Rustic Canyon

Rustic Canyon is a daily fee course just out of LA designed by Gil Hanse and Geoff Shackleford . 
This partnership has been in the spotlight lately with their design at Castle Stuart in the north of Scotland hosting the Scottish Open in atrocious conditions...
Shackleford is a well known golfing author , and operates a really entertaining web site worth having a look at - www.geoffshackleford.com
Gil Hanse is an up and coming course architect building an impressive portfolio . In my opinion if I were building a course , and Doak and Coore Crenshaw were not available Hanse might be the next man in line
I am keen to see his effort at Boston GC
But I digress from Rustic Canyon which has been well received by the golfing public , and in golfing architectural circles as well
We had the opportunity to play on Tuesday when our scheduled game at LACC was mistakenly scheduled during a tournament!
The course is situated in a canyon typical of much of the country north of LA , with the front nine running down from the clubhouse and back in reasonably flat country split by dry washes , and the back nine more up canyon in higher terrain displaying  some elevation change . 
We enjoyed our day , and the course is a fine public access facility .
The design was good incorporating dry creek beds , and washes with strategic bunkering to create some interesting holes .
I am sure from an aerial view the design would have been outstanding , but for a rather height restricted individual playing Rustic Canyon for the first time , I found the lack of a visual a distinct problem
In the front nine in particular I just could not see where I should be trying to hit , where the landing areas or bunkers finished and started - there was a lot of guesswork rather than decision making! 
The back nine was significantly better with the elevation change in the land enabling us to see what the designers had in mind...
Overall I think on Rustic Canyon is a very good course for a low budget daily fee course
And having played there a few times and knowing what the holes offered and where they moved , I am sure  the punter enjoys it immensely
As a one time player I would have got more out of it with better definition of the holes , particularly in the front nine
pw
July 2011

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