The GolfNow Local Leaderboard: Top 10 courses between L.A. and Palm Springs

By Brandon TuckerFebruary 11, 2013, 4:44 pm

We know, your invitation to play Riviera Country Club is in the mail. But until then, you may be interested in where to play top public golf around SoCal.

So we've uncovered the Top 10 golf courses as rated by GolfNow users between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, which also includes Orange County and the Inland Empire. The majority of these ratings come from players who are verified purchasers through GolfNow. Their reviews reflect how the experience stacked up to the amount of cash they paid to play that day. So it's the ultimate bang-for-buck rating system. 

Ironically enough, two plays in the GolfNow Top 10, Classic Club and the Stadium Course at PGA West, are courses the PGA Tour ditched due to player complaints; it just goes to show the pros are playing a different game than the rest of us.

The GolfNow Local Leaderboard: Top 10 Golf Courses between Los Angeles and Palm Springs

1. Classic Club, Palm Springs (4.71/5.0) -- Someone go tell Phil Mickelson, who lamented wind conditions here during the 2007, that Classic Club checks in as the best user-rated golf course in the area and of the 27 comments, none complain about any breeze. It doesn't surprise me one bit that Troon Golf-managed Classic Club is a regular golfer's favorite (it's a course I've lobbied for Top 100 inclusion in the past). In a destination where desert golf rules, Classic Club feels like a layout out of the Midwest with a wealth of green grass, pine trees and ponds.

2. Cross Creek Golf Club, Inland Empire (4.58/5.0) -- A mix of Temecula Valley tranquility and scenery to go with top conditioning levels make this Inland Empire facility a real player favorite. Better yet, tee times can often be found for under $50.

3. Moorpark Country Club, Los Angeles (4.56/5.0) -- A 27-hole semi-private facility that opened in 2002, golfers appreciate member-worthy service and conditions to go with a scenic layout with views of the Channel Islands. 

'Fun, hilly golf course overseen by a friendly, professional and courteous staff,' wrote Ted Simendinger, a 13-handicap from Denver in his review of Moorpark. 'Also appreciated the little touches...chalking of the cups made them stand out.'

4. Sierra Lakes Golf Course, Inland Empire (4.56/5.0) -- Though some warn the wind can pick up at this foothills location, almost every golfer here lauds Sierra Lakes' great conditions and wide fairways.

5. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Los Angeles (4.53/5.0) -- This quaint stay-and-play escape northwest of Los Angeles offers tee times to outside guests as well at this 1920s-era design laid out by George Thomas (of Riviera fame) and William P. Bell. 

6. Oak Quarry Golf Club, Inland Empire (4.51/5.0) -- Set in an old rock quarry, golfers love the unique setting to go along with a well thought out design by the team of Schmidt-Curley.

7. PGA West, Stadium Course, Palm Springs (4.5/5.0) -- If you needed further evidence that golfers are masochists, just look at ratings by Regular Joes for the Stadium Course, deemed too difficult for the PGA Tour (the Bob Hope Classic was staged just once in 1987 before the pros raised the white flag).

8. ShadowRidge Golf Resort, Palm Springs, (4.49/5.0) -- A top-end Palm Springs resort experience operated by Marriott, ShadowRidge, a Nick Faldo design, warrants high praise from those out for a Coachella Valley splurge. 

9. SilverRock Resort, Palm Springs (4.47/5.0) -- One of the most oft-rated golf courses in all of the state, both hotel guests and locals are flocking to -- and raving about -- this La Quinta resort for championship-caliber golf and high-roller conditions.

10. Indian Wells Golf Resort, Palm Springs (4.45/5.0) -- It's pretty tough to look at your own, homely muni once you've spent the day at the City of Indian Wells-owned Indian Wells Golf Resort. The facility features a sleek clubhouse plus 36 beautifully conditioned holes that would make many private clubs jealous.

Ratings based on reviews filed by GolfNow users between 9/20/12-2/1/13. Minimum ten reviews needed. 116 courses were eligible for this Top 10. 

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.