Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Temecula Creek Inn Golf Review


When you live in Los Angeles, you tend to get very geocentric in your golf adventures. If you fall into that trap, you miss out on all the great courses in Simi Valley, Ventura County and all the Orange County and San Diego County courses.

An oft neglected region in the LA golfer's eyes is the Temecula Valley is typically known for its vineyards but which also has 6 really good courses, perhaps topping them all is the Temecula Creek Inn course which has 3 distinct 9s you can play. I ended up playing the Oaks and the super tough Stonehouse courses to round out my 18 holes.

The Oaks 9 is a straightforward but pretty parkland nine with disguised swales and some elevation changes that keeps each hole fresh unlike most parkland courses. The biggest thing about Oaks is the prominence of the mountains surrounding Temecula. Not only are they beautiful but you have to be mindful on the greens which way the green breaks to the mountain.


Temecula Creek is not an overly long course (the tips clock in at 6,700+ yards) and where it the course continues testing you is by having a lot of greens be higher than the fairway. So many shots to uphill greens on this course!


Oaks also has one of the most beguiling par 3's I have ever played. The green at about 160 yards sits between two lakes with the front side being no more than 15 yards across but the green goes back at least 30 yards. It is a crazy, dangerous and fun hole and makes the Oaks worth it just on its own.


The "back" 9 for me was the Stonehouse 9 which has a crazy amount of elevation gains and losses, blind shots, elevated greens and creeks make it for a really challenging 9. The hazards also pick up the pace with trees placed in interesting places on the fairway.


The bunkering also picks up the pace with a lot more sand traps both placed and artfully crafted on the Stonehouse 9.


And elevated greens? You betcha.


The greens rolled true although speeds varied throughout the day and I wished the patrons would fix their ballmarks a bit more on the greens. The rest of the course was in very good shape which makes sense given all the rain we have had in SoCal during the winter.

 My only criticism of Stonehouse is that it is a bit too severe in places but nearly as much as other courses in the area like Champions Club and the scales weigh more on the fun side of the ledger than penal.

Overall I am super happy I played at Temecula Creek, they have a really fun parkland course that gives you great views and gets you into a relaxed state of being which is rare on a golf course. Check it out and grab yourself a bottle of wine while you are in the area!

For more information on Temecula Creek Inn check out this link: https://www.temeculacreekinn.com/golf/

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Morning Quick Links


1) Match Play Madness

The pairings of the Dell Match Play are announced and here are a few golfers to watch out for:

http://golfweek.com/2017/03/20/wgc-dell-match-play-10-players-to-watch/

2) Too Much Info

Jon Sherman breaks down what info you actually need to improve your game.

https://practical-golf.com/golf-technology/

3) Kia Classic

The LPGA gets you ready for the upcoming tourney.

http://www.lpga.com/news/2017-storylines-kia-classic

4) New Podcast

The Shackhouse guys are back with a new podcast!

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/3/20/shackhouse-30-leishman-nachman-brown-shackelford.html

Monday, March 20, 2017

Morning Quick Links


1) Marc Makes Masters

Recapping the Bay Hill Tourney.

http://www.morningread.com/releases/2368a756-dc26-43f8-ab7c-2cddba04526c

2) Anna Takes It

The LPGA is back in America but its a Swede that takes the top prize last weekend.

http://golfweek.com/2017/03/19/lpga-tour-swede-anna-nordqvist-victory-phoenix/

3) Tour Confidential

One of my favorite weekly columns, golf writers across the spectrum chew the golf cud for your pleasure.

http://www.golf.com/tour-news/2017/03/19/tour-confidential-rory-mcilroy-heating-right-time

Friday, March 17, 2017

Morning Quick Links


1) The Dan Plan

There are always great stories of golfers tilting after their personal windmills and I have been following the Dan Plan off and on over the last few years. GolfWRX does a great job recapping everything.

http://www.golfwrx.com/437894/what-happened-to-the-dan-plan/

2) The Julie Plan

Julie Inskter, in contention. That is an amazing story!

