Tag Archives: golf course

Golf Specials — Three Easy Steps

Where to find the deal on your next golf outing.

Everyone uses GolfNow.  It’s the big elephant in the room.  It’s national and has tee times for pretty much every golf course in the nation.  It’s a great website but sometimes there is just too much noise.  Too many choices handicap my decision making process.

Fleshing out deals in your local area can be difficult but not impossible.  Just for a point of reference, to me local is a 50-75 mile drive one way — Yes, I am a golf fanatic and will drive that far for a round of golf, sometimes even further.

  1. One of the things I do is first find out golf conditions of some golf courses that interest me on either GolfAdvisor or Greenskeeper.org.  For me I feel the golf course reviews on Greenskeeper are a little more accurate and a lot more informational compared to GolfAdvisor.  To illustrate, few sentences about an individual’s round of golf really doesn’t interest me.  However a few sentences of how the greens rolled, the fairway coverage and rough are exactly what the doctor ordered.  I tend to get later from Greenskeeper.org.
  2. Now if it’s not my birthday, I will check out the Golf Specials page on Greenskeeper.org and compare the prices shown compared to GolfNow and the rack rate.  If the golf conditions are favorable and the price is right I tend to use the Golf Specials page at Greenskeeper.org.
  3. To redeem the coupon on Greenskeeper.org just click through the link and print out the coupon.  Show up to the golf course and redeem it.

It’s that simple.  You can even sort these deals by region to help minimize the noise and focus on where you want to play golf next.

Good Luck.

Rams Hill Golf Course — FANTASTIC!

www.golfing-guru.com I don’t normally rave about golf conditions but I have to say the revamped, Rams Hill, a Tom Fazio design, (previously Montesoro Golf & Social Club) in Borrego Springs, CA  is a treat to play.

Literally resurrected from the dead early last year, the rebranded Rams Hill Golf Club sports an updated clubhouse, restaurant, driving range, some of the best conditions anywhere,  and a great, attentive staff.  Branded as a stay-and-play destination golf venue.  Spend the night and get treated to two days of some spectacular golf.

For those of you unfamiliar with this golf course and it’s previous woes allow me to give you the Reader’s Digest version.  After several previous land developers/owners ransacked the property and sold off assets including the sprinkler timer boxes it came down to one thing — water.  Under the new management and careful, prudent business decisions water is no longer a problem at Rams Hill.  In other words, the golf course can survive and it’s ready for business, they just need you, Joe Golfer, to avail yourself of their unique amenities.  Just two hours south of Los Angeles, a 45 minute drive from San Diego and an hour drive from Palm Springs, you really have to want to come down here, and I think they have the right combination to make that decision worthwhile.



With Greenskeeper.org I was fortunate to visit the golf course in it’s current form last week.  In a word, wow!  Cutting to the quick, from tee to green Rams Hill is in prime shape.  I have never experienced or had the privilege to play a golf course in such fine condition.  Take a look at the photos.  Literally I could find no fault.  The course is easy on the eyes and quite honestly did not feel like ‘work’ when playing unlike some other courses I have played recently.  Enjoying the course conditions you’re also treated to some of the best desert views imaginable.  Don’t forget to bring your laser range finder.  There are no GPS onboard batmobile style golf carts here, but they do sport some laser ready flags to quickly and precisely get your distance.

For myself tee boxes were flat, lush, and well rotated.  There wasn’t a bare spot anywhere.  Fairways were lush, well groomed and maintained — once again not a bare spot ANYWHERE.  If there was supposed to be grass growing, it was certainly growing and with great coverage.  If there was sand or waste areas, it was all marked and fairly straight forward.  Bunkers were white sandy beaches — not fluffy but definitely playable.  The greens and green complexes are a definite treat.  Everything is what you see is what you get.  The course sits on a hillside so everything heads in that direction.  Subtle breaks sure but trust your line and you will be rewarded.  Greens rolled really quick when I played there. Pace of play a little under 4 1/2 hours playing as a fivesome.  The threesome that played behind us finally caught up to us after hole 15/16.

