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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Golf Course Review: Aliso Viejo Golf Club, Aliso Viejo, CA- 7/26/07

Played the Aliso Viejo Golf Club in Aliso Viejo on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m., the twilight rates were $27.00. After taking off to the first hole you will notice the long drive up past construction (cart rental is a must) since the course is being torn up due to a new housing project being built next to it. A formally 36 hole course, this 18 hole course is situated along a mountainside in Aliso Viejo, lots of hills to go up and down in. There are about 3 small lakes to navigate around during course of play.

The greens are in immaculate condition, very green and the rough is tall yet maintained. The rough swallowed up tons of balls from me since they were lush and overlapped each other. I would at times catch my ball rolling into the rough and as I walked towards it’s location I could not find it at all. There were many times my ball rolled not too far off the cart path, but the lushness of the rough ate all balls headed in it’s direction. The view from the tees was great, many views overlooking Orange County on a clear day. Mostly Par 4’s, there is a nice Par 3 hole, 157 yards straight down a hillside. Since we played an evening time there were only a handful of golfers on the course making it one of the more quieter games I’ve ever played.

The only downside to the course was we were given a bum golf cart causing us to pull the cart up hill for a few holes until the battery gave out and we had to wait for a replacement. The delay cost us at least two holes. We played about 12 holes in 3 hours and had to stop due to the receding sunlight. I only played this course since in a year it will be turned into a private club and the usual weekend rate of $75 is a bit to expensive I think since due to the construction they make you repeat a couple holes to make a full 18. But for $29 in the evening and low traffic on the course, the price is reasonable. A truly great location marred by high price and construction near the site. Oh, and the pro shop was pretty bad in service, no acknowledgement as we checked in and when we called the shop when our cart died, it sent me to voicemail. Only after calling back multiple times using different extensions did I get a hold of someone to send a replacement cart to us.

Score: 3.5 out of 5 (Based on twilight rate)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Golf Course Review: San Juan Hills Country Club, San Juan Capistrano, CA- 7/14/07

Comments: Played San Juan Hills Golf Course on 7/14/07. Although mentioned that this course is busy, it is not at bad as other courses I've been at. Was able to play the course in 5 hours, started at 3p.m., ended around 8p.m. Could've finished sooner, but there was a 3-some ahead of us who played the championship tees when they weren't that good and slowed the pace of play.

Since it was after 2:30p.m., was able to get twilight walking rate for $32 and cart for $47. I walked for my foursome, I wouldn't suggest this for the summer, this course is LONG and winds around the San Juan neighborhoods so you cross streets and underpasses. I was the only walker there, no wonder they make people cart it in the morning, and this place is all hills. The location is really nice, mostly along the hillside and views to the Mission. Some homes scatter along the course that you do have to watch out for. There's a nice par 3 on top of a hill just above a lake that will try your accuracy and distance with a 7 iron.
Lots of squirrels and bunnies abound.

One of the few course where you don't find lost balls, if it's lost in the bushes, it stays lost. The driving range is located across the street from the clubhouse, so park in the course area after the driving range. Good location for the price.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Golf Review: Never Compromist GM2 Exchange 3 Putter- 7/12/07

Comments: Mr. Monster received late today the brand new Never Compromise GM2 Exchange 3 putter and will be hosting a review of it soon. This will either be the main or back-up putter to my TaylorMade Monza Roza putter.

The Never Compromise GM2 Exchange 3 I received is the 35" version and feels pretty good out of the box, the Monsa Roza I have felt a bit short even though it was 35" as well but due to the drastic curve of the shaft near the mallet head made it feel shorter.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fun Spot Review: Crystal Cove Beach in Newport Beach, CA- 7/1/07

Jaunting to the much publicized Crystal Cove Beach located in Newport Beach, CA at the start of the Summer Rush on July 1st, Sunday was an experience.

Originally a beach home local, a couple years ago the State decided to reclaim the beachfront property from local residents who lived in the adjoining cottages along Crystal Cove. After much legal wrangling from residents trying to stay, the State won and converted the cottages to rental units. Situated along Pacific Coast Highway in between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, this area is now popular with nearby residents and tourist trying to secure the handful of cottages as a vacation spot.

Usually renting out for a maximum of 5-days, the cottages start at approximately $179 per night. What you get is a throwback to the look of the 40s with almost art deco style. You will find no t.v.s, dvds, clocks or radios in the rooms, this is a vacation remember. The only hint of modern necessities would be a microwave hidden behind some cloth from prying eyes. I’ve read about this location many times in the last few months, so interest is continually peaking. Bookings should be placed almost six months in advance if you want to secure a place for your trip though some available rooms do pop-up from cancellations from time to time.

We ventured to Crystal Cove to initially have breakfast at the Beachcomber Restaurant right across from the cottages. This is the only nearby restaurant from the cottages, so it’s usually packed and prepare for a wait in line. We got to the restaurant at about 9a.m. and were able to get a seat right away since there was an opening inside. If you would like a seat on the deck, prepare to wait for the beach view. Food was good with breakfast options consisting of omelets or pancakes/French toast. I also ordered a bloody mary on the side. Breakfast for 3 rounded about $45 with tip and you get free validation (a good thing after spending more than $10 since just parking across the street is a whopping $10 for a public beach).

Most beach goers play around the entrance to the beach near the cottages, but walk 5 minutes in either direction to the coast and the traffic of people open up. There are a few good protruding rocks to walk along to view small crabs and hermit crabs, bring some appropriate sandals so you don’t hurt your bare feet. Unfortunately there was no breeze the day we went so our kites stayed packed. We really enjoyed the beach and after only going to the locale for breakfast came back later in the afternoon to spend a few hours playing in the sun and sand and bringing proper beach wear. Apart from the $10 parking fee, this is a great place to spend the summer days.

Score: 4 out of 5

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