Roundup: GK Review Guru Visit Twin Oaks Golf Course San Marcos California
Roundup: GK Review Guru Visit Twin Oaks Golf Course San Marcos California … see below … “Know Before You Go”® with Greenskeeper.Org (and our coming iPhone app). Roundup: #GKReviewGuru Visit @TwinOaksGC #Golf #SanMarcos #California #Breaking
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Reviewed by: gary00, san clemente
Tees had good cover mostly level with the par 3s having some divot damage.
Reviewed by: dconnally, Mission Viejo, CA
Had a great time with the GK Gurus here at 11am on Wednesday, 4/19/17, on a mostly sunny, breezy warm day. Thanks to GKers gary00, leef2020, and Itslikeimsayin for an enjoyable day – Orange County heading down to San Marcos for the round. I played this course only once, around 20 years ago, and it seems like it’s really filled in in terms of the lushness of the vegetation in the creeks and hazards – of course, some of this may be related to the rain the past couple months. When you are on the holes bordered by the creek or heavier vegetation, the wind is almost completely blocked out – away from the creek or on the higher elevation holes the wind is much more of a factor.
We arrived in time to warm up but found the range closed for some type of grading. No practice bunker or chipping green unless it’s up by the range. The putting green was crowded as the course was pretty stacked up with foursomes going out in the hour ahead of our time, but the starter was friendly and worked to get us out ASAP after our foursome was complete. As they were crowded, the pace on the front nine was 2.5 hr, and not a lot better on the back. Pro shop was apologetic about the range availability and threw in a yardage book . Newer carts are basic but comfortable; no ball washer or cooler, but a very nice VISAGE GPS system that is interactive. Good graphics on the GPS, but it doesn’t tell you where other carts are, which would have been useful on a couple holes with blind shots or hidden areas beyond down-slopes. Also, the pin position is shown as front/middle/back (the course uses that rotation), but often doesn’t indicate when pins are pushed well to the side of a middle line.
The putting green didn’t have much slope to it, and was a little fuzzy and bumpy – I think the on-course greens were a little quicker. The course overall was pretty wet and soft when we started, and dried out some as the round progressed. Early on the fairways were fairly wet and soft, getting firmer/drier as the day progressed. Even so, we encountered quite a few areas during the round with apparent sprinkler/drainage issues – these areas were very soft and wet, in some cases being muddy/mushy and a challenge to play from. Alternately, we encountered many thin/dry area in fairways and rough, with almost no cover vegetation. The course doesn’t play very long, but most holes have hazards along one side or are crossed by drainage structures, and the course is in hilly terrain with a lot of mounding and sloped fairways. I recall from my only previous round here that green approaches were heavily watered and soft at that time, as well.
Greens were generally in good condition – no bare spots, generally good turf conditions (some thinner areas), and rolled at medium to medium-fast speeds. They varied in firmness throughout the round, with some accepting shots well and others being firmer and less accepting. Most greens are pitched from back to front, some more steeply than others, and most are reasonably flat, with only scattered tiering and occasional low bowls. Many greens are fronted by steep rises above the fairway leading up to them, and with the wet/soft conditions that makes run-on approaches more difficult.
Fairways generally gave good lies, although we saw scattered wet or bare areas. Many fairways are significantly narrowed by traps or mounding/rough-cutting at the outer limits of good tee shots – hitting past these areas frequently encountered deeper rough, steeper slopes, and significant downslopes into runoff drainage areas. Several fairways, especially on the front nine, could slope significantly toward the vegetated hazards, so you need to be wary as you choose your hitting line. Rough was cut fairly short and very playable, although drainage margins could be much more lush and problematic. We saw lots of old unfilled divots in fairways and rough – there’s a refill rack for sand bottles on the #10 tee, and we used them liberally all day.
Tees were generally level and gave ample playing room. There are several boxes on each hole – some boxes have monuments/plates corresponding to card yardages, and even a picture of the hole features. But I only saw this on 2 or 3 holes – maybe I missed them, or maybe they were a relic of the course opening, and have slowly vanished. Traps were marginal – the fairway bunker on #18 was pretty firm with a thin crusty top layer (OK playability), but the greenside bunkers I was in had thin coverage over a wet heavy base, and you didn’t have much to work with. My playing partner said a couple of greenside traps he was in had deep soft sand – the opposite of my experience. With the rising approaches to semi-plateau greens, some of the fronting bunkers are very deep, with steep faces between you and the greens.
First tee is pretty noisy with driveway, parking lot, putting green, and clubhouse in the immediate proximity. No cart girl – there’s a snack bar at the turn. Bathroom on the back nine is a port-o-pottie. Adequate water available. No ranger. Overall a fun day with other GKers, with pretty good course conditions. Recommended with a good price.