An Up and Down Day at Tierra Rejada

In order to tell my Torrey Pines story from Monday, I skipped over my Sunday round at Tierra Rejada Golf Club in Moorpark. Well, it’s time to cover it now a week later.

I played up here with my friends in the LA Golf Group and we had a blast as always. Originally, this tournament was going to be at Olivas Links, but because they had just aerated, they decided to move it to Tierra Rejada. In the end, I think it was a good alternative. Especially for the format we played, TR offers a more interesting and less-forgiving layout than Olivas.

Our format this time was a two-person scramble competition, but with a slight twist. Rather than a pure “play-the-best-ball-of-the-two” scramble format all the way through, every other hole offered up something a little different. On even-numbered holes, we played that traditional way with us playing our better “team” ball on each shot. However, on odd-numbered holes, we were required to use the worse of the two tee shots and then play the hole out as a traditional scramble from there. Technically, it was the other team in our foursome’s job to pick which of the two tee shots we must use on each odd-numbered hole.

It was a little stressful at times, but a whole lot of fun. Tierra Rejada offers a number of tricky hole layouts (especially on the front nine) and it just so happens many of the toughest holes here are odd-numbered. On this canyon-style layout that goes up and down the hills, the key on most shots (but especially on those pressure-packed odd-hole tee shots) was just to keep the ball in play to avoid incurring penalty strokes. My partner and I actually did well in that sense, without any penalty strokes all day!

We did find other ways to screw up from time to time and we took more bogeys than we should have, but we also mixed in a few very nice birdies and par saves, so I was very satisfied with the round we put up. For mid-handicappers like us, a 75 gross score was more than satisfactory, especially in this format. Unfortunately, other teams were getting more handicap strokes than us. Two teams tied at the top with net 59s. We had a net 60 with our combined 15 strokes and ended up in third overall. Oh well, it was still a lot of fun.

As for the course, this was my second time playing Tierra Rejada. I played here last year on my birthday (they offer a free birthday round with only a $15 cart fee required). I enjoyed the course then as I generally like target golf courses and hilly canyon layouts. I actually enjoyed it even more this time. It helped to have some knowledge of several holes this time around. Some tricky holes like 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 17 are a little more intimidating the first time around. Once you know the best ways to play each hole, this course can be tamed. The course is actually more forgiving than it looks in many places, so the right strategies can pay off.

There are some excellent views from the course, especially at the highest points on the front nine. It was a beautiful afternoon for us Sunday and everyone enjoyed the weather and scenery at Tierra Rejada. It wasn’t too windy either, which helped. Like all Simi Valley area courses, it can get really windy here in the afternoons.

The course was in nice shape overall. No real complaints there. Things were mostly green and well-maintained as you would expect for this level of course in early spring. The greens were in excellent shape.

We got a solid group rate of $60 a player, which isn’t bad for an early twilight weekend round here. That’s about the top end of what I’d prefer to pay here, so I do think their normal rack rates are a little too much. I’m sure I’ll end up playing here again someday. It’s a solid choice if you can get a decent price. I still like Moorpark Country Club and Rustic Canyon better of the Moorpark courses, but there’s plenty to like about Tierra Rejada. I know some people don’t like some of the funky holes here, but I think it’s fun.

Some pictures from Tierra Rejada Golf Club (3/24/13):

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