Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Hey everyone, come on over to my Coore Crenshaw Quest page to check out the latest course review! You will be glad you did!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
There is a saying "nothing worth having comes easy" and that describes Ram's Hill to a T. Located a healthy 3.5 hours from Los Angeles, the drive is hard to get there as you have to go through the Salton Sea area and over the canyon terrain of Anza Borrego. Don't believe me? Here is a picture headed to the course:
However. once you are there, you will get a top tier golf course that to me, is one of the 5 best in all of SoCal.
High praise? There isn't high enough praise for this course. The conditions were immaculate:
The bunkering was outrageous:
The greens, while a bit on the slow side because they don't want them to die in the Sumer heat, rolled true and provided a stark contrast to the desert environment:
The routing was fantastic. Tom Fazio did a tremendous job using the natural contours of the land to really nestle in this course resulting in each hole being a unique challenge. Impressively, most tee shots had you hit drives that went downhill (some more subtly than others)
which adds to the enjoyment for the average golfer as there are speed "pockets" aplenty here that if you catch it right, the ball will go a long way.
You will notice that there is water on a lot of holes which I am sure is part of the Borrego Springs network and you just can't get over how stark the contrast is from the desert environment and the course you are playing. The course is not all Augusta-green, there are many areas of hard desert interlaced around the course which is great to see as I fully applaud efforts like Coore/Crenshaw and other architects pulling up turf in these arid times. I think Ram's Hill has the right balance of green and desert (said sitting from my admittedly ill-informed perch).
Ram's Hill also has the traditional SoCal par 3 over water (a pet peeve of mine as readers of this blog can attest) yet at this course with how they route the shot feels fresh and interesting. Rather than a forced carry over water, water is only death if you go left and there is a bailout to the right which makes for a much more interesting variation:
Ram's Hill also does things the "right" way (at least according to me ;)) with lots of sprinkler heads showing you the yardage and most importantly (given the harsh desert environment), lots of water stations throughout the course:
It has been a weird experience recently golfing around SoCal as we live in a desert yet water stations are not prevalent on a lot of courses. I usually bring my own water in any event but was very thankful for Ram's Hill's foresight on this one. They also shut down the course during the Summer season rather than having deteriorating conditions as the heat and sun take their toll. They are open from November until July which seems right to me.
Overall, Rams Hill is definitely in my top 5 courses in all of SoCal (joining Rustic, Oak Quarry and Sandpiper) and even though it is an insane trek to get there, it is well worth it. I think next time I play there, I will stay in Borrego Springs so I can get multiple cracks at the course, its that good.
For more information on Ram's Hill check it out here: http://www.ramshillgolf.com/
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
When people think of California, they often think of sandy beaches or the fog-shrouded Golden Gate bridge. Yet perhaps one of the most important aspects to California is its massive farms. Nestled in part of this farm country in the Santa Clara River Valley are a few golf courses and I checked out Mountain View the other day.
While the course is really short, it is really tough with many holes going uphill or into the wind with narrow driving alleys to aim at.
What I appreciated the most was the pin position on greens. Often they were behind tall pine trees, on the edges of lakes, it was a fascinating setup and encouraged a gambler mindset. Sucker pins never were so fun to shoot at.
True to its name, there were many mountain views throughout the course and the topography plays a big part in the holes including an entire hole having basically a bowling bumper down the right side of the hole.
21 bucks for 18 holes and a 4 hour round is a pretty good deal in any golfers' book and will leave a little left in your wallet to pick up some fresh fruit and produce on your way out of town (although make sure to try the burgers in the clubhouse grill, they are great!).
For more information about Mountain View, check it out here: http://mountainviewgolfcourse.net/
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
With my Coore Crenshaw quest kicking off in earnest, I come face to face with the fact that half the courses are private. With that I mind, I leaf through the pages of John Sabino's book about accessing the top courses in the world. Check out the latest Coore Crenshaw post here:
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
As all three readers of this blog knows, I am on a quest to play as many of the Coore-Crenshaw designed golf courses as I possibly can. For a current list of the courses, check out the link here: http://www.re-gripped.com/2015/05/coore-crenshaw-bucket-list.html
I have also started a stand-alone Website for my C+C Quest and I recommend you all update your bookmarks accordingly ;)
So far, I have played just one course but it was a doozy, Kapalua!
However, this year I am really ramping up my C+C game and thought I would update you guys on what is going on!
In a month I am going on an Arizona golf adventure and will be knocking off 3, count em 3, Coore-Crenshaw courses, We-Ko-Pa and the two courses at Talking Stick. I have never played golf in Arizona and I am expecting hot, heaping, heat but also great golf courses.
Next up, and BIG news, I have been invited to play at Sand Hills Golf Club!!!! I am beyond excited and have been bouncing off the walls since the invite. So many people say its a golf-life changing experience and I can't wait to experience it for myself!
Part of my Sand Hills trip will take me through Colorado and if I can manage it, I am hoping to get a round in at Colorado Golf Club, which sounds like an ultra-hard C+C track. This hopefully won't be my only trip to the heartland this year as Sand Valley is having a soft opening for its CC course in Wisconsin and I hope I get to see it in person!
Finally, my in-laws live in Texas. I love Texas golf and Texas in general, it really is a country onto itself in many ways which I find fascinating. What is also fascinating is that Texas has 2 Coore/Crenshaw tracks and I am hoping to play Barton Creek and figure out a way to play Trinity Forest which is opening in Dallas this Fall.
In summary: Coore/Crenshaw courses played so far 1 of 21. Definitely will be played after this year 6 of 21. Maybe possibly if I am a good boy will have played by the end of the year? 9 of 21! Wish me luck and if you do have any inroads to Coore/Crenshaw courses send them my way to firstname.lastname@example.org!