Customer service in the pro shop is now worlds better than it was a few years ago. The layout at Hunter is still super fun with a variety of hole shapes, elevation changes and even a couple of water hazards.
As far as conditions go. The greens were about the only thing worth playing. Greens were in great shape. They rolled smooth at a nice medium-fast pace that picked up in speed as the day progressed. Greens held well struck approach shots without any issues and there were only a few unrepaired pitch marks.
From there it digressed to the fairways. Very thin, patchy and a mixture of dead areas and soggy areas. By far the worse I’ve seen it since playing here a number of years ago. Hopefully once this new storm passes, the course will dry out and start to come around back to normal. What was surprising was the conditions of the tee boxes. Almost all were chewed up and unlevel. Not sure what the issue was but it was pretty bad. They did completely re-sod the first tee box which should be open in a few weeks per staff.
I noticed a lot of GUR with new seed down on several areas around the greens, so staff is obviously addressing the issue of the poor conditions which I attribute to the brutal winter we are experiencing. POP wasn’t an issue. Course was pretty quiet, we caught a two some at around the 14th hole and had some minimal waiting but still finished in 3:30.
I’ll definitely play here again, just not for a while.» Close
Played Poppy Hills yesterday morning with a 9:20 AM tee time. Weather was absolutely perfect with sunny skies, low 60 temps and little to no wind. C... » More
Played Poppy Hills yesterday morning with a 9:20 AM tee time. Weather was absolutely perfect with sunny skies, low 60 temps and little to no wind. Course is in its usual great shape from tee to green. Range was off mats and a small bucket of balls now costs $10. That’s really the only downside to this course. Greens rolled very smooth at a nice medium-fast pace. Green complexes are very large but they have several undulations so getting on the right tier is critical. The nice thing about the greens at Poppy is that the undulations are spread out over the big greens so unlike Blackhorse where you have multiple breaks in one putt, you usually just have one or maybe two breaks to negotiate depending on how far away you are.
The other thing is the greens have a brownish tint to them. Doesn’t effect the ball at all, just more of an aesthetics thing. Fairways on the other hand were excellent. Very lush and green throughout. They offered a good combination of roll out and lush hitting surface.
Tee boxes were all level with great coverage and divot free. I had a streak of 4 holes where I was in a greenside bunker. All had high quality fluffy sand. Rough was manageable in some areas and deep and penal in others. There are a lot of holes that border gulch’s and the rough is deep in those areas to help stop wayward balls.
Even though the course is built on a hill, it is pretty easy to walk. Most of the holes traverse the hillside and the transfers are pretty short (except from 9 to 10 and maybe 8 to 9). There were a couple of beginners in our group so we were the slow group often a full hole behind the group in front of us. Yet only once did the group behind us have to wait on us as they were often a half hole + behind. So I guess it all worked out.
Poppy Hills is a another gem of a golf course in the 93953 area code. It’s overlooked by some and a main staple for others. Either way, it deserves the accolades.» Close
My turn to treat and mixed it up this go around and played Quail Lodge on Thursday 2/16. It’s always so fun to play here with great course conditions ... » More
My turn to treat and mixed it up this go around and played Quail Lodge on Thursday 2/16. It’s always so fun to play here with great course conditions and friendly staff. This go around was no exception. Whereas the fairways weren’t in their beyond a 10, usual condition, they were still very very nice. My buddy kept commenting on how nice the fairways were. Fairways definitely had nice lush coverage and a perfect emerald green color throughout. A few of the fairways were a bit soft and didn’t offer much roll out but overall nothing to huff about.
Greens rolled super smooth (I had 6 one putts) at a nice fast pace but not wicked fast. The nice part was they rolled at the same speed in all directions. Very predictable. Like many courses right now, the greens were a tad on the firm side but still acceptable. The collar around the greens on the other hand were super soft. Land there and it was pretty much a guaranteed plug or one foot roll out.
