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NoonanSmails

Top 100 Contributor
Massachusetts Advisor
Lives
Groveland, MA
Handicap
10-14
Gender
Male
Skill
Advanced
Plays
A few times a week
I am always ready for a round, be it with my crazy golf buddies or whenever I come upon a golf course out on the road. I have hit most every course in Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Southern Maine. I enjoy finding a new course and giving my opinion of it. I am always happy to recommend a course or to warn fellow golfers about a course that is not up to par. I have my handful of favorites that I play multiple times a year and I always make time for a new discovery. A golf course does not have to be a 5 star gem to be rated great in my book. If it has some unique design features, is in good condition and has some special charm, it can be fun to play. I have enjoyed many public courses off the beaten trail in New England that are well worth the trip. If you have a destination in mind, chances are I know of course nearby that would interest you. I also have spent quite a bit of time in Arizona and know the courses that are worth playing and which ones are overrated. My quest never seems to end and that is what makes it fun for me.

Review Statistics

Average Rating

3.7
3.7
Total 75 Reviews

Rating Breakdown

75 Reviews
5 Stars
9
4 Stars
41
3 Stars
18
2 Stars
6
1 Stars
1
Recommended Courses
64
Not Recommended Courses
11
Helpful Votes Count
17
Not Helpful Votes Count
6
First Review
10/17/2013
Last Review
02/09/2018

Reviews Map

Reviews

3.7
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Review of Longbow Golf Club

Played On 02/01/2018
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Off the Usual Resort Corridor, But Worth the Drive

I needed a tee time on the Thursday of the Phoenix Open and knew it would be a challenge to find one. It was my last day to play on an 11 day golf trip so when I saw an opening for a single at 9:00 and I jumped on it. The $85 rate seemed fair and I went with moderate expectations. I was paired with 3 nice guys from Pittsburgh who were pretty good golfers. We played the Green tees and were very happy with every aspect of the course. All of the grass was in tiptop condition and the greens putted very true at a sweet pace. Aside from one issue with a fairway pot bunker, I was fine. My fellow golfers had a few excursions into the desert and no go areas. A few holes abut each other, but there is no feeling of being crowded. There are no homes on the course, just a couple of warehouses and a few streets, but they are well out of play. On the front 9 the plane and helicopter traffic takes awhile to adjust to, but it eventually falls off. Longbow exceeded my expectations in every way. I think golfers of all levels can enjoy their round from the appropriate tee box without being beaten up. Now that I have found it, I think I will put it on my regular Phoenix vacation golf rotation.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Average
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Good

Review of Cholla Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

Played On 01/31/2018
I Recommend This Course
5.0

Cholla Was the Perfect Choice for Great Golf

I got to play the Cholla course on a perfect Wednesday while vacationing in AZ. I had played the Saguaro course 2 years ago and loved it, so I had high expectations for Cholla. With temps in the 70's, it was a perfect day to let the ball fly. We played the Composite tees at 6500 yards, and that was right on for us. Every aspect of this course was excellent on this day from tees to fairways to greens and even the hazards. There are 18 clearly unique holes on Cholla that use elevation changes and natural effects to challenge your game. You must be careful to cautious when putting, as some putts can easily get away from you if you are too aggressive. We enjoyed every minute of the 4:20 we spent on Cholla. It was a perfectly paced and well managed round on this deservedly busy golf destination. The only back up was at the halfway house on the 10th tee that we hit at exactly 12:00. I would urge any golfers, regardless of handicap, to get a round or 2 in at We Ko Pa if you are anywhere within 50 miles of it. You will not be disappointed. I assure you that.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Excellent

Review of Orange Tree Golf & Conference Resort

Played On 01/30/2018
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Old School AZ Golf For All Skill Levels

