Thursday, December 17, 2015
Hacienda Golf Club Review
I am a sucker for historic courses. Have an interesting track with an interesting history? Will travel. Hacienda here in SoCal checks a lot of those boxes.
Built in 1920 and designed by William Watson a Scot but doesn't quite get the publicity that fellow scots MacKenzie or Ross but her should given his design of Hacienda and others including: Olympic, Harding and Brentwood. The clubhouse is also lousy with historical photographs, mainly of Tiger (who played here in 1994 in the SoCal Amateur) but also Gene Sarazen and many others who graced its doors.
Why wouldn't anyone want to play here, especially with a hint of Fall in the air (or at least as Fall as SoCal gets)?
The course is a fascinating mixture of competing ideas and architecture. For example, the course definitely has parallel running holes but yet you don't feel on top of other golfers in the other fairway.
Another example is that there are several choke points on the course where there are numerous greens and tees all bundled together creating a bit of traffic jam amongst carts and staff. While you would think this is due to the course being built in 2 stages, one 9 in 1920 and the other 9 in 1923 and they were folding in the holes, many of the par 4's are well over 420 yards making for a long, spaced out track.
The par 3's are the real superstars of this course. Long or short, all the par 3's go over canyons or streams and have many traps waiting to gobble up wayward shots.
What I also found engaging was that the course uses and follows a stream in unique and interesting ways on the back side where going right might be death but playing another hole on the other side of the creek, left might not be death.
The mix of competing ideas at Hacienda is fully realized on the greens. I made so many putts the day I played, draining 10 footers to 30 footers but I also 3 putted several greens because of the placement of the pins. To say it was a Sunday pin placement is an understatement. Putts run 20 feet past the hole, break by 5 feet or more. Certainly if you are a member here you learn quickly what is what but where the pins can be cut on this course can be BRUTAL!
Overall, Hacienda will wow you with history and great conditions and interesting routing. Local knowledge is key here and the greens are lightening quick so keep that in mind if you are lucky enough to play here.
Many thank to the SCGA for putting together the outing at Hacienda. I have been so happy with the golfing discounts and courses that they offer, it is totally worth it to join if you live here in SoCal (plus a boxed lunch at the turn, nice)!
For more info on Hacienda, check it out here: http://www.haciendagolfclub.com/