Tag Archives: golf course review

Via Verde Country Club

I get excited when I have the opportunity to play new golf courses in Los Angeles.  It ‘s infrequent and therefore fun — it’s a new golf experience to savor.

This opportunity I was afforded to play Via Verde Country Club in lovely San Dimas.   San Dimas is a cozy town in the Southeast end of LA County.  It’s a sleepy town with decent mix of old and new residential with a great home-town vibe about it.

Let me first preface everything I am going to write about Via Verde.  They are currently overseeding so current conditions are not peak.

As Via Verde describes themselves:

Via Verde Country Club was conceived by Vinell Pauley and designed by Bill Bell in the late 1960’s. The Course was designed and built among the rolling Via Verde Hills and was open for play in the spring of 1970. Today Via Verde Retains a strong membership and is well respected among private courses in Southern California.

In a word, I was disappointed.  I was expecting country club conditions but I was instead greeted with sanded greens that did not hold their line.  The fairways were a little shaggy and the rough was thick and punishing.  Personally I liken this to a high-end municipal but even that is suspect.

Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the layout.  Fairways were narrow and required precise tee shots.  In defense of the course that layout was fun.  I had to use a variety of clubs off the tee and every ounce of course knowledge is key here; especially which way is downhill since the course winds its way through every dip and valley around the hill the club house sits upon.

I just didn’t care for the conditions we had to play.  For the money, it wasn’t worth it and unfortunately I may not have another chance to play here again until invited back again.

So that is it.  I could rake into the golf course but at present it’s not their fault.  Personally given their reputation I would enjoy another opportunity to play the course when conditions are at their best and they have actual tee boxes you could hit from.

Would I play here again?  Yes, BUT only if conditions are at their best.  There has to be some kind of value here and until conditions improve — they should — I wouldn’t want to dish out the money and play this course.

Here are some photos from my little excursion.  Enjoy.

Also check out my golf course review on Greenskeeper.org.  Click HERE.

It’s coming! The NEW GK App on iTunes!

I am hasty.  I have never been known to sit quietly and wait.  So with that in mind…. allow me to introduce the newest thing since sliced bread and Instagram heck even WordPress — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org.

Coming Soon to iTunes -- The GK App by Greenskeeper.org
Coming Soon to iTunes — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org

I am a golfer and I play a lot of golf and often wonder where I can play — sometimes at a moment’s notice.  Where to play?  That’s always been the million dollar question.  Well this GK App will help you navigate the trenches and decide where to play.  Course conditions, photos, even HONEST golf course reviews of your favorite courses will be available all at the touch of a finger.

Get the lowdown on where to play.  What to expect (i.e. Pace of Play and course conditions.)  How to contact the course.  Find out if they have any specials to save you some of that hard earned cash.  Literally everything you could ever want from an app but never had.

Now other apps tout playing with foursomes and finding groups to play with but personally I find it like blind dates.  I don’t like them.  You get a mixed bag — some good; some bad.  The beauty and the genius here is this app helps you make up your mind WHERE to play.  Your phone won’t die on you halfway through the round like some of these score trackers.  In fact put your phone away while you play so you can concentrate on your round.  Save that phone battery for uploading photos or taking photos during your round and upload them through the GK App.

I personally can’t wait to show you guys…. but for now you will just have to take my word for it.

DeBell Golf Course — A Golf Course Review

I was invited to play this course back in December but this is nevertheless relevant to the golfer out there to play a course off the beaten track.

Located in the foothills just North of Burbank this gem of a golf course — another product of William Bell, golf course architect extraordinaire, is not your basic run of the mill course promising some pretty picturesque views, tough golf holes, and some of the wickedest putts that can sometimes defy gravity.

This course reminds me of Malibu Country Club at 1/3rd the price.  It plays shorter for sure but what it lacks in distance it more than compensates with target golf.  They sport a new restaurant, banquet area and pro-shop.

They flipped the two sets of 9 holes so the back is now the front 9 and the front is now the back 9.  You are greeted on the first hole with a nice, short par 5 but definitely a fun hole.  Mind the trouble on the left and in front of the green.

Conditions here are perhaps the best I have seen.  (Played here around 4 years ago and the conditions were suspect then but now…. wow– impressive!)  Greens rolled true.  Tee boxes were flat.  Certain holes offer a grew view of the Los Angeles basin.  It reminds you why LA is one of the best cities to live.  They put a lot of money into improving the golf course and facilities and that investment shows well to this golfer.

The updated restaurant has an updated menu.  Ask for their homemade chips they are delicious!  Their golf range is a little on the shortish side but they have newish range balls.