Pacman44's Blog


Riverview Golf Course…Mesa’s Infant Course
November 30, 2010, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Mesa Courses, Tempe Courses

Last weekend I was able to golf at the Riverview Golf Course in Mesa just east of Rural Road off of Rio Salado Parkway. It is a 9-hole par 36 course open to the public and being that it is a par 36 is excellent practice because it is equivalent to playing a big time golf course such as Longbow or Diamond Bar. The layout to this course is absolutely beautiful, the grass is well kept, from tee box to fairway to the dance floor (green). Their rates are affordable for 9 holes and they have many hazards and obstacles to avoid in this course making it fairly difficult to play on.

Maintanence

There was one minor setback to this course, being that there many lakes and water hazards throughout the course came geese. And throughout the course the geese swarmed the course…in crap! I mean seriously it was very difficult to walk the course because there was so much crap all over the course especially around the green. The rough was the worst and the water hazards is where it contained the majority of the geese waste. I was very displeased with that fact because I was more focused on watching my step than actually focusing on my game (even though my game sucks). However, besides that the course was in good condition, the driving range looked dryer than Sedona with the way their grass looked; but the tee box was well maintained. The fairways were in excellent condition and the green looked very spiffy!

Layout

The course was laid out very well, it stood along Rio Salado Parkway across the street from the Villagio apartments (just west of Dobson). The water hazards throughout the course were placed very well and the bunkers as well. The course overlooked the 101 freeway, the only setback to the course being laid out along Rio Salado is the douchebags who honk in your backswing…it gets kind of annoying at times but you have no choice but to tolerate it.

Rates

The rates at this course I say would be fair. Earlier when I first golfed at Riverview it was only eight dollars to golf 9 holes but after the winter season began, their prices doubled to $16 per round. It’s not that big of a deal but I have fell victim to the winter rates. It is 16 dollars to walk 9 holes and 24 dollars with a cart. Affordable but just a little pricey for the average college student.

Experience

The overall experience at the Riverview course was cautious but enjoyable. Cautious being because I had to be aware of my surroundings along the grass that is the geese crap. Also enjoyable because I felt my game was very good that day and I played fairly well. I would definitely recommend this course to other people, I just recommend that they walk their step as they walk the course. Or better yet…just get a cart.



Half a Golf Course? Not Too Shabby
November 16, 2010, 7:08 pm
Filed under: Tempe Courses

This weekend marked the end to reseeding in all golf course in the Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix area. So I was relieved to finally get out on the golf course and play a quick 9 holes. I went to the Rio Salado Golf Course. And with the winter season finally here, and the reseeding of the grass finished, the golf course was at it’s finest condition. The Rio Salado Golf Course is just east of Rural Road off of Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. It is a small municipal 9-hole executive course most well known for it’s water along the first hole as you can see in the pictures belows.
This course is open to the public and it is a great way to tune your wedge and your short game. Being that it is an executive course, it will only contain few par-4 holes and the majority will be par-3; so it will also be a great chance to tune your irons game.

Maintanence
Like I said in the opening paragraph, with the winter season being in full effect (do you notice how cold it’s been the past week?) the golf course have been re-opened after their over seeding period. The course is beautiful, plain and simple, the driving range looks a little old and worn out but it’s a driving range and that is where the majority of the golfers get most of their swings in. Like I said, practice makes perfect. The greens are in mint condition, they were a little slow because the grass on the green seemed a little thick. That definitely put my putting game into a big struggle. The fairways looked gorgeous; however, the rough was the main concern at Rio Salado. If you hit the ball into the rough, the grass is fairly tall and it makes it difficult to get any distance on your next shot. So if you hit into the rough, be sure to club up an iron or 2 on your next shot. Water (recycled) really brought out the courses beauty. The tall shrubs along the side of the water gives it a swamp feel or a swamp look, instead the water actually looks decently clean as opposed to swampy water.

Rates
Originally in the summer season was when golf rates are at their possible lowest, but being that it is the winter season, rates will go up. Not significantly at Rio Salado, but at some other course they may rise ten to twenty dollars more per round. You can check Rio Salado’s rates here If you’re not bothering to check the website, their prices are really affordable. With a cart it is 18 dollars per round and to walk the course is 13 dollars. They do have an unlimited play special where it is 15 dollars for unlimited play plus a cart after 2 p.m. which could also constitute with their twilight rates. It is a great course to hone your skills and practice your short game and it is at an affordable for the avid golfer like myself or any college student that enjoys the hobby.

Overall Play and Experience
I feel as if I played fairly well being it my first time back in a couple of weeks. I shot a 9 over which is basically bogey golf. I felt like I could’ve done better with the difficulty of this course being very simple. Oh well, you keep playing and you’ll have your amazing rounds and you’ll have your terrible rounds. That’s golf, it’s just like baseball. You can go into the day not thinking or not expecting how you’re going to perform but you try to give it your best. I enjoyed playing at the Rio Salado Golf Course and it is definitely a nice experience to play on.



