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Golf Course Review Carlton Oaks Golf Resort Santee California

Will be aerating the greens 4/16 & 4/17.
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Carlton Oaks Golf Resort

Golf Course Review Carlton Oaks Golf Resort Santee California

Reviewed by: roarksown1, Playa del Rey
In the middle of a crazy busy work week down here in San Diego.  Managed to find some very early morning hours to play at Carlton Oaks this morning ahead of more work tomorrow. Original plan was to play Coronado for the first time, but since it was completely booked, found an online GolfNow deal for Carlton Oaks at $44 with an early am tee time.

The Review

Golf Playing Conditions 5.80 GOOD
Golf Playing Conditions 5.80 GOOD

First off, let me be the first to let you know, in case you haven’t noticed, that the SoCal winter of our discontent is not yet over. When I arrived to the course, the temperature was still around 47 degrees and there was mist and moisture all over the place. Decided to walk instead of ride to try and get warm, but it was miserable the first hour.  It was tough-going when your shoes get soaking wet walking through the deep rough in areas. Later in the round though it turned glorious, maybe mid-60s.  

As for the course itself, I was struck by how Pete Dye-like it felt throughout. The rail ties in the bunkers.  The pinpoint angles required to see greens at their best approach opportunity, and the mounding and trees to thwart anything remotely easy. It wasn’t of course until the par 3 17th that my two playing partners (thanks Gus and Fred for the fun round!) actually let me know this was indeed a Pete Dye classic. Who knew?

Overall Course Thoughts

The layout is super.  Even though I was terrible thanks to the cold start and general poor play of late. Seriously though, this track just begs to be played again under better conditions. The reason the course is in rough shape right now is because so much of it was recently under water. The fairways are thin with sloppy and muddy areas all over the place. Bunkers are far too firm thanks to the saturation, and the rough is brutal long and damp – not a great combo. However, the greens were actually in great shape, but not as crazy tiered or tricky as I would have expected from a Dye. The breaks are subtle for sure, and there are many different sized greens to work with, but outside of a few, they’re not too crazy at all in my opinion.

Final Thoughts

So, in truth, it’s tough to judge this course by the ratings it’ll probably have when I’m done because I can’t lie about the conditions, even if they’re out of the club’s control in many ways. I do think when the weather finally becomes bearable again and the grass gets back into good shape, this is a must-play for me if and when I’m back in the area. 18 is a great closing hole and the rest are all simply super fun and challenging. Can’t wait for May.