Played here last week. If you haven’t played Tustin Ranch Country Club, I would think now would be the time. You will be treated with great golf conditions and waited on by an attentive staff. So if great golf interests you then read further!
To the staff and GM of Tustin Ranch Golf Club — Bravo! You run a pretty tight ship there, attentive and informed staff, good communication, and friendly.
Played here today in honor of my good friend — RobStretch, it’s his birthday and Tustin Ranch offers one thing that made this place attractive — FREE Birthday Golf. I have pictures and will post a few of them in another entry. Be sure to check out my golf course review at www.Greenskeeper.org and give me a like or three 😀 Also check out my Instagram @ringworld for additional photos and comments.
Commercial done. Now for my review.
It’s RobStretch’s birthday and in honor of it, I checked out the
Birthday Golf section on Greenskeeper.org (GK) to find a suitable place to play. Came across Tustin Ranch and read a few of the reviews. There were two things going for it — FREE Birthday golf and some very positive golf course reviews. Went to the Tustin Ranch website; did some additional digging to find out the requirements for FREE Birthday Golf. There are three:
- Register on their website.
- Show them an ID with your birth date listed, or
- Be a member of their club.
Since we could easily qualify for 2 out of the 3. I made the decision to call Tustin, get everything confirmed and then make sure we could all play. It was easy to navigate their automated phone system and connected to a friendly starter who took my name and a CC to reserve the time. Also everything I asked him regarding the free birthday golf he noted on my reservation so when the day came, all the staff and I mean everyone knew it was Rob’s birthday — that was a nice touch.
Day of the round we show up separately but they (the staff) kept tabs on the group so that when all parties arrived and the tee time came up we were notified and spirited to the first tee. Not bad considering I arrived a little late.
The course was crowded but we did finish in around 4.5-5 hours. I have to say the course is immaculate. I mean spectacular golf conditions. Tee Boxes were flat and well rotated. No wear/tear on these tee boxes and if there were you would really have to nit pick. Fairways are lush. I mean when I hit the ball and take a divot it would feel like hitting off a nice pile carpet or at the range. Rough is thick and your ball will settle/sink (in other words disappear from sight). This happened a number of times to myself and Rob. Sand in bunkers is a mix of white sandy beaches (nice and fluffy) and brownish hard packed — both easy to get your club on the ball so not a problem to get out. Greens are tricky, roll true (no bounce) with fast/med speed to a well struck ball. Green speed started to pick up as the temperature amped up over the course of the day. Pace of play was a little slow but it’s a Friday, practically the weekend crowd, and the conditions were so fantastic you just forgot about that aspect. At least for me I caught myself muttering how slow the group ahead of us was but then you saw the group ahead of them and the next group ahead of that group and well you make allowances. It was packed today. And considering it was packed we did finish in around 4.5-5 hours.
Front 9 is pretty straight forward. What you see is exactly what you get but the Back 9 it’s a whole different story. There are a lot of undulations in the fairways contributing to a false sense of distance or lack thereof. Trust your GPS or your Rangefinder is my advice. The pins were a little thin so it was very difficult to get my rangefinder to pin point distance outside 150 yards. Now I have very poor depth perception since I wear glasses. Some holes because of the undulations around the green complex or along the fairway seems a lot shorter then they actually were. I caught myself more than once checking and rechecking my distance just to be sure I could make the shot. Also it was relatively humid that day and the ball would not travel as far as it normally should.
Also the greens are fairly large with multiple levels and swales. Because of the undulations be sure you’re on the right level. Otherwise expect either a wicked downhill/uphill/sidehill putt when you reach the green.
Side note if we did manage to play faster I bet you I wouldn’t have felt so tired after the round. There isn’t a lot of shade around any of the tee boxes.
Now the golf carts are state of the art in my opinion. Seats are comfortable; not benches but good, well-designed seats. The onboard computer and navigation is excellent. Run the cart into a no-go area and it shuts off and you must hit reverse until you get to an area where you are allowed. You even get CART PATH ONLY announcements. Now folks who know me know I champion charging stations for our phones on the cart. Apps today suck the living juice out of your phone lickety split. This baby had not one but TWO USB ports. Just plug in and keep that baby charged.
Bottom line folks would I play here again? It’s pricey admittedly, but I feel a little excess is a good thing once in a while. You certainly get what you pay for with a little extra for good measure. With that in mind while it may not be a value it is money well spent. This would definitely be a course I would play again.