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|Moorpark Country Club has memberships are available - but it is also open to public play. (Courtesy Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams)|
Hidden in plain sight, Moorpark Country Club is a sweet, sweet, tasty treat. A 27-hole course with each nine returning to the swanky clubhouse and five sets of tees, Moorpark will keep you interested and challenged with its Peter Jacobsen design. Avoiding commitment is easy around here with all the choices in golf courses, but this is my local favorite and if I had to call a course home, this one would be it.
Yes, it is a country club and memberships are available, however they are also open to the public which is great news for riff-raff like me. It's such a pleasure to play on the rare public course that is kept up to private course standards. They do that at Moorpark.
Director of Golf Steve Vigiano bragged about the exquisite greens before my round and he was right on. The greens are flawless. After you leave you might find yourself daydreaming about their velvety perfection. Don't be alarmed if you start to drool.
Of the three nines, Canyon Crest, Ridgeline and Creekside, it's difficult to pick a favorite. Each one has its own personality and style.
Creekside requires serious strategy and shot making capabilities with its doglegs and carries. Ridgeline will also test your skills with its long, narrow, undulating design. Canyon Crest is probably the friendliest nine with wider landing areas and more approachable greens.
Don't expect to walk this round. It's just too spread out and hilly. Even for you die hard walkers, I wouldn't try it even if they'd let you. Don't worry, though, the carts are primo with coolers and illustrated GPS devices.
The five sets of tees offer a nice selection for men and women alike. Female golfers often find that to be a welcoming sign. Two of the sets of tees are considered "lady's" as evidenced by their position on the bottom of the scorecard and that they only have one set of ratings. The white (middle) tees are rated for both men and women, giving each gender three rated options.
As for which sets of 18 are considered more or less difficult, that really depends on which tees you choose. For example, if a woman plays the white tees, the Canyon Crest/Creekside combo is rated the highest for difficulty. If she plays the red tees, the Ridgeline/Creekside combo has the honors.
The public range and practice facilities are first rate to complement the rest of the course. The restaurant rates four stars and there is lovely patio seating outside the restaurant and bar with a nice view of some of the golf holes you just played.
They really take care of people at Moorpark. Members and riff-raff alike are treated like they're at a resort. The greens fees, while high compared to some other local courses, are nowhere near the fees of resorts with similar course conditions and amenities. They have special packages, ladies' days, and are doing all the right things to make your experience not just excellent but an excellent value.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you know you've driven further than this to play courses that aren't this nice. Located just off the 118, you might even enjoy the drive.
September 20, 2006
A woman relatively new to golf and known for her wit and dedication to her rapidly improving game, Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams has won fans for her blog and WorldGolf.com golf course reviews. She pens her golf articles from her home in Southern California.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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