Updated Course Review: Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms (Eisenhower Course)

This past Sunday, I paid a visit to one of my favorite local courses. Even though I had only played the Eisenhower course once before at Industry Hills—compared to three times visiting the Zaharias course—it left an indelible impression on
me. It’s beautiful. It’s really challenging. And it’s a whole lot of
fun.

The fun was ramped up by the fact I played alongside three
golf buddies. We had booked an 11:40 tee time through GolfNow. It was a
“hot deal” time for $60, but essentially it was free for me. I had a $75
reward I had earned last year through GN, so I needed to use it up. It
covered my fee and part of one of my friend’s, so that was pretty sweet.
It’s hard to beat a weekend round on Ike for free.

I’ve reviewed
this course in the past, so I will mostly highlight my experience
Sunday. If you haven’t played either Industry Hills course, then you’ve
been missing out. Zaharias (aka “The Babe”) is shorter and narrower with
some more pronounced doglegs. Eisenhower (aka “Ike”) is quite long and
has more natural undulation overall (on fairways and especially on the
greens). That said, there are some very uncomfortable tee shots on
Eisenhower, as well, and holes that would also be categorized as “target
golf.”

The trick is you have both target style design and
length required on a number of holes and things can get tough. Holes 4-6
are good examples of this philosophy. From the blue tees, they are 451
(par-4), 216 (par-3) and 469 (par-4) yards respectively. The 4th hole is
very memorable with a really elevated tee shot and a pretty narrow view
of the fairway below that doglegs to the left once you’re down on that
level.

The back nine does open up a little more, but still plays
pretty long. Of course, the most notable length is found on the 18th
hole. At 627 yards, this is one beast of a par-5. It’s a pretty
straightforward design, but it takes some work to get to that green!

One
issue that plagues Industry Hills is the pace of play. Some of that can
be attributed to the higher level of challenge. The routing is also a
factor (especially at the turn on Ike). Even though they seem to stick
to a 10-minute tee time schedule, it just gets backed up easily. Our
round took about 5 hours and 20 minutes with waiting on almost every
shot. It was pretty brutal, but the course is so enjoyable it helps make
that slow pace somewhat tolerable. The hard part, though, is trying to
stay in rhythm on such a tough course.

We did not see any marshals
all day on a busy Sunday afternoon, so it appears they don’t seem to
care much about pacing issues. That’s kind of a shame at a higher-end
resort course like this.

I thought the course was in good overall
condition, especially for winter, but still far from “great.” The tee
boxes were excellent. The fairways looked nice and green and were mostly
decent.
Overall, though, I’d say they looked better from a distance than
they played. There were some firm areas and some muddy sections, too.
The rough was mostly lush, but not overly penal. The greens were a
tad bumpy at times and rolling at medium/quick speeds. Some bunkers
seemed to have a lot of rocks and I
noticed plenty of unraked footprints, but the few traps I found had
pretty good sand. It was not super fluffy, but just enough on top to
work with,
which is actually how I like it. Visually, the course looked fantastic
throughout
with some weak spots here and there once we were up close and
personal.

I still like Ike. A lot. There’s no doubt about that. This is
one of the best courses in Southern California and is a must-play. Their
normal rack rates are too much for me, but getting it at the price we
found (even before my promo discount) was well worth it.

Some pictures from Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms (1/25/15):

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