Another Out-of-Stater…in the Canyons
October 27, 2010, 6:36 am
Filed under: Out-Of-State Courses

This past weekend I went home…AGAIN! On Sunday, October 24th, it was my birthday; so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by golfing on my birthday and cover an amazing golf course for this “lovely and gracious blog”.
Marshall Canyon Golf Course is located in La Verne, California, just a few miles from my hometown and 30 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. It is owned and run by the Los Angeles County near the Canyons, very similar to the Diamond Bar Golf Course I had covered in my earlier blog.

Conditions & Environment
I would like to start with the environment of this course, throughout the few years I’ve been golfing, I have seen my share of animals living and lurking on the course. From coyotes, to little critters; but this is the first time I’ve seen a Deer on the course. My guess is the course was giving me a birthday present to see a pretty sight like that. The conditions of the course were absolutely amazing, the greens were perfect, the tee box, fairway and the grass on that course were definitely worth playing on. The fairways were cut evenly and there were hardly any dead grass spots onto the course. The rough on the course was also well kept and maintained for an easier game play and a more luxurious round. The course is surrounded by many trees with an environment of the canyons. The green was astounding, not too fast, not too slow, the speed was perfect and the slopes were just as challenging for the perfect avid golfer.

Difficulty
This course is very difficult for the average recreational golfer. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest, this course rates a 9. On the back 9 holes of the course the 11th and 12th holes are consecutively difficult because both tee shots must be hit over shrubs of trees and over the canyons to either land onto the green, or the fairway. The 11th hole is a 165 yard par 3 where you must hit a solid iron shot over a shrub of trees and canyons to land just short of the green or onto the green. You hit it too hard, it could sail over the green into the surrounding environment of the canyons. The 12th hole is a par 4 where the tee shot is fairly easier than the 11th hole, your driver will easily get you over the canyons and onto the fairway. However, the tricky part of this hole is hitting it straight; because if you hit you drive to the left, it will not land on the fairway or onto the rough; it will easily land into the canyons, bidding a farewell to your ball. The slopes on this course make for odd stances and difficult shots, the green’s slopes also create difficult reads and breaks to your putting game.

Rates
The rates on this course are broken up into two rates, there are weekday fees and weekend and holiday fees. Their fees are very affordable, to walk 9 holes on the weekend is $20 per player, being that it is the weekend and let’s face it, it’s California. As compared to other courses in Arizona where a 9 hole fee is less than ten dollars. They’re very affordable and their rates during the weekdays is definitely the way to go if you’re looking to save money. Overall, this course is a great experience to improve your game and definitely challenge your skills on the course. Let’s all hope that the course doesn’t challenge you too much!



Just Another Round…
October 19, 2010, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is a slide show to give viewers and readers a virtual experience of what a normal round of golf would feel like. It is combined with videos and still photos. Most of the pictures are taken at a driving range but practice makes perfect! Club up…tee off…and enjoy your round!



Overseeding Limits Play to…Everything!
October 19, 2010, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Phoenix Links, Tempe Courses

Throughout the month of October, most golf courses have closed their tee boxes to the public as well to everyone else due to reseeding. All golf courses reseed their grass to get ready for the winter season to make their courses shine. According to an article on azcentral.com it gives a list and schedule of all the golf courses that is experiencing overseeding during the winter month of october through november. Based on this article, it shows that the majority of the golf courses in the Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa area are closing their clubhouses for the month and some close for only half of the month. Around this time, golf courses also raise their tee times and golf rates due to the weather and the overseeding of new grass, making the conditions much more enjoyable to play on their courses. So what I’m basically trying to say is that most avid or recreational golfers have to patiently wait for the month of October to pass by and get ready to golf in November. If they want to keep their spirits alive, I guess it doesn’t hurt to dress up as a golfer for Halloween only to play the next day on November 1st. I know that I’ll be one of those recreational golfers anxiously awaiting the golf courses re-opening for their winter season.



Mill Avenue Has Everything!
October 5, 2010, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Tempe Courses

You walk down Mill Avenue on the Arizona State Tempe Campus, you’ll see things you’ve never imagined you’d see. Shopping centers…that’s normal, restaurants…that’s normal too, Hippie shops…it’s getting there. But if you drive beyond Mill Avenue heading north towards Phoenix. Just a mile outside of the shopping center is a Golf Course for a typical college student like me…

Owned by the city of Tempe, the Rolling Hills Golf Course is a small executive course (an executive course is a golf course made up of mostly par 3’s very few par 4’s and no par 5’s). It’s very simple and very easy to play, their rates are extremely affordable for all college students and for all citizens in the valley. Their conditions of the course is what sets them back a bit but it is a great course to just walk on and tee-off.