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/3/16/65-at-56-inkster-one-off-founders-cup-lead.html

3) The Statistics Plan

Always fun to use statistics to find out about your favorite players. This week, who rocks and who doesn't out of the sand?

https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2017/03/16/10-best-10-worst-bunker-players-pga-tour-103794/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Morning Quick Links


1) Rory Takes A Stand

Good for him and wish more golfers were vocal about things like this.

http://www.morningread.com/releases/84ab5686-3b12-4ee1-a9dc-3d9e3408a138

2) Bay Hill

Do you want live updates of the first round of the Bay Hill tourney? GolfWeek has you covered.

http://golfweek.com/2017/03/16/pga-tour-live-blog-arnold-palmer-invitational-round-1/

3) 9 Hole Review

Fun review of a Tennessee 9 holer.

http://alwaystimefor9.com/the-course-at-sewanee-the-university-of-the-south-sewanee-tn/

4) New Podcast

Its Bandon week at Golf Getaways. Check out the fellas latest podcast!

https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfgetaways/2017/03/15/talking-golfgetaways-ep-51-bandon-week-tees-director-golf-jeff-simonds-103759/

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Strawberry Farms Golf Review



When you think of Irvine California usually what comes to mind is miles of undifferentiated urban sprawl and proximity to Disneyland. Imagine my surprise turning onto Strawberry Farms Road and all of a sudden I am in the middle of a working farm. Eventually the golf course makes itself apparent but you know you are in for a round away from the hub and the bub of everyday OC life.

The day started out rather foggy and it was tough to see where to aim either first or second shots. The course was designed by someone who liked gutter guards in bowling as there were slopes on each side of many of the fairways so when it doubt, just try to hit it in the middle of the slopes and hope any mishits bounce down to the fairway.



A few observations about Strawberry Farms, if I may.

1) The bunkering is outrageous. The bunkers are huge with big lips and are often staggered so if you avoid one by hitting over it, you may fine yourself in another one.


 The course is short but treacherous. With the blue tees at 6,200 yards, if you have a halfway decent drive you will be in good scoring position. However, the shorter holes all have uphill green complexes which adds to the challenge.


The course is also narrow. If you don't hit one of those bulldozered slopes (the land is rolling but not THAT naturally rolling) then you could be in the weeds or worse.


The par 3's are the real star of the course With only one involving water, most rely on narrow greens, crazy bunkers and just plain visual fun to make the 1 shotters one of the best parts of the 18.


(even Pete Dye-esque railrad ties?)

The greens are really the stars of the course. Plenty of undulations to make you think, plenty of speed to make you cautious, hard enough to make short hits carry onto the green, these greens have it all and add an extra level of thought to the whole endeavor.

The course is a little TOO narrow and the pace of play made me want write a sad face emoticon on my scorecard as my tee time was delayed 45 minutes due to course traffic but the friendly staff got me paired up with some great guys and I got out right around my tee time.

Overall I liked Strawberry Farms but it reminded me of a student who misses the honor roll by 0.5%. Close but not just quite as fantastic as it should be. That being said, it was a really enjoyable day and I loved so much about this course and can't wait for my next trip to the farm country of Irvine.

For more info about Strawberry Farms, check it out here: http://www.sf-golf.com/

Morning Quick Links


1) Murfield Does Right...Eventually

The fact that it is even news when a private golf club decides to invite women in 2017 (!?!) tells you that golf still has a loooong way to go to get out of the past.

http://golfweek.com/2017/03/14/muirfield-female-members-vote-passes-british-open/

2) College Life

Shipnuck has a great story about Alison Lee and her struggles with college life and also being a kickass golfer.

http://www.golf.com/knockdown/2017/03/13/rising-lpga-star-and-ucla-undergrad-alison-lee-juggles-tee-times-and-class-times

3) Fantasy Island

If you are into fantasy golf, GNN has you covered as we amble into the Bay Hill tourney.

https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2017/03/13/2017-arnold-palmer-invitational-fantasy-golf-rankings-betting-picks-tips-103674/

4) New Podcast

Shackhouse is back with an interview with Adam Hadwin!

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/3/13/shackhouse-29-adam-hadwin-and-gary-williams.html