My friend Ralph booked us on this old school course after our first choice fell through. I knew it's reputation as an older resort that may be past it's prime. Upon entering, you get the feel that this was one of THE places back in the 1960's or 70's. After a brief warm up, we were off right on time. The course is a user friendly layout with yardages that are short by today's standards. Playing alongside 3 guys in their 70's, the White tees made sense and served us well. There are bunkers and hazards, but the are not threatening and are easily skirted. The greens are very fast down hill and down grain and just the opposite going the other way. We enjoyed the nicely paced round (4:10 with an 11:00 tee time). The ranger did make the slower group in front of us skip the par 3 7th, and that got the pace back on track. There are many older, single story homes on the course that speak to the age of the development. After golf we enjoyed great sandwiches and ice cold beers at The Grove. I had somewhat low expectations for OT going in but I was very impressed with the golf experience. I think it could be a good addition to most golfer's line up in Scottsdale unless you are a single digit handicapper who requires 7000 yards to be challenged. I would play it again.
Staff Friendliness Average
Pace of Play Good
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Average
Course Layout Average
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Enjoyed an Unexpected Opportunity

I had heard that Dove Mountain was now offering a lot more public access. When the opportunity arose to play it in prime time I jumped on it. I recall so much about this course from the years it hosted the Accenture Match play. I knew the main challenge of this course was in the greens and all of the twisty tiers and undulations, so I chose to play the shorter yardage Yellow tees. This way I was hitting shorter irons in , as opposed to long irons or hybrids. I aimed at accessible places on the greens, not necessarily at the pins. There seems to be a lot of the room off the tee to hit the ball, so my driver got a lot of work. If you play in a conservative way, you can enjoy this course. I think if you take too many risks you will get burned. If you are a 20+ handicap, this course may not be enjoyable for you. The pace of play was about what I figured at 4:40. I am glad I got to play this course that the tour players never liked and I would play it again if I was in the Marana area.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Average
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Excellent

Review of Blissful Meadows Golf Club

Played On 10/18/2017
3.0

Not So Blissful An Experience

It was my first time to BM after hearing both good and bad things about the course. I was really looking forward to playing it on a perfect Fall Wednesday. I was greeted by the starter on my way in the front door 20 minutes before my tee time. Then I was rushed to the first tee without a chance to practice putt or stretch. I was not sure why the rush, but after two sloppily played holes we caught the pack. We spent the next 4:15 waiting behind the pack. The course was in good condition. The greens were not mowed that day but they still rolled alright. The main thing I noticed was the hardness of the ground. Maybe it was the mini drought we are in or maybe it was just the soil underneath, but everywhere seemed to be rock hard. This resulted in some wild bounces off fairways and over greens. It was a trampoline effect. When we got to the 16th fairway it was in fact being aerated. That would help soften things up. With all of the doglegs, blind shots and hidden hazards, BM is a course you need to play a few times to figure out the game plan on each hole. Brian Silva designed this public course during his 'Angry Period'. I think a few tweaks and alterations would make this course more enjoyable for all players. The par 3's, especially on the back, are very scenic and enjoyable. BM is located in the middle of nowhere in Uxbridge. (Google Maps got me lost on my way out.) I doubt I will be going back any time soon, but people in the area may keep them busy enough.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Average
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Fair

Review of Deep Brook Golf Course

Played On 06/03/2017
3.0

Challenging For Many Reasons

I was excited to play this course after learning about it. I played it late on a Saturday with very few golfers on it. When I told the desk guy I wanted to walk 9, he looked at me funny and suggested I take a cart. I thanked him but still walked. The first 2 holes were fair and roomy. Then there was the long walk to the 3rd hole. It was about a 1/4 mile down and up a ravine. The next few holes were interesting, but somewhat squeezed in. A 90 yard par 3 was disappointing. Then it was back down and up the ravine to the last 2 holes, which were challenging but squeezed in. The other challenge on the course are the power lines that cut the course in half. They are just barely in play on the 3 holes but surely in play on the 8th. I hit a line, which worked out OK as it kept me short of an unseen hazard. In the end I would say this course is nearly impossible to walk and really too difficult for 20+ handicappers. It might have a good local following, but visitors would do better to play the other courses in Saco, OOB and Scarboro.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Average
Course Conditions Average
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Fair

