Black Gold Golf Club
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Black Gold Golf Club
Yorba Linda, CA
Reviewed by: JohnnyGK, Westlake Village
Participated in the first GK Review Guru golf course visit on Tuesday joined by Dconnally, sngernz and dethman. Super time playing and really enjoyed the fellow GK’er company. Black Gold Golf Club was in great shape. I have been playing it about once or twice a year over the last 4 years during the transition of the turf from rye grass to kikuyu. This was a long process but I’m very happy to report that only in rare instances is this transaction not complete. The course has a beautiful uniform look now and consistent playing surface…more difficult than the previous rye grass, but a welcomed improvement. I’ve always loved the layout of Black Gold with is many scenic vistas and large variety of holes. Every hole plays different and makes you use all parts of your game to score well. I think the 18th hole is an exceptional finishing hole and love how the clubhouse and patio overlook it. As far as the conditions, best I might have ever seen at Black Gold Golf Club. Greens smooth, moderate speed, holding shots. Fairways lush (boy nothing like a ball sitting up on a kikuyu fairway), rough although inconsistent in varying length was very challenging green-side (that kikuyu will grab any slight miss strike – at times I hoped to be in the bunker instead – and I am not a good bunker player). Bunkers had quality sand and were firm at times. Tee boxes were lush, level, groomed and in great shape.
We teed off at 12:00pm, got around pretty quick in just under 4:30 hours. Never waited.
I had lunch before playing on the patio (chicken parmesan sandwich – delicious) served by Derricks Grill. Afterward the round stayed for a cold beer and $5 taco Tuesday, even better. If you have time plan on eating at the golf course as the food is tasty and affordable.
The driving range was closed for a natural grass renovation. We caught the course on the very day the bulldozers were there. However by 3:00pm it was already open as mats only.
I’d play this course regularly if it were within an hour drive. Unfortunately its a 2 hour drive in traffic for me from Westlake Village. However when the opportunity is there, I’m going to play it as much I can.
Yorba Linda, CA
Reviewed by: dethman, irvine, ca
Played Black Gold yesterday in a GK Guru round with sngernz, dconnally, and johnnygk himself. Fun round. Good bunch of guys to play with who can get the ball around the course. Great weather. Should have gotten there early to hit a few balls but the range was down for maintenance anyway. I suffered through the first four holes as a result but was able to turn it around a bit later.
The course is in about as good a shape as I’ve seen it. The fairways have really grown in since the transition to kikuyu. There are still a few spotty areas such as on 15, it’s marked GUR, but, for the most part, you’re rewarded with a nice, soft thick lie if you hit the fairway. Fairway rough is a bit sketchier. You can be in some really thick stuff that you can’t get your club through, or you might be sitting up nicely in some of the older bermuda or other grass. greenside rough can also be very thick and sticky, and there are a lot of uphill and downhill lies near the greens, making it more difficult to get up and down. The rough in combination with the general target layout always make me shoot a few more strokes than normal at this course.
Greens were in very good shape, a few ball marks but nothing to complain about. fast, rolled true for the most part, a bit faster than the practice green. Per the starter, 10.5 ish or so. There are a lot of undulations here and you always have to keep in mind the break towards the south as black gold is built up in the hills of northern yorba linda. I was in two greenside bunkers and the sand is thick, mildly damp, and heavy. Take a nice deliberate swing to get your ball out. Tee boxes were in good shape with few divots. Maybe because not a lot of people are taking divots on the two 200yard par 3s they have there.
We didn’t see the cart girl on the course which was disappointing because the day was hot and we could have used some more refreshments on the course. We did run into her reloading at the snack bar, which was actually closed at the time, and picked up some drinks from her there. Nice happy hour and taco Tuesday starting at 5pm.
Overall the course is in great shape. I always enjoy this layout because no two holes are alike and it always provides a challenge. It’s is a good test of golf. You have to hit fairways and greens to score well here. Otherwise you will be paying for it from the rough and greenside. If you haven’t been out to black gold lately check it out. enjoyed the round and company, thanks guys.
