Course Review: The Crossings at Carlsbad

I played a Sunday round out here with a friend. You won’t hear this often about this course, but the main reason we chose it was that it was the most appealing bargain for that day.

I recently got an email from EZlinks.com with a 50% off promo code good through the month of October. That was the only day in the month we could both play and a $70 7:21 time for The Crossings at Carlsbad seemed to be the most enticing option by a longshot. I would generally consider this course drastically overpriced, but for $35 it’s a steal of a deal!

I first played this course last year. I think my review then might be a bit more favorable than this one, but I still had a positive overall experience at The Crossings this time (enhanced greatly by the deal we got and how well I ended up playing).

The Crossings features a fun layout with very few flat lies on the course. The front nine is a bit more forgiving with a few canyon forced carries to deal with and hillsides that help funnel balls back toward the center of the fairway on several holes. The back nine tightens up with a more dramatic layout through a rugged canyon setting, leaving less room for error on your shots. There are some great changes in elevation on both sides, especially the back which has several elevated tee boxes overlooking the course.

I definitely enjoy the back nine here more than the front, but it’s an enjoyable layout on all levels. The greens, however, are easily the biggest talking point. The first time I played here, I did take note of a few insane greens complexes like #15, which appears to have a brontosaurus buried in the middle of it. This time, I really noticed that almost all the greens here are pretty severe. With all sorts of big shelves, humps and valleys, they are definitely an adventure.

Having played Rustic Canyon the day before, the crazy greens at The Crossings didn’t bother me too much Sunday, but I can see why others would deem some of them too funky and over-the-top. You really need to be on with your short game to score well here. That’s for sure.

Love them or hate them, the greens were definitely the highlight of this round because they were in fantastic shape. Very smooth and quick on putts. Excellent surfaces by any measure.

Where the course lacked in high-end appeal was in the presentation throughout the fairways and rough. They were fine in terms of playability, but just didn’t look super well manicured. The fairways here are tightly mown bermuda grass and were nice to hit from, but there were some patches of other grass growing in various places and they just didn’t look that pretty visually. The rough was a mixed bag with some nice thick, lush stuff, some very thin areas and some clumpy spots. A few holes had big sections of rough roped off as GUR.

The one sand trap I was in was great and the tee boxes were mostly fine. The grass was a bit shaggy on them and the base was pretty sandy, so I assume they are just coming out of an overseed. I would presume they will be looking and playing nicer in another couple weeks.

We were paired with another twosome. It was foggy out, so the starter (who seemed confused and really slow to react) might have been spacing things out a bit more on purpose. Ultimately, we never really pushed the groups ahead and the groups behind didn’t push us, so it was a nice, relaxed 4.5-hour pace.

In summary, for $35 on a Sunday morning The Crossings at Carlsbad was a truly awesome course to play. If we had paid the full $70 on EZlinks (which is discounted some to begin with), I would have felt a tad underwhelmed but wouldn’t complain too much. If we had paid full rack rate ($99 Fridays and Sundays, $110 Saturdays for non SD/Carlsbad residents according to their website), I would have felt very disappointed. This is a good course with nice clubhouse facilities, but the overall experience is just not as high-end as the lofty prices would suggest.

Some pictures from The Crossings at Carlsbad (10/27/13):

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