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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.

 

Recreation Park Golf Course — Course Review

Played here Wednesday.  I have to say I always play well here for some reason.  I guess I like the green speed and the pace of play here which always tends to bring out my better game.

I was fortunate to play with a local celebrity on the Junior golf circuit — Sebastian, an 11 year-old golf wunder-kid.  Actually according to his father he is the 11 and under Los Angeles County champion for 2013.

If you have ever played with a seriously good junior then you know they characteristically knock that rock down the middle.  They may be short in stature and lacking in distance but they are consistent, down the middle sort of player.  Unfortunately for me he may be short but he can knock his driver 230+ yards down the fairway consistently.

But I am getting ahead of myself,  the golf conditions here at Rec Park are the best I have seen for twilight golf anywhere.  I was expecting bumpier greens as the sun would set but I was rewarded with smooth rolling puts.  Course conditions here are superior.  It’s not your usual municipal golf course.  The superintendent takes care of this course and it shows.

Greens rolled pretty true.  The locals who play here repair their divots for the most part.  Fairways are dormant but playable.  Tee Boxes are flat.  Sand in bunkers was a treat — fluffy sand — completely restocked all bunkers with new sand.  Pace of play was fantastic.  Since I was playing with two juniors (they rode with their parents) and I walked we managed to finish the front 9 in under 2 hours.  We managed to come in as the sun set to complete our 18 holes in under 4 hours.  Not bad considering sunset happens around 4:30 this time of the year.

Some note should be made that they have made several improvements to several golf holes.  Namely Hole 1.  They removed the bunker at the dogleg instead deepening a bunker protecting the green on the right and placing a new bunker protecting the OB fence that runs along the street (Federation Drive).  Some of the fringe around the green on hole 1 has been replaced.  Hole 2 has deeper bunkers along the right side of the green.  Hole 4 the green was enlarged and the fringe around the green replaced.  Hole 6 (Hdcp 1) has the traps on the left side protecting the green made smaller and deeper.  Hole 7 I believe they redid the bunker on the left.  That is about all I can recall but expect areas around the greens to be a bit sketchy in spots but once that grass takes hold it would be very nice indeed.

Overall I do like the changes.  They make sense and they do reward good shot-making.  The greens are still super fast and some of these holes have some wicked break but hey I come here because I like the conditions and the challenge.

Now would I come back here again?  You betcha.  Regards to the staff of Recreation Park for a job well done.

As for one of the juniors I played with today, he shot a 76 from the blues.

Recreation Park Golf Course website

Los Amigos Country Club, a golf course review

I live and work in Los Angeles.  I also play a lot of golf here.

That said, this little municipal golf course in Downey was once the butt of a lot of local golf jokes.  To say the course conditions here were bad just a little over a year ago was to be kind.  I mean in a word, this place “sucked.”

Gone are those days though.  We are talking a massive turn-around.  Hyperbole, maybe but see for yourself.    Not only have the facilities improved (updated restaurant, bar, pro-shop and banquet area) but also the golf course.   From tee to green the course has been revamped.  You no longer have to deal with storm drains that ran through several holes.  It’s all covered and drains rather well thank you very much.  But the greens have been transformed from slow, pot-marked and bumpy to smooth and quick.  The fairways are lush and all the bunkers have been restocked with fluffy sand.  Also several bunkers have been added; making the course in my opinion more of a challenge.

This course has it’s charm.  Decent risk/reward holes with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get just don’t screw up kind of holes.  I personally like the layout.  You won’t need your driver on a lot of these holes but on hole 9 you have a definite challenging par 3.  Come play this course, you will see what I mean.  Conditions here currently rival if not exceed those of it’s more upwardly mobile sister golf course Rio Hondo down the street.  

It’s just plain good golf.  And thgolfer in me appreciates value when I see/play it.  Hats off to the staff especially the superintendent Vince and GM Mike.  

Side note we did play on a Friday so the pace of play was on the slow side and was expected.  Just wish I played a bit better.