Yorba Linda, CA
Reviewed by: dconnally, Mission Viejo, CA
Played BG today at noon with the Man, JohnnyGK, and two other GK Gurus, Stew and Kelvin. First time meeting Kelvin and he’s got a solid game and a nice guy – must be all the practice he gets being a doctor. It was hot today with very little wind to take the edge off, which is good for golf but not-so-good for this old geezer, and I was pretty gassed by the time we finished in around 4.5 hrs.
BG went through a long period where they were converting their grass to kikuyu, and over the last few years I’ve seen, and we’ve had many reviews on GK, about the thin/bare turf conditions in the fairways. Based on the conditions today it looks like BG has finally turned the corner and conditions are very good. Fairway lies were pretty uniformly good. Of course, that turf conversion to kikuyu means the nasty, sticky stuff in the green surrounds and along the slopes that border all the holes. Many holes have very steep slopes (up to ~50 degrees) around the greens, covered with thick bushy grass, and getting good footing and making a good controlled pass at the ball on downslopes, upslopes, and sideslopes is challenging.
Greens were uniformly good – they were semi-lush, held shots, and rolled well at medium+ speeds (esp. downslope toward Disneyland). There were scattered old ballmarks on all greens, but not really that many. The greens were not as firm/thin/fast as I’ve seen them in the past at BG, but I prefer the current condition as they are very consistent and you don’t ever feel like you are putting down a ski slope.
Tees were level and in good condition. Even the par-3s didn’t have that much damage and it looked like players were using the provided sand canisters. Traps looked good, but the playing layer was pretty thin over a damp firm base.
Driving range was closed for work and the course didn’t appear to be that crowded today. No cart girl. Comfortable bar was busy after the round for Taco Tuesday, a good deal at 3 for $5. Good conditions and great company – thanks to Johnny for setting us up at Black Gold. Recommended.
Yorba Linda, CA
Reviewed by: sngernz, Redondo Beach
Got to play Black Gold as one of the first GK Guru Program ‘events’ with Johnny himself, DC, and dethman, teeing off just after noon on a very warm Tuesday (PoP was 4:15 with no waiting). It’s been several years since I’ve been at BGGC, so long that I forgot what a well designed course it is. We played blue tees and I used every club in my bag as you really need to think your way around this hilly, canyon style layout. Carts (with state-of-the-art GPS and real comfortable seats) are part of the green fee but I wouldn’t want to walk it.
Some course knowledge is very helpful (thanks, Dave) but you really need to keep the ball in play as most areas lining the course and away from the rough have thick bushes, sage brush, and cactus (homes are set back a good distance so breaking a window would really be a wayward shot). I recommend playing from the correct tee boxes to reduce anxiety. Fairways are Kikuyu, mostly firm and green … some areas very plush like carpet. Rough can play havoc if in deeper grass, but most times you’ll get a decent lie.
Bunkers had excellent sand, semi-thin but very playable (with NO rocks). I saw a few unraked footprints … and every green has a few unrepaired ball marks (I probably fixed 2-3 per green). Not a knock against the course, it is what it is. Speaking of greens: nearly flawless. Some of the better Poa greens I’ve played in a while … would hold a well struck iron and putted nicely, medium to semi-quick. But please note that these greens are not flat by any means and we saw many putts race past the cup or break in ways we did not plan … but most every putt rolled smooth as can be. That’s where we gave up most our stokes and where course knowledge helps so much.
Taco Tuesday after the round was tasty (can’t beat 3 for $5 tacos). Nice bar/restaurant.
Anyway, I’ll be back now that I know this little gem is available. It’s a bit pricey but I did check some internet deals that are out there and weekday twilight is very reasonable, too (around $45). Highly recommended.
Add: they’re doing work on the driving range, so be aware. Was closed until 3PM today.