Tag Archives: knowbeforeyougo

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.

More Screen Shots of GK Mobile App for your consideration

The User Login Screen looks slick.  So what’s so great about this app versus others?

GK Mobile may sport a new logo but under the hood of this beast of an app beats the combined contribution of over 65,000 members,  40,000+ Reviews, 20,000 + photos of over 1,700 golf courses.  It is a self-perpetuating model conceived by its founder JohnnyGK.

Coming soon -- The GK App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes
Coming soon — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes

No other site I know of offers members, both casual and serious, the most honest and up-to-date information about golf courses they want to play.

Members regularly contribute information about golf courses and their conditions.  Greenskeeper has evolved over the past 10 years into a much respected website in the golf industry.  Top that off with the book Social Golf, a how-to manual for golf course operators to leverage their own customer base using social media to grow their business. You would think GK Mobile would be a likely progression of this book — and you would be right.  GK Mobile may be a necessary piece of the puzzle for any golf course operator trying to contact these golf enthusiasts.

Unlike its competitors, GK Mobile comes out of the gates sprinting to the finish line.  It brings with it all the information on its still very successful website to a mobile platform.  No need to “build” it’s audience because the audience is already there.  No need to build up your database of golf course information because it’s already there.  And top it off with golf course maintenance alerts, a euphemism for green aeration, this blogger thinks it’s a winning combination for both the golf consumer and the golf course operator.

You can truly “Know Before You Go” Golf.  Literally.  Take that Golf Advisor!

You already know who you will be golfing with.  With GK Mobile you will know where and when to play at a golf course near you.

Keep swinging!

More on the GK Mobile App for iPhone

Coming soon -- The GK Mobile App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes
Coming soon — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes

To say the UI (User Interface) of the GK Mobile App looks sleek is an understatement.  For the user, it offers simple intuitive management of your local golf courses, all at your fingertips.

Get local feeds of current golf conditions by reviews written by golfers like you and me for golfers.

Get Maintenance and Aeration Alerts.  No other application or website offers a more substantial listing of HONEST golf conditions anywhere.

Know Before You Go golf.  Don’t get stuck playing a lemon.

Current applications I have seen only talk about creating foursomes.  Let’s face it folks golf is a solitary game.  It’s you against the golf course.  Find out where to play with the GK Mobile App — hell bring a friend or three– then bag your phone so you can enjoy your round.

Current apps will drain your battery.  Where is the functionality of an app if it kills your phone during a round of golf?

Instead, Know Before You Go!  Find out the 411 of where to play.  What local golf conditions of golf courses are in your area.  See Pictures of these golf courses.  Find out what other golfers like yourself will have to say about these golf courses.  All in an honest format that you understand and navigate.

Be ready for it golfers the GK Mobile App is coming!

If you like my article, be sure to “Like” it, comment here; share it with your friends.  Check out my latest golf course reviews on Greenskeeper.org.  

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.

Alondra Park Golf Course — Patrons Don’t Care and It Seems Neither Does the Superintendant

 

You get two sets of 9 -- First 9 is OK, next 9 is embarrassingly laughable.  Superintendent sharpen those blades and at least cut the grass level.
You get two sets of 9 — First 9 is OK, next 9 is embarrassingly laughable. Superintendent sharpen those blades and at least cut the grass level.

I am embarrassed to even say I live near this course. I am even more embarrassed I played here last week. For my money I should have played Chester — at least they give a darn about their facility. For the amount of money they spent on fixing/redesigning the front 9 you would have thought someone, hell anyone, would have taken their heads out of you know where and at least maintained the bloody place. 

OK Rant over. This is the skinny. 

Front 9 greens are OK. A little on the slow side and expect some moderate rolls/release for golf shots. Fairways also on this front 9 are respectable. Rough is cut almost the same height as the fairways so non issue. Bunkers are sandy. 

Now the back 9. What the hell is wrong with greens 10,11, and 12? 10 is a disaster with patches on 2 sides of the green,  with loads of dead or dying grass in the middle of the green. I mean put a bloody temporary hole on 10 and let the bloody thing heal itself. Hole 11, Superintendent sharpen your blades. Dull blades make the putting surface on these greens bumpy and that combined with the afternoon light makes for some really crazy bounces. Also quite a few bald patches on this green make for an interesting trip to the hole.  Balls as you can surmise DO NOT ROLL true. And 12 is healing but as I said before sharpen those blades. It seems the disease that hit 12 made its way backwards to 11 then 10.  Like I heard an American Golf District manager say at another golf course, “customers want fast greens. That means verticut and sand every week. And keep doing it until you get the speed right.” At least these guys, even though some folks characterize American Golf as the Evil Empire, put their money where their mouth is. For Alondra my advice City Council seek other management. It’s a dog track in a place where golf is scarce. I can count the number of golf courses in the area on my hands alone. And with the South Bay so built up, this place drips of hungry consumers of golf.  The greens at the Lakes are better than they are here — literally night and day. $22.75 to walk here versus $15.00 to head over the Lakes and play 9 in under an hour — pretty tempting in my book. Even Victoria is looking good now. Hell anything looks better than what I subjected myself to that day.  