Sounds like I was falling all over myself regarding the golf conditions?  My only suggestion is to try this course out.  And to sweeten the pot, this course literally put it’s money where it’s mouth is.  If you were one of the few fortunate folks to find out about the FREE Golf Rams Hill offered interested golfers then by all means take advantage.  I found out about the deal on on Greenskeeper.org.

You will not be disappointed.  Don’t take my word for it.  Read the reviews on this course on Greenskeeper.org.  For those of you unable to get the free golf coupon, do not despair.  At the time of this review, the free golf offer has expired but prices are fairly competitive for single as well as stay-and-play packages.

Now would I play here again?  Of course, and in a heartbeat.

Los Amigos Golf Club — My Review in Photos

Seeing is believing.

I have pictures from before the course was placed under new management and my more recent photos with the new management’s handiwork.  I have to say the staff and management team here are doing a stellar job.  And seeing is believing.

Here are some of the old photos I took in March 2009 mixed in with present photos after Stratos Partners LLC (They operate Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona) took over.

Seeing is believing.  The facelift is dramatic.  I would hazard to say it’s night and day the playing conditions then compared to now.  You don’t have to travel hours to play choice conditions.  Nowadays you just have to seek out golf courses like Los Amigos that actually care about the golf course they are charged.  Enjoy!

2009 - Hole 1 photo from the forward tee box
2009 – Hole 1 photo from the forward tee box
2014 Hole 1 a view from the Tee Box
2014 Hole 1 a view from the Tee Box
2009 - Hole 2 view from forward tee box
2009 – Hole 2 view from forward tee box
2014 - SCGA was here
2014 – SCGA was here and updated the distance markers


2009 - Hole 5 view from forward tee box
2009 – Hole 5 view from forward tee box
2014 - Hole 5 view from Tee Box
2014 – Hole 5 view from Tee Box
2009 - Hole 6 view from Tee Box
2009 – Hole 6 view from Tee Box
2014 Hole 6 view from Tee Box
2014 Hole 6 view from Tee Box
2009 - Hole 7 view from Tee Box
2009 – Hole 7 view from Tee Box
Hole 7 par 3 153 yards
2014 – Hole 7 par 3 153 yards


Los Amigos Golf Club — One Word — WOW!

Hole 1 Marker UpdatedLos Amigos is 6212 yard par 71 course located in Downey, California off Old School House Road.  Course was originally designed by William Bell one of California’s prolific golf course designers in his day.  

For those of you who know me, this used to be one of my favorite courses — always has been.  Unfortunately this course fell on some hard times.  The previous management was sacked and a new management team (Stratos Partnership LLC) was hired to manage this course.  Stratos also operates Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona CA.  Needless to say the previous caretakers did not take care of this course at all.  It was a dog track surrounding juvenile hall — literally.  Greens were terrible, slow and bumpy.  To play this course was an ordeal.  The design was straightforward enough, and if you tore away the lackluster conditions you could see Los Amigos always had good bones and character.

Fast forward to today, this course was a pleasure to play. It may be a short course but will make you use every club in your bag.  The course has undergone some improvements.  A lot of the old landing spots have been replaced with bunkers; tightening the landing area, the turf is lush with good coverage, and even the greens are completely different from what I remember. I mean this course is in GREAT shape tee to green.  Side note:  It also looks like the SCGA has been there to measure distances so the scorecard appears to be updated.

Check out my post on Greenskeeper.org.  I also have a few photos up on Instagram @Ringworld. Be sure to LIKE them please and follow my golf meanderings.   I will have my Golf Course Review in Photos in an upcoming blog post here on Golfing-guru.com.

Scorecard has been updated.  The scorecard on the Los Amigos Distances recently updatedwebsite however needs to be updated.  Used to be a 70 par now it’s 71. Hole 9 was lengthened a little to become a short par 4. You can try to bomb the ball past the bunkers that protect it but it’s definitely a risk/reward scenario for the average golfer like myself.   Me, I laid up.  

