Sunday, March 20, 2022

Saticoy Regional Golf Course

I have a soft spot in my heart for Ventura County golf courses as well as 9 hole courses. Saticoy Regional Golf Course might not have the most inspiring name for a golf course but it does provide a really fun round of golf.

Example A is the first hole, shown above. The pro shop generally waved me in the direction of the tee box and as there was no signage that you are actually in the right place, once I got there I just hit away and hoped for the best. 

Once I was safely off the tee, I realized what a weird, fun little hole this is. A SEVERE dogleg left despite the hole being less than 300 yards makes for an interesting first hole to say the least. 

Once you actually see the green, whomever designed this course decided to give you a lot to chew on for your second shot with a pretty significant bunker complex drawing your eye, especially with that pin placement. Ok Saticoy, you are giving me a lot to think about right out of the box! 

The course continues to give you little wrinkles like that throughout the round including this fun par 4 which challenges to hit it straight as far as you dare before the road comes into play and then makes a 90 degree (!) turn left to the green. 

Speaking of the road, you can't help but notice it as the Ventura roads boxes in the course on three sides along with some homes. I would maybe think twice about airing it out with a driver on a few of these holes. 

No matter how you get to the greens, they will definitely keep you engaged with their sloping, the bunkering, their je ne sais qua. 

Saticoy is definitely not like its bigger brother (one of the most underrated golf courses in the country in my opinion) but for a 9 holer in the midst of Ventura California roadways, this is a fun, funky course and well worth your two hours if you find yourself out by the best coast.

For more information on Saticoy check out the link:

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Soule Park


Soule Park, located in Ojai California, is really what public golf should be about in the 2020s. An affordable public course that challenges your golf game by maximizing the topography while not being too overwhelming as to cause you conniption fits and give up the game entirely. In other words, it is a balanced course that offers something for everyone. 

The course looks pretty flat from the road but don't let those looks fool you. One of Soule's strength's is giving you multiple different looks off the tee. Both the first and tenth holes feature significant elevation 

and there are several forced carries which forces the golfer to pay attention off the tee. 

What really piqued my interest about Soule was not the interesting routing, the fun green complexes nor the general Ojai vibe (which is truly a plus for any round played in that area). No, instead, I really dug the fairway bunkers and hazards. This course clearly took some design cues from the Golden Age courses and aded some really great looking, and treacherous, fairway bunkers. I loved these things! 

Also, I am sucker for railroad car-type mounding in fairways. The inverse of a bunker but just as interesting to try and navigate, not too many courses have these but I wish they did! 

The framing of the course off the tee, the fairway hazards and the green complexes all ask the golfer questions which require intentionality throughout the round rather than just blasting away and trying to overwhelm the course with length/strength. Too often, I see courses where you just hit away off the tee and only have to start grinding close to the green, that isn't the case here. 

Soule Park isn't all peaches and cream. The last 3 holes are pretty uninspiring due to their flat, parkland routing. It reminded me a bit of Monarch Beach where if you just changed the routing, you could get the boring holes out of the way first and then build to the really special holes. 

My amateur golf architecture rant aside, Soule Park really is a solid course that will engage different aspects of your golf game over multiple rounds, which is all you can ask from a public course in this day and age. If you are ever in Ojai, this plus a round at the Valley Inn will give you one of the best golf weekends you could ask for in SoCal. 

For more info on Soule Park, check out the link!