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California central valley

Riverside in the heat 028.jpg

Rancho Del Rey

pheasant run

diablo grande  closed

madera municipal

dragonfly (formerly riverbend)

riverside of fresno (big muni)

airways golf course fresno

eagle springs (formerly brighton crest)

lemoore golf course

Sherwood forest

ridge creek dinuba

valley oaks of visalia

The Links at river lakes ranch

fresno-madera-merced-visalia area

Rancho Del Rey  Atwater/Merced

Address:  5250 Greensands Ave.  Atwater, Ca.  95301  Phone:  209-358-7131  Website:


Check Out The YouTube Video:

Rancho Del Rey is my home course.  Over the years, Rancho has gone through many changes and has gone from what was considered a "goat track" in the past to one of Central California's premier golf courses.  Its in great shape.  The fairways are lush and the greens are quick.  Speaking of the fairways, they are tree lined and fairly generous except on a couple of holes.  Yes,  there is water and more trees.  Speaking of the greens, it takes an accurate approach shot to find these greens in regulation because the green are very well bunkered.  Most greens slope from back to front and are small so you will want to place your second shot below the hole to be on in regulation.  Even if you don't hit the green in regulation, you still want your ball to be below the hole.  This is a classic "old style" course that doesn't overwhelm you with gimmicks and tricks.  It is an old fashion test of golf and the challenge is there.   


Blue  6733 YRDS.  Rating 71.7  Slope 124:  White  6314  Rating 69.9  Slope 119:  Gold  5930 YRDS.  Rating 67.6  Slope 114:  Red  5554 YRDS.  Women  Rating 74.3  Slope 124    

Green Fees:  $25-$47  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Pheasant Run   Chowchilla

Address:  19 Clubhouse Drive  Chowchilla, Ca.  93610  Phone:  559-665-3411  Website:

PheasantRun 039.jpg

Check Out The YouTube Video

I have played golf in Florida at a couple of courses.  This course reminds be of those courses in Florida that I have played.  Pheasant Run is basically flat and to make the course more interesting and more of a challenge there is a lot of water and sand on the course.  What also gives it the feel of a Florida course are the palm trees, lots of palm trees.  Two holes stand out on this course.  The Par 3 4th hole is a well bunkered  hole with a lake that curls around the hole.  You have to be exact here, otherwise if you hit it short plop and if you hit it long it plops into the lake.  To make it more interesting, there is a bunker in front of the green and another in the back.  This is a lot of fun, isn't it?  The second hole that makes this course if the 18th, which is a par 5 from the whites.  What makes this hole is that you hit to a well bunkered island green.  Its a lot of fun and demands accuracy for your third shot.  The hole is short, but it is a hole that demands a correct strategy to play it in order to score well. Fairways are wide and greens are big here at Pheasant Run as well as the course being always in top shape.  Check out the YouTube video to get a better feel of Pheasant Run.      

tees:  Men  Par 72  Women Par 73

Black  7229 YRDS.  Rating 75.4  Slope  131:  Blue  6892 YRDS.  Rating 73.3  Slope 123:  White  6349 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71.3  Slope 120  Women  Rating 76.7  Slope 132:  Gold  5864 YRDS.  Men  Rating 69.1  Slope 115  Women  Rating 74.2  Slope 126:  Red  4933 YRDS.  Men  Rating 61.6  Slope 117  Women  Rating 68.7  Slope 118 

green fees:  $13-$44 Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Diablo Grande Golf Resort  Patterson
diablo grande golf resort has closed

Address:  9521 Morton Davis Drive  Patterson, Ca.  95363  Phone:  209-892-4653  Website:

I am still in the process of trying to like this golf course.  I have played it a few times and each time I play it I learn a bit more about how to play it.  There are some very interesting holes on this course and there are some holes that don't make a whole lot of sense and it seems that the only reason the holes are there is to trick up the course.  The front nine is fairly straight up as far as design is concerned but then you get to the back.  The first Par 5 on the back is called "Mustang" and is a very long hole.  The length wouldn't bother me, but there is a barranca that goes through the middle of the hole.  Problem is, for the average hitter you can't clear the barranca on your tee shot and have to lay up.  Well, the problem is that the layup area is not flat so you have an uneven lie at best.  I just throw a ball into the barranca, pick up and take a seven on the hole.  There are other holes on the back that don't make sense as well such as numbers 15 and 17, but I won't go into details.  One thing tat I am kind of perplexed about is how slow the greens role.  The last two times I was there, the greens were very slow and for a high end course I was surprised by that.  Oh well.      