Review of Whirlwind Golf Club - The Cattail Course

Played On 02/21/2017
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Good Combination of Challenging and Fun

Cattail has always been a favorite of mine. It sets up very nicely to my eye. It gives me the challenge I want at 6300 yards without beating me up. Most of the holes give you a spacious landing area and then narrow up at the greens. There are 2 par 4's, numbers 5 and 14, that you have to hit less than a driver for position. My favorite hole is number 16 that bends to the right around the back of the hotel pool area, that dares you to cut a tee shot tightly over the bunkers. If you cut it, a short iron can set you up for a birdie putt. Cattail is not a true desert course, but is a testing layout to keep your ball on the green grass and out of the expansive waste areas. It is fun for all if you play from the proper teebox. I have just acknowledged my age and moved up to the Silver tees from the Golds. The Black tees have some amazing teeboxes that give you the full 7300 yard test. Whirlwind is the best place to play in the Chandler area and should be on your 'must play' list.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Good

Review of Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club

Played On 02/20/2017
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Two Very Different Nines

I played this course for the first time on a last minute suggestion. I had heard it was coming back to good conditions after a chemical mistake took out all of the greens a few years ago. The front 9 was fairly challenging and straight forward. There was a good variety of long and short shots, with some well guarded greens. The greens putted ok and were speedy due to the thinness of the grass. On the back the whole mood changed. It is more target golf, with risk reward options, forced carries and some blind shots. This was a nice contrast, but a real detriment to speedy play. Golfers were searching for balls everywhere and yelling 'fore' quite a bit. Pace of play went from just over 2 hours on the front to over 2.5 hours on the back. The 18th is a very good finishing hole with water all the way down the right and a tricky, twisting green to hit into. I think DVR is a bit overpriced, but with few true public options in the area, they are able to get it. I would recommend it if you can get a deal on a tee time.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Average
Off-course amenities Average
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Average
Course Layout Good

Review of Whirlwind Golf Club - The Devil's Claw Course

Played On 02/18/2017
I Recommend This Course
4.0

Not Truly A Desert Course but Fun to Play

Whirlwind Golf Course was built on the Gila River Indian Reservation on a flat piece of land that is more hardscrabble waste land than desert. It is very creative with it's manufactured elevated greens and contours in the fairways. Most holes give you an ample target off the tee and then moderately challenge you with bunkers up at the greens. DC is not overly long, but the variety of holes will test most every club in your bag. The 9th is an interesting hole with a split fairway. You must decide on the teebox if you are going to the left or the right. From either side, the second shot is difficult one, to an elevated green guarded by a couple of deep bunkers. I am not a fan of the par 3 7th hole. It has a large waterfall on the right that just looks out of place on this course. This is a great course for players of all abilities and it is always in great shape. I say give it a try.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Good
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Good
Course Layout Good

Review of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

Played On 02/17/2017
I Recommend This Course
5.0

Well Worth Driving to Nowhere Land to Play

Not many folks even know where the town of Maricopa is. For the record it is about 40 minutes southwest of PHX airport. Maricopa has a quaint but growing town, a Harrah's resort casino and one outstanding golf course. If Southern Dunes was in Scottsdale it would be a $200 course with a long waiting line. SD has 18 unique holes that all challenge you to think and execute. There are no true 'bunny' hole here. With 5 sets of tees, you can tip it out at 7500 yards, or go easy at 6000. The greens putt true and fast and there are places on them you best not be. Although not a true desert course, I think it is a standout in the state of Arizona. It has some massive waste areas, several water hazards and some creative elevation changes. The course may punish those with handicaps in the 20's and above, which can slow down the pace of play. I think those players quickly figure out how to hit safe shots and manage the course to play for bogeys. If you do not mind a bit of drive, you will really be rewarded by this hidden gem south of everything else in Greater Phoenix. Rest assured others are finding this truly great golf course.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Good
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Excellent
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