Sometimes I just bite and bullet and head to another course with Alondra just around the corner from me. It’s a shame really.  I mean you could seriously make this place one of the showcase courses in the South Bay.   Case in point Skylinks in Long Beach it was an OK course with substandard greens, now after the remodel they market it as a destination golf location and charge accordingly.  

Pace of play (twilight) was a sizzling 3 hours. This is a flat course. It has some character that is lost when you have to putt on some of the worse greens I have seen. The greens remind me of Los Amigos before the management change. The guy just didn’t care. And it shows when you have to fix divot after divot or rake somebody elses mess in a bunker because they just didn’t bother.

Truthfully it’s partly the patron’s fault as well. The folks that play here really don’t take care of the facility themselves.   Golfers are the custodians of the golf course they play — at least that was how I was taught when playing a golf course.  I can’t tell you how many divots I had to fix on these greens and I know for certain they are not all done by my lonely ball.  All that damage that goes unfixed means the Superintendent has to double his efforts to fix your handiwork.  On the other hand, the Superintendent needs to make sure his staff is doing the job right the first time.  I mean at least fix the darn lawn mower, sharpen a few blades and make sure the cut is even.  You do your part and we will instinctively do ours.  

It’s the case of the chicken and the egg.  Each party is equally guilty and neither has the courage to step up and stop the madness.  

You get more challenge playing the par 3 course at Alondra instead and better value. At least there the greens are all spongy so there is some consistency there but they are narrow and small — in other words some challenge. On the big course you’re given some bad greens, an OK fairway and some OK rough — once again nothing special. 

Bottomline, will I play here again? Only if you put a gun to my head. Or in fact I need to punish myself further.

Coming Soon — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org

Coming soon -- The GK App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes
Coming soon — The GK App by Greenskeeper.org on iTunes

This in from the source himself on Instagram @greenskeeperorg and from his website.

The GK app by Greenskeeper.org  will be FREE!

What’s the big deal about this GK App?The biggest reason is this app allows you to consume all the most important information on Greenskeeper.org about golf courses much quicker and more conveniently. Many other reasons why the app will be of value to current and new Greenskeeper members…here are the highlights I mentioned in the Newsletter.

  • Newsfeed – all the information you find valuable on Greenskeeper.org streamed perfectly on your phone making it much easier to consume and engage with.
  • Content – take all the content on Greenskeeper.org (40,000+ reviews, 20,000+ photos, maintenance alerts, etc) and have it instantly available on your phone.
  • Communication – be able to message your golfing friends easily, use highly customizable push notifications, create a custom news feed, share photos, likes and comments. It’s totally loaded with with social networking features – this is a fun app.
  • Specials – its going to be very easy for you to find amazing deals and redeem them directly with golf courses right from your phone.
  • Golf Courses – golf course pages packed with information and organized.

Almost like a Travel Advisor for golf.  Is that genius or what?  You will have to decide for yourself.

Latest — Greenskeeper.org Mobile App (GK Mobile) Screenshot

Slick UI will make for an impressive user experience.  Know Before You Go with the GK Mobile App
Slick UI will make for an impressive user experience. Know Before You Go with the GK Mobile App

It’s coming!  The Greenskeeper.org Mobile App for the iPhone also known as the GK Mobile App is coming!!!  Over the next few weeks I will be posting additional screen shots of this really innovative tool for NICHE Social Media, for Golf, and for Golf Courses.

Be the first business or enterprise to take advantage of what we think will be the next big thing for Social Media and the Golf Industry.   Think of it, NICHE Social Media marketing targeting a specific audience in a specific region.  Stand above the noise of current social media platforms.  You can be as aggressive as necessary to make sure you are front and center of your core audience.  By leveraging Greenskeeper.org membership of over 65,000 registered members, an Opt-in newsletter base of 15,000, over 40,000 HONEST and informative golf course reviews  and a solid reputation in the golf course industry for over 10 years you can build your business the old fashioned way, one repeat customer at a time with updated techniques through the GK Mobile App that will carry your business to the next level and beyond.

Hey Golf Industry, the GK Mobile App is coming.  Be ready for it!

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.