ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Having just finished his round, the golfer was loading up his clubs into his car in the parking lot last week at the Boulder Oaks Golf Club.
"Let's keep this a secret," he said, flashing a grin, to another golfer.
Boulder Oaks – formerly Meadow Lake Golf Club in the Hidden Meadows area of Escondido – has been operating after a soft re-opening in February. And because golfers are just beginning to discover that it's back, tee times have been plentiful and the rounds go at a pleasingly quick pace.
That makes for paradise for those early explorers, but the owners would like it to change – particularly the tee-sheet part.
The course was closed from July through January to undergo a $6.2 million renovation, performed by local architect Dave Fleming and funded by the Metropolitan Water District's turf removal program.
In the process, three holes were removed and three others added. The aesthetics are dramatically different, with grass replaced by large native areas or shaved redwood bark. Stark white bunkers define many of the holes now.
In a move that makes the course far more playable for higher-handicap golfers, the tees have been moved up to make Boulder Oaks somewhat of a hybrid of championship and executive courses. The yardages: blacks (5,726), blues (4,943), whites (4,377) and golds (3,774).
The par is 70, though that's a soft number, in that only one of the par 5s is more than 500 yards from the black tees.
Green fees (which include walking rates) range from $17 to $45 Monday-Friday, $27 to $55 Saturday-Sunday.
An official opening tournament is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14. The format is a 2-person scramble. The $40 entry per person includes a lunch buffet. The course website is boulderoaksgolfclub.com.
This article was written by Tod Leonard from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.