Roundup 2: GK Review Guru Visit Rams Hill Golf Club Borrego Springs California
Roundup: GK Review Guru Visit Rams Hill Golf Club Borrego Springs California … see below … “Know Before You Go”® with Greenskeeper.Org (and our coming iPhone app). Roundup 2: #GKReviewGuru Visit @GolfRamsHill #Golf #BorregoSprings #California #Breaking
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Reviewed by: robule, Indio
Like Sixpez, being fairly close to Rams Hill makes heading out there a little easier than some of the other members that played. I really like the course and doing the Guru things is a great way to enjoy a great course with great people from GK. Fun day with Keith, Bob and Wendy.
Practice facility is great with ProV1 balls and nice grass stations. The range finders weren’t there this time. Plenty of targets to shoot at while warming up.
Tee boxes are always some of the best in SoCal. Level and plenty of nice grass for teeing it up. Very clearly marked for yardage as well.
Fairways were well groomed with lush grass in most areas. Some areas have browned from heat a bit, but, the lies in those areas were fine. Rough was more tightly mowed than previous visit. Plenty of awkward lies are available when venturing in the rough.
Sand traps were the low point. Most all had a crusty top. Hard to gauge what was below, one would be hard-packed/wet and the next fluffier. Very inconsistent.
Greens, fantastic as usual. Smooth as silk, minimal ball marks and not quite as fast as the greased lightning of previous visit. If the hole was 2-3 feet closer, I’d have putted a bunch better… 🙂 Rolling 11 per the board, probably closer to 10-10.5 when we hit them in the afternoon. The maturing greens are accepting of good shots and show more footprints from those that walk with a heavy foot.
Previous visits the course was in 10 condition. This late in the year I’d call them an 8. It’s tough when the standards are so high when in great condition. Still beats most of the courses here in the CV in this state! Awesome course.
The golf gods must have been punishing us. Every hole that was long was into the wind. Whether it was going E, W, N or S, we always seemed to be fighting the wind. It got started mildly around the 10th hole, and really got going about 15 or so. The last three holes were tough. There are also some holes where the wind is shielded and kills a shot.
Staff was great and helpful. Always look forward to visiting Rams Hill. Thanks for the outing.
I always enjoy any excuse to make the drive out to Rams Hill (especially now I live a little closer), so the GK Guru round was ideal. We had fun on an always-great course!
It’s a little crazy when a course sets such high standards of conditioning. Yes, there were a few little dry spots and some browning here and there. Not quite the deep green carpet at this point in the season, which is understandable as the weather heats up. However, everything played perfectly. Never had a bad lie all day and everything was well manicured from the tee boxes to the fairways to the rough. I was in a handful of bunkers. Generally very nice, though maybe a little inconsistency from trap to trap. I love that the greens have matured and are very accepting of shots now. I even had to fix a couple of my own ball marks! The sign on the pro shop said the greens were rolling at 11. I would have guessed 10.5 while on the course. 10.5-11 is usually an ideal speed for my tastes. However, I had previous Rams Hill lightning greens in my head all day and could not adjust to slightly slower speeds. That was just my own problem, though, because the putting surfaces were still rolling smooth and pure.
This is such a great course and well worth the drive once or twice a year. I will certainly look forward to future visits and GK Guru outings here!
Borrego Springs, CA
When the opportunity arose to play Ram’s Hill for the first time with the Guru set, well, it was a no-brainer. The chatter about this place is incredible and I had to see for myself. Of course, you have to also take into account the 3+ hour drive for the day which will factor into the assessment of whether or not it was ‘worth the trip.’
In a word, yes. It was definitely worth the trip. Once. I very much enjoyed the layout and the serenity of the surrounding desert. I loved the variety of holes, the thrills and perils that were present on many of the holes, but also the forgiving nature that Fazio puts into many of his courses that let you make up for a bad hole on a tough one by following it up with an easier one that gives you a little push.
Now, if Ram’s Hill was of course within an hour of me, or even an hour and a half, it would become a regular on the rotation. But its remote location will likely mean a one and done for me, unless paired up with another trip to Palm Springs or perhaps even one of the other courses around Borrego Springs that may be worth visiting.
Being my first time, I thought the course was in very good shape, but not nearly as pristine as I had read about over the last year. However, thanks to the ever-informative Sixpez (with whom I had a great time with along with Robule and Abbacat), I found out they close down every summer, perhaps the attention to detail wanes a bit during this period before closing (who can blame them?), but again, it was still in really great shape overall to play in comparison to most other places.
There were some brownish areas on the fairways, but never anywhere close to a poor lie, and many areas of beautiful green carpet to work from. The rough was a very favorable cut and easy to play from. Tee boxes were in nice shape for the most part (we played the blue tees), and the sand traps were all very good (like Abbacat, I happened to find seven of them on the back nine!). Perhaps a tiny little bit of crust here or there, but overall had no troubles with them. The greens were in very nice shape, rolling true and accepting of shots. Definitely some very tricky green complexes and was surprised though that the speeds were not super fast as I had always heard about before (only 31 putts on the day – was fearing much worse).
Not much of a mobile cart service on a hot day, but there was a stationary cart service on the 10th hole tee box that was greatly appreciated. I’m actually surprised there were not more water stations every few holes considering the location in the middle of the desert. The driving range is also very nice – almost as nicely manicured as the course itself.
So overall, super happy that I checked Ram’s Hill off the bucket list and would recommend it all day. I do hope to come back again when combined with another golf weekend and return when it’s a 10 out of 10 and not its current 8-9 out of 10. But it’s certainly a fun day out and a good place to swing the sticks. No doubt about that.