One of my favorite areas in Los Angeles is the Antelope Valley. About an hour North east, this amazing Valley is windy, deserty with lots of snowcapped mountains leading to lots of majestic scenery. I never thought of golfing in this area until I won free golf at the Crystalaire CC and went up recently to check it out.
The first thing you notice about this course are the trees. The trees are everywhere, in the fairways, in shotlines off the tee, everywhere. The ultimate tree hole is the second that has multiple trees in the fairway (something I haven't seen before).
Another thing about CCC are the greens. They are rock hard and quick due to the paucity of water in the Valley and the crazy wind that they have there. I played like garbage this day but I was chipping very well. So many chips rolled off the green like it was their job. I actually holed out from a bunker and was thankful because who knows where the shot would've gone if not the hole?
(the picture above is one of the iron shots I managed to stick to the green)
This course is legit. I ran into an older gentlemen who qualified for several US Opens from this course and I can see why. Its long, the greens are hard and fast and the course while wide, requires accurate shots. Plus if you can shape your shots through the wind, you will do well on any course.
A secret plan of mine is perhaps to try and qualify for the Senior US Open one day (a decade or so off) and I bet this course would get me in good shape. That being said, for a casual round it is a tough track!
Crystalaire is private but allows the public to play on Monday and Tuesdays. You can also enter a contest to play at any point and check it out here: http://www.crystalairecc.com/main21.html