Black  7170 YRDS.  Men  Rating 74.7  Slope 137:  Blue  6831 YRDS.  Men  Rating 73.2  Slope 134:  Blue/White Combo  6522 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71.9  Slope 128:  White  6296 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71  Slope 126  Women  Rating 77.5  Slope 136:  Gold  5438 YRDS.  Men  66.9  Slope 118  Women  72.8  Slope 126:  Red  5017 YRDS.  Women  Rating 70.3  Slope 121 

Green Fees:  $25-$69  Plus Cart  Check With The Pro Shop

Range:  Yes

Madera Municipal  Madera

address:  23200 Ave. 17  Madera, Ca.  93637  Phone:  559-675-3504  Website:

I really like this track.  There isn't anything special about it but it is a whole lot of fun to play.  Madera Muni is known for its large and well kept greens.  They are large, and when I say large I mean huge.  They are probably the best greens as far as being well maintained in the Central Valley.  The course is basically flat with the fairways being extremely wide and generous.  There is water on the course and come into play on several holes if you are not careful.  My favorite hole on the course is the par 5 17th.  It is a dogleg right with a lake on the right and a lake on the left which shouldn't come into play-but does.  You can cut the dogleg over the pond on the right, but sometimes your ball just doesn't quite make it over the lake.  


Blue  6814 YRDS.  Rating 72.2  Slope 121:  White  6355 YRDS.  Rating 70.0  Slope 118:  Gold  5545 YRDS.  Rating 66.1  Slope 111:  Red  5382 YRDS.  Women  Rating 71.5  Slope 117

Green Fees:  $14-$28  Plus Cart (Contact Pro Shop)

Range:  Yes   

Dragonfly Golf Course  (Formerly Riverbend golf course)  Madera

address:  43369 Ave. 12  Madera, Ca.  93636  Phone:  559-432-3020  Website:


Check Out The YouTube Video: 

Dragonfly used to be my home course before I moved up to Merced when it was still Riverbend.  There have been a few changes made, not to the course itself but to the flow of the course-the nines have been reversed- and the 18th hole-which was the 9th hole-which was exteded to a par 5.  The course is always in great shape and fun to play.  It is basically flat, but there are some slight elevation changes.  Yes there are trees, mature oaks and they do come into play on some holes.  Greens are very big and tricky to putt.  I love the par 3's out here with the number 3 hole being my favorite and the 16th hole coming in a strong second.  This is a great course and I strongly recommend it.  Check out the video and it will give you a flavor of the course.  


Way Back Black  7734 YRDS.  Rating 76.9  Slope 140:  Black  7273 YRDS.  Rating 74.6  Slope 135:  Blue  6716  YRDS.  Rating 72.3  Slope 128:  White  6202 YRDS  Men  Rating 69.9  Slope 120  Women  Rating 75.4  Slope 132:  Gold  5630 YRDS.  Men  Rating 67.5  Slope 116  Women  Rating 67.5  Slope 116:  Red/Gold Combo  5408 YRDS.  Women  Rating 71.2  Slope 118:  Red  5096 YRDS  Women  Rating 69.4  Slope 116:  Orange  3690 YRDS  No Rating or Slope      

Green Fees:  $28-$80  Cart Included  (Check With Pro Shop)

Range:  Yes

Riverside Golf Course  (Big Muni)  Fresno

Address:  7492 Riverside Drive  Fresno, Ca.  93722  Phone:  559-432-3020  Website:

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Check Out The YouTube Video:

Riverside Golf Course of Fresno, also known rather sentimentally as "Big Muni", is one of the great classic golf courses in California.  I call it an "old style" golf course and is probably the template for all other "old style" golf courses.  This course sits there and says, "Take your best shot at me, I'm not going to throw anything fancy at you but I will give you a run for your money."  The greens are postage stamp size small and well bunkered with the fairways being lined by very tall, mature trees.  Basically the course is flat but there are small "moguls" in some of the fairways so be prepared to hit some shots from a few different lies.  This is a great test of golf and a lot of fun too.  Check out the YouTube video to give you more of a flavor of the course.  One last thing, stop in for breakfast before your round or have lunch after your round at The Trestle Coffee Shop.  The food is fantastic and well priced.   

