I was all ears since I always heard about it and wanted to play there someday. Well it was sooner than later and we got a morning tee time which made it more enticing. Needless to say I scratched Los Verdes, and I've played there numerous times anyhow, I was off to Temecula to play The 'Hawk.
It was an absolute gorgeous day and the clubhouse was quite unique. All the buildings looked like small spanish style villas. It had a real cozy feel about it and everyone was real friendly. It was my buddies birthday a week ago and Redhawk let's you play for free if it's a week before or after your birthday. We ended splitting 2 full green fees 3 ways, it was the three of us..always, which even made it better.
I didn't have time to practice so it was my typical show up and off to the 1st tee. The first hole was a narrow, blind dogleg right to an elevated green. Not the most fun way to start the day. I managed to hit my drive pretty well and had about 140 yards left to the green. I was telling my friend, that I was carting in, that I always get amazed when we are able to hit the very 1st tee shot down the middle. I used to say it was all luck but now I'd have to say there's also a fair amount of skill involved also to pull this off too now. I'd say hitting a 1st shot, straight down the middle, without any practice, in the early morning, is one of the toughest shots.
My 2nd shot ended up with me pulling it left and I was just off the green. I chipped back on and fortunately didn't roll off since it was a multiple-tiered green. All the greens at Redhawk were like this. I ended up 2-putting for a bogey..but happy.
I won't go into details but it was a nice course but i really did expect a little more from my expectations about it. The greens were in nice shape and there were some rough spots on the fairway at times. I'm not sure if it rained there but some of the fairways were a little soggy. The course also runs through a housing tract which took away from my intial impression of it as well.
All in all the course didn't play as tough as people said it played and the famous "island" green (it's surrounded all around by sand..so you can still get up and down) was not menacing one bit. There was one particular hole, a par 4, that had the St. Andrews style "pothole" bunkers guarding the front of the green. I was fortunate not to have experienced it..it was VERY deep. I did lose 3 balls but not because of the difficulty of the course but rather of my really errant tee shots and a bad approach.
One thing I hated about Redhawk, and others that don't have it, was the lack of yardage markers. The only thing that was a visual marker was the black and white candy striped 150 yard marker. Maybe that's why they sell the yardage books for a buck at the pro-shop. They did have "hidden" markers on the fairway but I gave up trying to find them. For a course of this "magnitude" you'd expect them to have a standard GPS unit installed on their carts.
I would suggest to anyone to play here once just because of the hoopla/reputation it has, but that's about it.