Though it’s one of my favorite SoCal tracks, it’s been a couple years since I’ve been to CrossCreek. It’s just inconvenient enough to make it a regular stop, plus you all know I like to mix things up. However, if I lived closer, I would come here more often because of some deals available and the lack of crowds on this hidden gem of a course.
Speaking of deals, I finally took advantage of the GK Coupon through Greenskeeper.org (free to join, easy to use the coupon). It’s a fantastic deal for $40 and includes a free replay, though it is restricted to after 11:00 on weekends this time of year. A friend and I booked an 11:03 tee time for Saturday and there was hardly anyone out there by the time we arrived.
They paired us with another single and never had to wait on any shots until the final hole. My friend and I went right back out for our replay round and basically had it to ourselves again. In a way, it’s very sad to see this course not getting more play and doing better business because it’s worth a little extra drive. However, it was kind of cool kind of having a country club vibe with the course to ourselves for the majority of two rounds on a picture-perfect Saturday!
However you slice it, it’s a deal worth taking advantage of and yet another reason to join GK if you aren’t a member already.
I did a pretty detailed review when I last played here a couple years ago (ironically at a GK Event), so I won’t go into as much detail this time about the course. Probably the most notable difference is what used to be a big open “dead” area between the loop of holes on the front nine.
Now they have planted what look to be vineyards and/or some other sort of small orchard trees. Once the growth matures, it will really provide a nice aesthetic touch to the one part of the course that wasn’t quite as pretty as the rest. It’s so nice not having any homes directly on the course and the big, beautiful homes, orchards and vineyards on the surrounding hillsides only add to the scenery.
The course itself, though still very nice by today’s standards (i.e. drought conditions and water restrictions affecting all California courses), it is a little more rough around the edges than it once was. The original tagline at CrossCreek was “Pristine Golf,” and my first couple of experiences here would back up that claim. It’s not quite as pristine anymore and it’s definitely lost some luster., but that’s comparing to its heyday. It’s still one of my favorites around here, though perhaps not my absolute favorite as I once considered it.
Like I said, I have mixed emotions about the lack of players here on a Saturday. The somewhat “deserted” feeling is kind of sad. The staff is very friendly, but they had the grille already closed down by mid-afternoon. I’m glad I got a hot dog at our first turn because my friend waited and was denied any hot food service in between our two rounds. Then again, the lack of crowds also makes for an extremely relaxed and enjoyable experience while out on the course.
Overall, the course was in very good condition. The tee boxes were good. A few
fairway spots on the 6th hole and parts of the back nine were a little scruffy, but mostly they were
all lush, green and great to hit from. The main cut of rough was mostly
very good, with it getting more patchy as you near the outer edges.
Around the greens, the grass was generally thick and the ball would sit down,
making for some tough chips. The greens were pretty good, just running
somewhat slower than they looked. I struggled with the speeds all day. I
was in a couple bunkers and they were great. The fairway bunkers were more firm
and greenside ones had softer sand, which is just the way I like them.
If you haven’t played CrossCreek, it’s worth the trek out to Temecula (and then several miles west in the middle of nowhere) to play it. That is especially true with the GK Coupon, but good deals are easy to find here throughout the week. There are some tricky holes on the back nine and the lack of GPS does make it tougher to navigate as a first-time player. I wish I had reread my earlier review and remembered to bring the yardage book they gave me that time. It would have come in handy.
Some pictures from CrossCreek Golf Club (7/25/15):