Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit this local course. Being that this club is part of a 55+ community, it was a tricky one to access. Thankfully, a friend had a client who lives here and was nice enough to invite us out for a round.
Technically, there are 36 holes within this community. There are 27 regulation holes on the primary course. Then, there’s a little 9-hole par-3 course deeper in the community. We didn’t have a chance to play that small course yesterday, but we have an invite to come back in the near future to knock it out.
I was ultimately able to play all 27 holes of the main course, though, and that was great. The three nines here are simply named Courses One, Two and Three. We had a 2:28 tee time, but started just a little after 2:00 on Course One. It was very busy out here, but things moved along decently and we finished 18 in about 2.5 hours. We inquired about continuing to play the third nine, which we could see was wide open that late in the day. The pro shop was closed and the cart attendant let us know that the carts had to be in by 7:00 at the latest. Otherwise, they didn’t seem to care. So, one friend and I just turned in our cart and walked the third nine. We were the only ones out on the course and we did have to dodge some sprinklers, but we finished quickly and without hassle.
Laguna Woods Village is definitely a senior-friendly layout. Walkers will get a pretty good workout because it is fairly hilly and some parts of the course are kind of spread out. Otherwise, the layout itself is pretty short and forgiving. All three nines are regulation (technically), and each one gets shorter in length. Course One is par-36 at 3,114 yards (from the back blue tees), with three par-5s and three par-3s. Course Two is par-35 at 2,897 yards, with two par-5s and three par-3s. Course Three is par-35 at 2,626 yards, with only one short par-5 and two par-3s.
It was kind of nice as each nine got progressively easier and my score got progressively better!
Laguna Woods Village has a pretty relaxed feel and a familiar look. At times, I was reminded of various other Orange County courses. It won’t stand out as anything very distinctive, but it’s rather enjoyable for what it is. There are no water hazards on the course and there are only a few places around the edges where homes or roads (in other words OB) come into play.
There isn’t anything I would consider a “signature hole” here. Though significantly shorter than Course One, I actually liked Courses Two and Three best. I thought they had more character and certain design elements (primarily the bunkers) had a more interesting look.
You are treated to some fantastic views of Saddleback Mountain and up toward the OC Great Park (with the big orange balloon looming in the distance). There is one stretch of the course (that houses holes from Courses Two and Three) that is next to septic tank or something that absolutely stinks if the breeze is blowing the wrong way. That was the only unpleasant thing we encountered all day.
The conditions were nice overall. The tee boxes were good. The fairways were generally great. There were some thin spots here and there, but for the most part it was thick/lush kikuyu with the ball sitting up nicely. The rough was also very good and the ball would typically sit up. However, if you didn’t strike the ball perfectly, the grass would grab your club and mess you up really easily. I was in a couple bunkers. One was great. The other was just so/so. For the most part, they looked nice, though.
The greens were very receptive to anything with spin. Those shots would stop on a dime or back up with some serious mojo on it. Lower shots would land firm and get pretty big bounces. They rolled at medium speeds and were a bit bumpy late in the day. There were lot of unrepaired ball marks, though, which is sad to see. Otherwise, the turf was great. Players just need to do their part to take care of what they have here.
Laguna Woods Village is perfect for a 55+ community. I can see why it gets a lot of play from residents. The three nines offer a little variety and the layouts are short, but still fun and interesting enough because of the hilly terrain.
Some pictures from Laguna Woods Village Golf Club (7/10/16):
I did end up going back to play the Par 3 “Leisure” Course at Laguna Woods Village a few months later, so I am going to provide a quick review and some pictures here…
Par 3 Course
We enjoyed a nice relaxed Sunday morning round. I played with the same Laguna Woods Village resident who hosted us on the main course, along with another friend.
The course is only nine holes and would be considered a “pitch and putt” by most. From the white tees, the holes range from 80 yards up to 130. The greens are small and the course is relatively simple in design, as you might expect.
There are a couple of water hazards in play as you work your way in between and around the condos. It’s actually a more enjoyable course than I would have expected. I’m sure if I lived in the community, I would take advantage of it. It’s just $3 to play for residents and $7 for their guests.
Conditions were fine. Things were a bit wet and shaggy early in the morning with nothing mowed yet, but the grass coverage was pretty good throughout. The greens were super soft, bumpy and slow.
Not much else to highlight. Glad I was able to come back and complete the full 36-hole circuit at Laguna Woods Village.
Some pictures from Laguna Woods Village Par 3 Course (10/23/16):