Get ready for a barrage of private club reviews these next two weeks. It just so happens a number of outings were lined up, so I’ll be busy.
Next up was today’s round at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park. Though they do have “member for a day” outings here from time to time, they don’t come up that often and they have never timed out well for me. Finally, today I could take advantage.
The theme for today’s outing was “Tacos & Beer,” which means—you guessed it—they were providing tacos and beer (or a soft drink of your choosing) to all guests. The price was $70 and it was a 10:00 shotgun start.
Today, they had us playing the Valley/Vista combo at this 27-hole facility (Lake is the other nine). I was hoping to be able to play the third nine before or after the main round, but unfortunately it was closed down today for aerification of the greens. In fact, the greens on the nines we did play were punched and heavily sanded just last week. They didn’t bother to tell anyone about that when signing up, but the email on Friday with the final details for the event just casually mentioned it as if it were no big deal.
I had somewhat expected this outing to coincide with their spring maintenance, but it could have been handled better and more clearly advertised during the sign-up process. I saw a lot of players grumbling out there when they overlooked the note in the email and found out the hard way this morning.
The greens definitely marred the round a little bit, but otherwise it was an enjoyable day within my group. I was paired with three fun guys and we started on the 7th hole of the Valley nine. By the time we made our first turn (after just three holes), the tacos were ready and we took a break to eat them before heading to the first hole of Vista. We never saw the group ahead and the group behind us was never close at all, so we enjoyed a nice relaxed pace of our own.
As for the tacos, they were truly the highlight of the day. We each got three (chicken or beef) as part of the package. I opted for all chicken, and then they had the fresh-chopped cilantro and onions, along with a couple of ridiculously great salsas. They were some of the best street-style tacos I’ve ever had. So good. If we weren’t limited to three, I would have gorged myself and really gotten my money’s worth!
The tacos might have overshadowed the course. There’s nothing bad about Los Coyotes. In fact, it’s a fairly enjoyable layout. It was designed by Billy Bell and is a pretty traditional SoCal style track. It is moderately hilly (no big changes in elevation, but not a lot of flat spots either). The holes I liked best featured serpentine fairways with mounds on either side that funneled the ball into the middle. We only encountered one water hazard on each of the nines we played. I can only assume the one called “Lakes” has more water to contend with.
Overall, Los Coyotes reminded me of plenty of other SoCal courses I’ve played. It all felt vaguely familiar. Unspectacular, but not boring either. I remarked it felt like a nicer version of La Mirada Golf Course, which isn’t too far away.
My favorite hole of what we played was easily the 2nd hole on the Valley nine, which features one of those water hazards. It’s a nice little par-3 over the water and has a great look to it. I also liked the 1st hole on the Valley nine, as it featured the most prominent serpentine fairway of the day running the length of this opening par-5 hole.
The aerated greens certainly weren’t ideal, but they really didn’t play that terribly. As typical with sanded greens, anything coming in low would skip across the surfaces. Anything coming in with any spin at all would stop on a dime, so you really had to adapt based on the shot you wanted to hit. The surfaces were bumpy, but still rolling relatively quickly. It was easy to see that normally the greens are probably the highlight here when in normal condition. I can see them being fast and deceptive.
The rest of the course was in good overall shape. The tee boxes were generally very nice. The kikuyu fairways had some thin spots, but I almost always had a great lie. The rough was more hit or miss in terms of lushness, but it was cut down in most areas and not too much of a factor. Around the greens, the collars and rough were very well kept. The sand traps were great.
Los Coyotes is not a must-play private club, but if you get out there the guest prices are generally somewhat reasonable, the layout is fine enough and the experience is a quality one overall. It’s a decent middle-of-the-road private option with a nice central location. I know I’ll need to come back here someday to play the Lakes nine, so I’ll be looking for a deal, hoping to avoid aerification and also making sure more tacos are included next time!
Some pictures from Los Coyotes Country Club (5/23/16):