Views and hikes that will take your breath away
4 Helpful / 1 Not
The drive up from I-15 ascends several thousand feet and gives you a taste of what you'll find on the course. The first hole is an exhilarating bomb down a bunny hill slope. The rest of the front 9 plays below the lodge, winding among the tall and spare pines.
The middle 9 begin with one of the most picturesque holes I've played, a 500+ foot downhill missile launch. There aren't many trees to hit…except the two that are within three feet of the tee pad. There is a huge gap between them, but those trees definitely got in my head. No one wants to throw a 3-foot drive on this hole. At the bottom of this hole is a spectacular vista, along with a tee pad whose tee sign urges you to "sacrifice" a disc over the edge. There is actually a pad aiming over the edge. I wish I'd brought a crappy disc to throw.
The final 9 play above the lodge. Each 9-hole loop returns you near the lodge.
Every tee pad is rubber. It seems like most ski hill courses have natural pads, so this was a nice change. Signs are at most holes and give some good warnings on holes that you really don't want to overthrow.
There are some truly fun drives here.
Cons: The biggest con here is that, while there are a ton of fun shots, the challenge is limited. Paul McBeth owns the record at -21. The trees are used decently on some holes, but it would not be shocking to have a round where you never hit a tree. Most of the holes are pretty wide open. I know that part of the reason is that the course is on the part of the ski hill where people actually ski (i.e. not a ton of trees), but courses like Mt Charleston have fit in tight holes in spite of this. I wonder if more clumps of trees couldn't have been used to force more types of shots on certain holes.
I found the final 9 holes to be a bit of a letdown after the first 18. They crisscross their way up the mountain with only two real payoff holes. They're not bad at all, just not as good as the earlier holes.
Other Thoughts: I can't think of any course I've played with better views than this. And the elevation feels great above the heat of the valley below. You'll have time to take in the views when you're catching your breath from the hike up and down the slopes. Bring some water, too.
I played this on the way to L.A. and on the way out of town, and the $7 was well worth it both times. The guy who runs the course indicated the owners have been willing to put more money into the course as more people have come. Good. This is a must-visit course if you're in the area.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Mountain Views & Cooler Temps
Pros: I would give the actual course design a 5.0, but the upkeep and condition of this course make it only worthy of a 4.0. This is my favorite course in Southern California. It is great to go up the mountain in the summer and away from the heat of the valleys.
This is a Dave Dunipace course design. Some hole placements have changed over the years, but the original vibe is still present. While the holes are not super long, they are technical and do require a variety of shots to score well.
Unlike other mountain courses, the course is fairly easy to navigate and the holes do not simply go up and down. The first nine holes start out from the parking area going down the tube run. After Hole 3 play begins to slowly traverse across and up the hillside to Hole 9 next to the parking area. The second nine holes again leave from parking area and work down the hillside. Starting at Hole 14, players start to gradually traverse back up the mountain again to the lodge and parking area. The final 9 holes are the most challenging and begin just down and to the right of the lodge parking area. These are the longest holes on the course and cover the most elevation change. Holes 19-25 all play across and up the mountain. Holes 25 through 27 bring players back down to lodge area.
I personally prefer the holes in the short positions, but the long positions are also fun and very thoughtful additions. They are not just longer to be longer like happens at so many other courses. The long pins generally require different shot selection and really change things up. Long or short, the course still requires some stamina. The great part is you can play 9 and rest and play another 9 and rest and then finish another 9 if you still have energy. You can choose which nine holes you want to play first. The first nine holes are the shortest and require the least amount of physical activity. The middle nine requires more stamina and the final nine holes require the most endurance and are the most challenging.
Alcohol is legal on the course.
Cons: For a pay to play course, I expect better signage and definitely expect the restrooms to be clean and operational. Watch out for rattlesnakes at all times. While many areas of buckthorn have been removed from the fairways of many holes, it is still abundant on the mountainside. Errant shots could easily end up in this nasty thorn filled shrub.
Other Thoughts: Recommend sturdy hiking shoes for the rugged terrain and long pants to keep interaction with thorny plants at a minimum. That being said, you can still play this course in shorts and sneakers if you are in good shape and don't mind a bit of dust and stickers.
I have been the TD for the annual PDGA/So Cal Series event at this course since 2005. Pin placements for several holes are changed between the first and second rounds. Tom Bant will generally have the pins in both positions in the weeks prior to the event. On-site camping at Table Mountain adds to the feel of the event.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Lots of up and down. 27 holes. Well maintained, well marked. Fantastic setting. You can camp within walking distance of the course. Friendly staff. Great place to make a day or weekend of your DG experience if you live in LA.
Cons: Relatively short holes. Closed for winter
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Elevation and challenge on a great property. Beautiful ski area mountain top course within easy reach of the LA metro region. Dunipace/Bant design uses the hills and trees superbly. You will hike - so wear the proper footwear. Table Mountain Campground adjacent. Love it up here! Can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the flat land in the summer.
Cons: Closes in the winter. Tees could be improved.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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