Greens are perhaps the best I have seen on this course, period. They feel soft underfoot but roll true. The greens have good undulation so take a look at your ball from either side to get a good feel for the green. Fairways like I said earlier have good coverage. Lies may be on the thin side but very playable for this time of the year. Rough has been cut short as well and not as penalizing as you would think. Still the rough will take a lot out of your ball so stay away. Sand in the bunkers are white sandy beaches. If you don’t mind the beach you won’t mind hitting out of this fluffy, white stuff.   One thing I should say about the greens and bunkers though is FIX your divots and RAKE your bunkers. For the love of Pete folks take care of your course. It took a year and a half to bring this course from life support and to have the lot of you NOT take care of this, shame on you. 

Hole 15 dogleg left, trouble left and straight ahead 230 yards.  Hole 17 par 3 223 yards over water and trouble left. Greenside on Hole 17, notice the tiers and swaile Hole 14 par 4 335 yards dogleg left Hole 13 Par 4 429 yards dogleg right with water on right, trees left.  Hole 10 340 yards dogleg right Hole 9 redesigned.  258 Yards Hole 7 par 3 153 yards Hole 17 is a monster 223 yard Par 3 Hole 3 Par 3 155 yards.  Hole 4 a view from 150 yards Hole 5 view from 150 yards

Pace of play was OK. We were a twosome stuck behind a walking foursome, and they were two holes behind the group in front of them. They were fast enough it’s just we kept waiting on them.  

Comfortable Dining Area Updated Cafe AreaFacilities have also been updated. Cafe is redesigned and seats large groups comfortably. Their bar is also updated as well as the banquet room.  It has this old classic Craftsman style everyone likes so much; loads of wood and smooth surfaces.  

Hats off to the staff and maintenance crew. You guys have done a heck of a job and dare I say give Rio Hondo (just 5 blocks away)  a run for their money. The best way to describe my playing experience — Destination golf locally.  At $18 to walk at twilight it’s a deal especially with the long summer days. We finished with plenty of light teeing off at around 3pm. 

One thing to mention is the practice area. Wowzers. Two chipping areas; one with a small bunker. Two large putting areas, and a range with a grass hitting area with targets. Everything here seems a lot more inviting.  I also noticed a lot more business here. 

My advice if you are questioning whether to play here or not. Do! You won’t be disappointed.  And for the record, Los Amigos is back on my play list.

Now take that Golf Advisor, one more thing we the community here at Greenskeeper.org know that you don’t.

The Ever Changing Face of Golf ….

San Luis Rey Downs CC in Bonsall
San Luis Rey Downs CC in Bonsall

Let’s be honest.  The golf industry is in dire straights.  If public golf courses don’t change their marketing or better still enhance their existing marketing efforts and embrace social media and coupons and the like, a lot more golf courses will follow suit.

All I am really saying is that they update they way they do business.  It’s still marketing.  It just happens to be a little more involved; meaning you have to earn your customer’s business.   Attract  golfers from outside your usual sphere of influence.

I knew these sort of situations existed, just never thought of a developed area literally falling into this category stranger things do happen.  But who ever heard of a developed area regressing to a swamp …. er marshland?

So long San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall.  It’s been fun playing ya!


Just Bragging…

I was going through my catalog of photos, and it’s extensive, especially since photos have been become digital.  I have become a bit of a guerrilla photographer — point and shoot, everything.

One of my folders affectionately labeled “Golf” brought back a flood of memories.  Here is a little taste of where I have played.

Not to brag –all right, I am bragging; hence the title. — My list of courses may not be extensive as the next guy’s but they were good times.

Golfing with Buddies

I am a hacker.  Or I was until I got religion.

I am now a hacker with religion — golf religion, and it’s been a 30+ year journey.  Before I was lost in a sea of double bogies, lost balls, shanks, and thinned shots.  Now I still have those problems but I can deal with the hand I am dealt.

As a young man I was taught the fundamentals but never the reasons behind why I did what I did.  So essentially I never grasped how to fix my game while I played my round.  If I sucked, which was often, I sucked the whole round.  It was frustrating.

