First of all, thanks Becky for showing me the course and San Francisco, putting me up for the night, food, disc, sticker and entertainment (first time playing the Wii).
I didn't get around to the internet yesterday because the Wii was beckoning, so I have 8 course to write up. Basically went from the Lake Tahoe area to San Francisco yesterday, then from there to Monterey and now to sleep in Fresno before playing Woodward Legacy in the morning. I got to see some giant dead jellyfish on the beach this morning, that was pretty cool. Actually got to see the city this time too, last time it was too foggy to see anything at all.
As soon as I pulled up in front of Oak Grove Regional in Stockton yesterday morning, I realized I had already played it last time and hadn't crossed it off. So that was a bummer because I went out of my way to be there. But at least it brings the count up by 1 to a total of 749. (1 more and I have played as many new courses this trip as in all the years before).
Stockton, CA- Mike Garrigan:Ridiculously short , with just 8 holes and 1 basket apparently missing. In a flat, green park next to a school. Well marked but some signs damaged. Holes from 80-240', most around 110'. Almost wide open and completely flat. Really for little kids, and located just around the corner from Oak Grove Regional.
Stockton, CA- Oak Grove Regional Park:Did not play, due to having played it before. I remember it being very flat, partially in a green grassy area near water and partly in a more yellowed rough part of the park, some long holes and good design. Oak trees, rock structures, not too technical but fun. 3$. Front was distinctly different from the back, easier and more open I believe.
Modesto, CA- East La Loma:Confusing layout of 8 holes on one side of the park, then 9 on the other with an additional 9 beyond the 12th hole. I could not find a clue about whether or not there is a 'Hole #18'. The extra 9 have no tees or signs, and are rather hard to figure out, I couldn't do it and neither could another guy at the park. Short and VERY easy, but with multiple placements and most were set short. 1 basket on artificial hill on wide open hole. Dead grass and dried out earth fairways with Oak trees and very flat. More trees on the back part, some holes get tight. Fun with lots of variety. A few typical Cali over-the-tree with no real fairway holes. Guide probably needed to play the 27 hole layout. Cement tees and signs on the '17' hole course.
San Leandro, CA- Chabot:Another confusing layout..#1 tees from by the park entrance (which is really hard to find), but #2 is right by where you park. From #2's pad, you see a basket straight ahead that looks like a hole. That's not the right one, it's hidden behind a hill to the right. #3 backtracks, and there's another hole (#8) that is hidden and again NOT the basket you see straight ahead..Short holes, half kind of technical half mostly open, on some good small hills. Fun if you can figure it out, no driver needed.
Moraga, CA- Moraga Commons:Took me 10 minutes to find the 1st hole, played 7-8 first and then had to ask someone. Park along road instead of turning right on St. Mary's and the course is right by the skate park. Good length, with a 450' downhill hole over a line of trees with the basket just to the left on a small hillside. A few big up and down hill drives too. Some of the fairways are tilled dried out clumps of earth, had to walk on. Significant elevation usage, views of mountains around you. Most cement and a few dirt tees, course is well marked.
San Francisco, CA- Golden Gate:In the largest park inside a major city limits in the country. Cement tees, well marked showing pin positions and it has a map/msg. board. Long and very tough, tight technical tunnels that punish and are hard to pull off sometimes. OB in play. Very busy course, have to wait for awhile to tee off. The layout we played was very lefty friendly, but there are other layouts. Nice land of old growth trees, ferns, etc. Nothing is handed to you, you have to shoot well here and get a bit of luck, I hit 'that one branch' about a dozen times.
San Jose, CA- Hellyer:Well designed and fun, no real rough or hazards in a small scrap of land right along the highway. Very hilly on a few holes. Multiple pin placements which are marked on the sign! (Someone out here has the right idea). Dual cement tees, good signs and a large map, signs and map a bit confusing when looking at though. Several shots over and around trees to well protected baskets, nothing really tight. Rocky, sandy ground not much grass alive or dead. Located just 1 mile drive and much less by foot from the other park. Really nice set up, but two flaws in it. 1- The first tee is downhill into the course, maybe 500' from the parking area, yet #8 tees off right there by the map and the cars. It should probably be re-numbered, I started on #8 and I'm sure most people do..
2- The tees do not say whether they are the long or short tee, you have to judge or look at the sign to figure it out.
Great course overall.
San Jose, CA- Parque De La Raza:Killer course, with all amenities (rubber tees, bathroom, signs, practice basket, free to play, multiple pin placements, a system that says which pin is in use, and it's just around the bend from the other park). Can be set-up very long and challenging, hard to achieve par 3. A few holes require playing for the 3, throwing a drive to a landing zone, then an upshot and a putt, real golf. The rest are long and it's good to have an arm, with an option to throw up and over sometimes but always a real route at it low to the ground (unusual for Cali). Small hills, unused parking lot and road OB, roped off OB and colorful, creative tee signs add character. Massive poison oak, easily avoidable if skilled, and on some signs it even shows where it is, with a snarling monster holding a sign that says "poison oak"- these signs are just amazing. A lot of work has been down here and it's a true course even though just 9 holes.
Monterey, CA- Don Davhee Open Space:What's to say about this course? It's probably impossible to navigate without the map from online, as I had severe trouble even with it. Limited parking. Tees are hard to spot, signs broken or faded and flush with the ground, some rubber some dirt tees. The problem begins on #2, when the basket straight ahead that makes for a nice hole is not the right basket, but the one in the woods to the left hard to see is the right one. After #6, most holes require a lonnnnng aimless walk back and forth through the park with no signs, and one hole is literally under a cement bridge, shooting straight under it lengthwise with the pillars acting as trees. You have to cross the bridge to get to your drive due to a steep creek in the middle. Nice holes, good variety but not too long. The other problem is of course poison oak, so much it's just crazy, as bad as poison ivy back east. I am still healing all over with scabs so I'm not messing with that stuff. It's so bad, if you are allergic you should not bother. You cannot avoid landing in it, on the fairway and off. It grows like a blanket, and gets to 10' tall, near the baskets. Guide/map/technu absolutely necessary.
There are so many directions/descriptions to update now from the past 2 days.