Tees:  Men Par 72  Women Par 73

Blue  6674 YRDS.  Rating 71.5  Slope 127:  White  6435 YRDS.  Rating 70.5  Slope 125  Women  Rating 76.8  Slope 135:  Red  5775 YRDS.  Women  Rating 67.7  Slope 120:  Gold  5292 YRDS.  Women  Rating 66.3  Slope 116  

green fees:  $20-$40  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Airways Golf Course  Fresno

address:  1 Airways Blvd.  Fresno, Ca.  93727  Phone:  559-291-6254  Website: 

What can you say about Fresno Airways Golf Course.  The course is built not far from the runways of Fresno Air Terminal, Fresno's major airport.  You can hear the roar of jets as they take off from the runways.  Airways is also the course that most kids play after they have graduated from the areas fine par 3 courses.  Its kind of an interesting place as you see young kids just starting the game.  It is also home to many of the older senior golfers in the Fresno Area.  This course is truly "everyperson's" golf course.  The course is very short as you can see from the tee listings below.  It is tight-very tight.  The fairways are narrow and lined with tall mature pine trees.  Greens are smaller than postage stamps.  Don't pass this one by or let the short length fool you.  This is a fun course to play.  

Tees:  Men's Par  69  Women's Par  71

White  5301 YRDS.  Men  Rating 65.0  Slope 112:  Red  5144 YRDS.  Women  Rating 69.3  Slope 117

green fees:  $14-$26  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes  Irons Only

eagle springs golf and country club  (formerly brighton crest)  Friant

Address:  21722 Fairway Oaks Lane  Friant, Ca.  93626  Phone:  559-325-8900  Website:

This was Johnny Miller's first designed golf course.  I don't like Johnny Miller golf courses as to me he does some things that just don't make sense.  Metropolitan was a Johnny Miller design, but he had a co-designer to correct many of Johnny's mistakes. The greens here have more ups and downs than a roller coaster.  The fairways are fairly generous so they are fairly easy to hit.  There are trees, but the trees are not that much of a factor on most holes.  I like the par 3's and par 5's with number 16 being my favorite par 5 and number 17 being my favorite par 3.  I think I will leave my observations and comments at that.  One last thing I will say and that is there are some thrilling views of the surroundings.    


Black  6882 YRDS.  Rating 73.3  Slope 138:  Blue  6431 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71.3  Slope 134  Women  Rating 76.5  Slope 134:  Blue/White Combo 6181 YRDS.  Men  Rating 70.4  Slope 128:  White  5957 YRDS.  Men  Rating 69.4  Slope 125:  Red  5169 YRDS.  Men  Rating 66.1  Women  Rating 70.3  Slope 120

green fees:  $50-$75  Check With The Pro Shop

Range:  Yes

lemoore golf course  Lemoore

address:  350 Ioan Ave.  Lemoore, Ca.  93245  Phone:  559-924-96589  Website:

I have only played this golf course once. The course is an 18 hole layout, but the two 9's are totally different.  The front is a parkland style course with mature tree lined tight fairways and very small greens.  The back nine has a sort of links style feel to it and fairways that are much more generous.    


Blue  6577 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71.0  Slope 124:  White  6122 YRDS.  Men  Rating 68.9  Slope 119 

Women  Rating 74.5  Slope 129:  Gold  5457 YRDS.  Men  Rating 65.9  Slope 112  Women  Rating 70.8  Slope 123:  Red  5155 YRDS.  Women  Rating 69.2  Slope 121

green fees:  $25-$32  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Sherwood forest  Sanger

Address:  79 North Frankwood  Sanger, Ca.  93657  Rhone:  559-787-2611  Website:

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I love this golf course.  It is basically flat and set in a grove of old oak trees.  To add to that, the Kings River runs through the course and comes into play.  The fairways are fairly generous but the well bunkered greens are small and tricky.  Number 15 is a par 5 that the river runs through the fairway about 150 yards out from the green.  If your drive carries far enough and you can hit a 3 wood hard and far enough, you can fly the river on your second shot.  I have only done that once. Most golfers lay up for a pretty easy third shot into the large green.  The par 3 17 is also a memorable hole.  It is a 170 yards over a lake to the green.  Oh, I also forgot numbers 8 and 9.  Number 8 is a very tight par 4 in which you have about a 3 foot circle to hit in order to be able to go for the green.  The fairway is tight and lined by hughe trees. Number 9 is a little bit easier, but the river lines the fairway on the left side.  It is a great course and is very picturesque.      

tees:  Men Par 71  Women Par 72

Blue  6247 YRDS.  Rating 69.1  Slope 123:  White  6050 YRDS.  Men  Rating 68.1  Slope 122  Women  Rating 74.6  Slope 126:  Red  5487 YRDS.  Women  Rating 71  Slope 122

