Golf Course Review Club at Sunrise
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The Club at Sunrise: Golf Course Reviews
Posted: 06/16/16 1:13p
Member Since: Jul 21, 2003
From: Aliso Viejo
Played here in the morning of Tuesday, 6/14 with sixpez. It was sort of a preview round in advance of the course’s July 1 opening. The conditions are very nice and definitely look ready for opening day. The greens were very smooth, somewhat firm and rolling medium/medium fast. Fairways are good except for a few rare spots that have seem to be having trouble growing in. The rough was pretty good condition but not too penal. A little longer rough along the edge of the wash might be preferred to help balls stay out of the hazard. Tee boxes were good. Bunkers were excellent.
Layout-wise, this is the type of course that seems so easy yet it’s actually somewhat difficult, especially if you have trouble hitting the ball straight. Nearly every hole has the wash on the right, and many have OB left, so those elements factor into every shot. The course looks wide open, but because the fairways are elevated well above the wash, you can’t really let the ball leak right much at all, or it tumbles down the hill into the wash. There’s not much visual definition on the course, so again it appears more wide open than it plays.
sixpezPosted: 06/15/16 1:29p
Member Since: Oct 16, 2003
This was our fifth round of the trip, played Tuesday morning. I saw online that the course was getting ready for it’s grand reopening this summer and that they were currently offering limited “preview” tee times Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-10 am. We decided to check it out. This course used to be called Desert Rose (and Winterwood before that, I believe), but it closed down after a massive flash flood decimated the course a few years ago. They’ve been working on the renovation and are aiming for a July 1 opening. We booked the 8:00 and were first off by ourselves for a quick round. Only a few groups were spread out on the course during those limited hours of operation. With a course just coming out of renovation and not quite ready to reopen, we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of conditions. We were pleasantly surprise as the course is in very nice shape. There are some bare spots here and there where the turf didn’t come in, but the fairways and rough are generally lush and green with great coverage. Very little divot damage anywhere on a course that hasn’t seen much play yet. We played the black tees. They don’t have tee markers yet, so they told us to just tee up near where the yardage plates were. Most of the tee boxes were nice, but a few were still needing some work. The brand new greens were still quite firm, but rolling pretty nicely at medium speeds. I can say that Sunrise had (by far) the best bunker sand of any course we played on this trip. It was ideal, again made nicer by the fact hardly anyone has played the course yet. Speaking of the bunkers, this is one of those silly places where each cart is equipped with its own rake (rather than having them out on the course by the bunkers). I’ve only encountered this a couple times elsewhere and am not a fan. It’s so easy to forget bringing the rake with you or bringing it back to your cart after. I don’t get this tactic. As for the renovation, they kept the overall layout pretty much the same as it was before. I guessed they switched and reversed holes 10 and 18. The new 18 is by far the best hole on the course now. Also, I guess they shortened one par-5 and stretched a par-3 into a short par-4 to make it a par-72 course. Then, because of the flood, they widened the wash that runs through the entire course to improve drainage and hopefully prevent major damage if another big flood rolls through. Also, all the turf has been replaced with a nice paspalum grass that they expect will hold up better. Speaking of the wash, that is the real story of this course. This is one of the most repetitive layouts I have ever played. Almost every hole is similar in that there are trees/houses/OB on the left side and then the wash on the right. With it having been widened and the slopes being pretty steep, it really gets tight on some holes. My fellow fade hitters be warned: this course may give you nightmares. The repetitiveness of the layout is rather tiresome. The aforementioned 18th hole has the approach play over the wash and that’s as exciting as it gets. I would say The Club at Sunrise is a decent local’s track that’s in good shape as it gets ready to be reopened. It’s not a destination/resort Vegas course and I didn’t personally care for the repetitive layout much, but it looks like their prices will be very affordable and it should have its place for golfers. It’s good to see any course reopening and coming back strong.