On Tuesday, I continued my tour of Southern California private clubs with another opportunity to access a local course not generally open to the public. I was able to set up a preview round at Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas and the staff here is very friendly.
The guest price was a very reasonable $46 (cart included) and it was a very slow afternoon out there, so I teed up on my own just a little after noon. I played through a couple groups on the course, but otherwise flew through the round and it worked out nicely.
I’ve always been intrigued by Via Verde with it’s location up in the hills and along a ridgeline, but the course itself was different than I expected. It was a pretty traditional old LA kind of design and reminded me of plenty of other local county and city courses. I was expecting more elevated views, but there are really only a couple there. It starts on a nice note with a straight downhill par-4 first hole, but flattens out through most of the front nine.
The 9th hole is an intriguing par-3 that plays uphill. Once you get to the green and look back toward the tee, though, that’s when you get the best view on the property. The back nine is a little more hilly and the whole layout is relatively narrow with some awkward angles and sight lines.
Conditions were just so/so, as the drought seems to have taken its toll at this point in the summer. Things were pretty dried out and crusty around the edges. The fairways were decent and playable for the most part with plenty of thin spots scattered throughout. The rough was much less consistent along the fairways, but much better around the greens. The greens were soft and receptive, rolling at relatively slow speeds and a bit bumpy in places. I was in a couple bunkers and they all had nice sand.
I know I normally write a lot more, but there just wasn’t anything overly inspiring about this course and it seems to be having some tough times. I wouldn’t expect too many people out there on a hot Tuesday afternoon and this probably isn’t the ideal time of year here, but it just felt like a place that’s seen better days.
Some pictures from Via Verde Country Club (9/1/15):