Tee boxes were all level with good coverage throughout. I was in A LOT of sand traps, so I got a thorough testing of the bunkers. Most traps had high quality soft fluffy sand. Only one or two were a little thin.
There was a frost delay so POP was a little backed up and we waited on all shots but still finished in around 4-4:15 hrs. Customer service is excellent. One of bag drop kids is super friendly and helpful (the other is a bit lost) and the starter and pro shop attendees are also very friendly. My main complaint is they didn’t have a shirt in my size (nor did they seem to care, but oh well).
I also stayed at the hotel. Rooms are fabulous and the setting is a very quaint relaxed vibe. There’s a fun 9 hole putting green around the resort. Food at the “new” Covey restaurant was average at best. Dessert on the other hand was Excellent.
The hotel and course are both highly recommended» Close
I've played Coyote Creek a couple of times in the last 10 days. Overall, the course is in great shape. Greens roll very smooth at the perfect mediu... » More
I've played Coyote Creek a couple of times in the last 10 days. Overall, the course is in great shape. Greens roll very smooth at the perfect medium fast pace. Greens are a little on the firm side but not too bad. Fairways were in very nice shape sans the few areas being repaired from hog damage a few months ago. Fairways present the perfect combination of a great hitting surface with good roll out.
Rough is actually manageable at only 2" tall and not overly thick. Sand traps.... So, the traps themselves are fine. Good high quality sand. Problem is no one rakes the traps. We play early morning before maintenance has a chance to clean them up from the previous day and the bunkers have a ton of unraked food prints.
Tee boxes are all level with good coverage. Layout is fun and challenging with some elevation changes on the first few holes, followed by some water hazards on the last two. POP is generally going to be slow if you play in prime time. We usually get out as one of the first groups and get around in 3-3.5 hours but last week with the frost delay had to call in quit after 15 holes once we hit the masses on the first tee (we started on #4).
Coyote Creek is a perfect location for when I have to head up to the bay area and will probably be playing her more in the summer once we can tee off prior to 7am. Course conditions are right on point with the price line.» Close
I took advantage of the perfect Monterey weather yesterday with a Noon tee time at Laguna Seca. As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love this lay... » More
I took advantage of the perfect Monterey weather yesterday with a Noon tee time at Laguna Seca. As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love this layout. Unfortunately, it's usually muni conditions at best. Current conditions are no exception. Somehow with all the rain in December and January followed by the abundance of sun the last couple of weeks, Laguna still has thin spotty fairways. Unlike Del Monte, the fairways at Laguna were all dry, so no issue there. Coverage was ok, but there were a number of thin and dead areas throughout the course. I did notice that they had quite a few areas roped off where new seed had been planted and in a few cases even some new sod.
Greens are notoriously bumpy at Laguna Seca. Yesterday was a mixed bag. about 2/3 were actually quite smooth and rolled fine at a medium pace. then there were the other handful of greens which had some disease areas, bumpy and on the case of 15, the pronounced drainage pipe line showing through. Which somehow they decided to place the cup right next to the drainage pipe?
I was in two bunkers. One had excellent sand, and the other was still a bit wet from the rains a couple weeks ago.
Tee boxes are so so. Some perfectly acceptable, and others are uneven and chewed up (especially 8 & 14).
Customer service remains below standard as well. I didn't have an issue, but the two guys I was paired up with on the front nine (who were playing the front twice due to an issue with the pro shop attendant) relayed a story about poor customer service. It's the same old guy (I've mentioned him before) that just doesn't want to be flexible at all.
Anyway. It was a glorious day to wear shorts and the POP was very pleasant (I played 30 holes in 4.5 hours). Also, the mid week prices have come down to a reasonable fare. Given the new prices and the fun layout of the track. I'd recommend Laguna Seca as a good warm up course (it's under 5 minutes from the airport) when visiting the Monterey Peninsula.» Close
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