The condition of the course is what sets them back. The first few and last few holes of the course are well kept; however, during the middle of your round you’ll notice that some of the par 3’s fairways are full of dead grass rather than the normal “green” feel most golf courses possess. There is one hole that does stand out the most is the 7th hole and the 4th hole of the course. They both have holes with a lot of dead grass although they both are par 3’s, if you muffed your ball only an amazingly strong 20 yards, then your next shot would wind up in the dead grass, forcing your next shot to be hit there and the lies on the dead grass are tough. The lie makes it tough for your club to get under the ball and hit a decently lofted shot. Most shots would end up being hit in a line-drive fashion. Their greens are fairly well kept; although they are dry (being that it is Arizona) the dry plain of the greens make them fast while you’re putting. Aside from a few dead grass holes and dry greens, the course is well kept and is definitely playable.

The difficulty of this course on a scale of one to ten (ten being the toughest) is about a three. The lies are fairly simple, the rough is easy to get out of and there are very few bunkers that your ball could potentially land in. The only difficulty this course possesses is within your own game itself. Also because of the typical Arizona Golf Course layout, what’s an Arizona golf course without a desert to hit into when you shank your drive?

Their rates at this course are what stand out the most, although prices vary during seasons of play. During this past summer, to walk 18 holes at this course was at the great low price of only seven dollars. That’s the price of driving range balls at some golf courses. To ride with a cart at this is course is roughly around 20 dollars. Any college student with seven dollars lying around their apartment, dorm, house, or suite, they can easily grab that and head over to the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Tempe.



In the Foothills of the Valley…The San Gabriel Valley
September 28, 2010, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Out-Of-State Courses

Another trip back home, another successful round of golf with my father. Him and I were able to play the back 9 at Mountain Meadows Golf Course in Pomona, CA; just twenty miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. It is a public 18-hole course, full of many slopes, hills, dog legs, and holes overseeing the valley.

Maintenance

The maintenance of the course was best described in one word…green. There are very rare occasions where you will see a patch of dead grass. Their divots were replaced well, the fairway was cut very well and short. The greens didn’t have any hazards or extra blades of grass in the path of the dance floor. The only setback this course did possess was the upkeep of the bunkers, although some felt like bunkers, others however felt as if you were hitting out of mud. But there is a definite explanation for that reason, the sprinkler system. The system is scheduled to be on early in the morning and it’s inevitable that water from the sprinklers will end up in bunkers next to the green. Besides that fact, Mountain Meadows is a beautiful course, well-kept, and properly maintained.


Difficulty

Being that as it may, I’m what people call a recreational golfer, which in lamen’s terms means basically this…i’m terrible. However this does not rule out the difficulty of this course because I’ve played on some pretty tough courses and played well on them, that doesn’t make them any less difficult; it just makes me lucky. One hole in particular that stood out the most was the 12th hole, it’s a par 3, 215 yards from the green. Here’s the catch to this hole though, on the left there’s a fairway for playing it safe. But on the right, there’s the valley that will leave in your ball in “no man’s land” and you’ll never see it again. So you think to yourself: Do you play it safe? or Do you go for it all? Recreational golfer’s usually go for it all, experienced golfer’s as well will go for it all but eventually end up on the left avoiding any hazards, that makes them wise. If you muff your shot short or slice it to the left, you’ll never see your ball again which pretty much was the summary of the entire course. The course was surrounded by the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley which meant if you really screwed up your drive or hit your irons terribly, your ball will most likely end up in the hills to never be seen again…unless you’re bold to look for it and are familiar with how to handle rattlesnakes. In this course, every shot is vital as well as the game of golf really, every shot counts. If you mis-hit your ball, there are several places it could end up, out-of-bounds in the valley or the streets, the rough, the bunker, or if you’re  terrible putter, the green.

Rates

Their rates are a little pricey, it was a little over twenty dollars to walk nine holes early in the morning, so if you’d like to play 18 holes with a cart as well, look for that price to double. However, if you’re a junior, meaning that you’re below the age 18, the rates are in your favor with the highest price for a junior being only nine dollars and the cheapest being five. The rates at this course based upon its beauty, difficulty, and overall experience, I’d say the rates are fair.

Overall Experience

I’d say in the several times I have played at Mountain Meadows, it felt much different, I felt as if I was hitting the ball better because in the past I have had a lot of trouble at that course. But the weather was great (well in the morning, minus the weekend heat wave in Los Angeles), the grass was green, the course was clear. It just felt as if no one was there playing except my father and I. My overall experience at this course was definitely relaxing. If you ever make a trip out to California, maybe you can schedule a tee time.