I struggled with a game I enjoyed so dearly.

Getting older, lessons where the key.  I found myself a coach and he introduced me to other players and soon I was playing with a few golfers better than myself.

Something happened.  Playing with other golfers; a lot of what they learned rubbed off on me.  I started to evaluate golf holes they way they did.  I started to think like they did and soon I was playing a lot better.  Not as consistent but every once in a while I would have a great round of golf.  And that had me coming back for more — abuse.

Course management, navigating through the course hole by hole.  Playing to my tendencies.  All that helped me, and I watched as my game progressed with each posted score.

All kidding aside, and a little older, I finally found myself a golf coach that offered me what he called “tools for my tool box.”  Tools being my euphemism for different shots in my bag .  Punching a shot under a tree or through trees for example.  So when I was out on the golf course I had shots in my bag that I could execute consistently.  I knew the distance, I knew what sort of swing to use (quarter, half, full -swing).  And suddenly my game started to get more consistent.  I started to think about score and how to save pars or make birdies.  That is to say my  round wouldn’t jump from low 90’s to low 100’s.  Instead I was playing around the low 80’s consistently.  Even if I was playing poorly (bad tee shots and trouble everywhere) I still managed to keep my round respectable (high 80’s) compared to where I was.

I guess having the advantage of various shots in my bag and course management are perhaps the two best ideas I was able to glean from my better golfing buddies.  All I had to do was execute.  And sitting over a golf ball with those shots is a lot more comforting knowing you can execute versus hoping.

What I am driving at here is you never know as much about golf compared to the next person.  Find yourself a group of buddies to play golf.  I know golf is a solitary sport — you versus the course but remember misery loves company and why not in the company of some friends.  They can offer some advice (some is always best; not all the time).  They can egg you on or they can tease and criticize your game.  They can at least help pass the time between shots so you can focus when you do need to make those shots.

Victoria Golf Course — A Course Review

Played here Wednesday this week and if you haven’t played here in a while, let me just say I understand.  I know your trepidation about what I am going to tell you folks.  Get ready, here it comes….

The conditions here are perhaps the best I have seen in quite a while.

Three holes are still under construction (7, 11 and 13) and play as short par 3s.  The rest of the course from tee to green I would describe as better than your average Municipal golf course.

Tee Boxes are relatively flat.  Fairways are a little soft from the new sod so expect the course to play longer.  Today with the soot in the air I had to play an extra club just to hit my targets.  Sand in bunkers is relatively new and well maintained.  Green complexes are in good shape even after what looks like an aeration.  The speed of the greens as the day progressed (we started around 10AM) was faster and faster.

The greens have healed well after maintenance.  All that is left is a light top-dressing (of sand), so expect puts to slow down and turn when they hit these little patches.  They are doing light maintenance around the collar of several greens (4, 7 and 8) where they ran their plug machine.

Pace of play was OK.  We were stuck behind an older 3-some that really didn’t have urgency to their game.  They did however start to speed up after 14.

I am impressed.  If you ever played their course before the renovation you would agree.  Hitting off of dirt can be taxing.  This instead was a joy.  The fairways had good coverage.  The waste areas are still waste areas.  Trouble is still trouble, but there is grass on those fairways and it’s actually growing!

I like what they have done to improve the place.  Hats off to the Superintendent and his staff.  You’re doing a heck of a job considering all the problems from last year.  From what I understand this is one of the first golf courses built on reclaimed land.  In a former life this was literally a dump.  A lot has been gleaned from the mistakes so it’s nice to see the improvements.  They have been long time in coming.

So would I recommend playing here?  You betcha.  We walked on at 10AM mid-week and managed to finish a round in 4 hours.   Your mileage may vary but I suspect most golfers can finish in record time — not bad for a city course.   Conditions are the best I have seen here in quite some time.  Wait for them to finish the last 3 holes roped off?  Perhaps but having this course as part of your monthly golf line-up is just another viable alternative I am sure most who play here will enjoy.