Green Fees:  $24-$30  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Ridge Creek  Dinuba

address:  3018 West El monte Way  Dinuba, Ca.  93618  Phone:  559-591-2254  Website:   

How many of you have ever heard of or been to the small farming community of Dinuba? Who would think that there was an outstanding championship 18 hole links style course located here?  Go figure, but there is and it is a fantastic course.  This is true links golf ladies and gentlemen.  The fairways are wide and roll well, but you better find the fairway because if you don't you are in the tall fescue grass rough which line the fairways.  Greens are pretty large but undulating and well bunkered.  Check the course map because there are several holes that have bunkers and false fronts in front of the greens. Did I mention bunkers?  Ridge Creek is also home to the Central Valley's longest par 5, the 648 yard from the tips number 15.  I also think you will enjoy the short par 3 16th.  If nothing takes you back to Scotland, this hole will.  Its probably the most fun hole on the course.        


green fees:  $29-$76  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

Silver  7368 YRDS.  Rating 74.6  Slope 125:  Black  6880 YRDS.  Rating 72.4  Slope 121:  Blue  6375 YRDS.  Rating 70.1  Slope 116:  White  5804 YRDS.  Rating 67.5  Slope 111:  Sand  5432 YRDS.  Rating 69.7  Slope 112

Valley Oaks  Visalia

Three Nine Hole Courses Played in Combination:  The Valley Course, The Oaks Course and The Lakes Course

Address:  1800 South Plaza Drive  Visalia, Ca.  93244  Phone:  559-651-1441  Website:

Valley Oaks is also known to a lot of people as Plaza Park.  It is located right off Freeway 99 just outside the town of Visalia.  There are three nines here The Oaks and The Valley which are the original nines and the Lakes course which was added later.  The Oaks and Valley courses have fairways which are lined by huge, nature oak trees.  There is some water but not much.  The greens are small as well.  You will find some interesting holes on these two nines.  The Lakes course is a whole different animal.  The trees aren't as mature and you have several lakes-as the name implies to negotiate. Of the three nines, I think this is the most fun. The course plays 18 holes by playing two of the nines in combination.  One of the nines is always taken out of play to let it rest. 



Blue  6511 YRDS.  men  Rating 71.0  Slope 124:  White  6135 YRDS.  Men  Rating 69.4  Slope 118  Women  Rating 75.3  Slope 127:  Red  6524 YRDS.  Men  Rating 67.1  Slope 114  Women  Rating 73.0  Slope 124


Blue  6537 YRDS.  Men  Rating 71.1  Slope 125:  White  6112 YRDS.  Men  Rating 69.2  Slope 119  Women  Rating 75.1  Slope 128:  Red  5491 YRDS.  Men  Rating 66.0  Slope 115  Women  Rating 71.6  Slope 124  


Blue  6444 YRDS.  Blue  Men  Rating 70.7  Slope 125:  White  Men  Rating 68.8  Slope 117  Women  Rating 74.6  Slope 125:  Red  Men  Rating 66.9  Slope 113  Women  Rating 71.8  Slope 125  

Green Fees:  $19-$37  Plus Cart

Range:  Yes

The links at river lakes ranch

Address:  5201 River Lakes Dr.  Bakersfield, Ca. 93312  Phone:  661-587-5465


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Here is another golf course that my daughter played, this time in a high school tournament. Again I thought that I needed to come back and play this course some day.  I was in Bakersfield a few years later and finally got to play the course.  Its a blast to play.  It bills itself as a links style course, but it is actually a hybrid in that there are tall trees that come into play on the course.  There are also strategically placed lakes on the course. The green are big and have some undulation in them.  They putt true and are in great shape.  The fairways are central valley bermuda and can be patchy during the winter months, but otherwise are firm and fast.  The signature hole is the 18th which is a short par 5 and features an island green.  I wish that this course is closer to where I live in Merced because I would play it often.  It is a kick to play. The par 3's on the front nine are notable as to their architecture.



Black  6781YRDS.  Rating 72.9  Slope 130:  Blue  6366 YRDS.  Rating 70.8  Slope 125: 

White  5857 YRDS.  Rating 68.3  Slope 113:  Gold  5341 YRDS.  Rating 65.7  Slope 113


Gold  5341 YRDS.  Rating 71.4  Slope 125:  Red  5336 YRDS.  Rating 69.3  Slope 123

Driving Range: Yes

Green Fees: $60-$45 


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