A friend and I played here yesterday morning for the first time in many years. We used to play out here a lot back in the day. Even though it’s a long drive, it used to be one of the best deals in SoCal. The prices were great and the course was relatively easy to get on for a weekend round. Neither of us had played since the casino took over, renovated, etc. We mainly stopped playing there because they jacked up the rates for awhile, but the prices are now back down to where the deals are great again. It was only $35 yesterday, and for primetime on a Saturday morning, you won’t find a better course in the region.
It was interesting going back out there and seeing all that had changed. The course felt familiar, yet a eerily different. The nines had been switched (that will take some getting used to), many trees were removed, some holes were reworked and some bunkers were added in/revamped. As much as I love this course, I always struggled here. Today was no different and past demons came back to haunt me and I found myself scrambling on most every hole. In a nutshell, this course still owns me, but that won’t stop me from returning in the future!
Conditions out there are very nice. It is in great shape for mid-summer. Mostly green with some brown/dry patches here and there (nothing that affected play). Rough is not deep, but it’s a thick/sticky grass that grabs your club, so you really have to take confident swings and hit the ball solidly. I found many bunkers out there today and those were all in nice shape. Packed tight on top, which helps prevent plugged balls, but plenty soft underneath the surface so no problem getting under the ball. Greens are in excellent shape. They were more forgiving on the front nine as they were still soft from watering. On the back, they firmed up and it was harder to hold approaches/chips.
Overall, this is still a great course and a must-play for SoCal folks. Worth every second of the drive to get there and the summer rates are exceptional. Beyond the $35 regular rate, the replay rate was only $20. We thought about playing a second round, but the course wiped us out the first time through and we weren’t quite ready to take it on again that soon. They are aerating the fairways next week (7/10), so you may want to wait another couple of weeks. if you are thinking of making the trip.
Some pictures from The Country Club at Soboba Springs (7/7/12):