Quality Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona is no exception to the Troon Golf rule
CORONA, Calif. -- I had heard a lot of positive things about Eagle Glen Golf Club since its debut to the golfing public in April 1999, but the most significant reason I was looking forward to playing here was the fact that it is managed by Troon Golf. I have had the pleasure of experiencing a few of their golf courses in the past and was really impressed with the style and class they bring to each of their operations, and Eagle Glen turned out to be no exception.
Troon Golf represents dozens of upscale golf courses world wide, including Troon North and Legend Trail in Scottsdale, Tidewater Golf Club, and Plantation in Myrtle Beach and the newly opened Maderas Country Club in San Diego, to name a few of their treasures.
Eagle Glen is situated in a canyon at the base of the Santa Ana Mountains in the Cleveland National Forest. With breathtaking views of the nearby San Jacinto, San Bernardino, and San Gorgonio Mountain ranges, this was an excellent location for developer Nicholas J. Coussoulis to build a multi use planned community with a "stand alone" golf course while leaving the land on which it was built "better than he had found it".
This is a beautiful golf course designed by architect, Gary Roger Baird, who is well known for his designs overseas in Asia. His use of the topography of the area with it's oak trees and coastal sage shrub lined canyons and ravines make for stunning views and quite challenging golf shots. Using bright Augusta white crushed marble (I'm told the only golf course west of the Mississippi to do so) in the sand traps and fairway bunkers make for an awesome contrast of the deep rich green colors of the lush Rye grass fairways and Bent grass greens. The course is expertly operated and immaculately maintained by Troon Golf, which is what you would expect if you have ever had the pleasure of playing any of their masterpieces.
This par 72 layout can play from 6,930 (black) to 4,908 (jade) yards depending on how enjoyable you want your round to be. One thing I couldn't get over was the size of the greens, I have played hundreds of rounds of golf before, but I have never seen such enormous putting surfaces throughout the round. Thank goodness a daily pin-placement sheet is supplied along with a divot tool, yardage book, and bag tag. The yardage book was also necessary with plenty of doglegs, blind shots, and elevation changes throughout the round. It was used way more than my divot repair tool unfortunately.
You'll notice little touches at Eagle Glen that make this course special, such as buried trash receptacles (just be sure to put the lid back down) and courteous staff coming around to insure your round is as enjoyable as possible.
After warming up on the 14 acre practice facility, with as many range balls that you want to pound and a very nice short game area, we're ready for no. 1, "Last Easy". This is a gorgeous par 4 dogleg right from an elevated tee down to a wide fairway below. Stay left center here with a tree and shrub lined hazard on the right and four fairway bunkers left. You want your approach shot to be from the fairway and not from the thick Rye rough either. This first hole is a good start and prepares you for what lies ahead with it's large undulating green surrounded by plenty of mounds and one of those big white fine sand traps to the right, a par here is great start!
Jump in the cart for the climb up to no. 2, "Stockton's Lair", this magnificent par 4 is said to be Senior PGA Tour star Dave Stockton's favorite hole on the course. This is a tricky hole that can be played a couple different ways due to the two landing areas right and left. For the long knockers the right side is the play, but its a blind shot and you better hit right on the money to shorten up your second shot to a mere chip shot, for those with course management in mind, the left side is the play.
Hit it up the middle and you'll catch one of three large sand traps or that thick Rye rough, which is very difficult to maneuver even a sand wedge out of. Make sure you clear the environmentally sensitive area front left or its reload time, these areas are specially marked as "Do Not Enter" and are all over the course to keep the natural beauty and native habitat preserved. The green here turned out to be one of the biggest on one of the shortest par 4's I've ever witnessed.
No. 4, "Calamity Corner" is the first par 3 and it is a good one! With its elevated teeing grounds ranging from 203 to 110 yards over a deep ravine hazard down to a wide but shallow hourglass-shaped green, there is not much room for error on the tee shot. Depending on pin placement, go for the fattest part of the green and escape with your par!
"Mount Baldy", no. 5 and the second par 5 on the front nine offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountain ranges and valley below (weather and smog conditions permitting). This downhill hole has a large landing area, but keep it left with the "Keep Out" ravine running down the right side and diagonally crossing the fairway. Long hitters can have a go at this tricky undulating green, but I think the smart play is a lay-up to avoid the six sand traps encompassing the enormous sloped putting surface.
No. 7 "Grand Blvd", an uphill blind tee shot par 4 (yardage book really helps here), down to another, you guessed it, large green which turned out to be one of the toughest to figure out after my playing partner and I both 4 putted!
No. 9 "Three Peaks" is great finish to a fantastic nine, its a slight downhill par 4 that runs atop a ridge with drop offs on both sides, hit it straight or reload! An approach shot to this false front sloping green must clear a ravine front left or its time to grab another ball from the sleeve you just reached for!
The back nine at Eagle Glen Golf Club
Eagle Glen Golf Club's back nine is completely different being out of the mountains and ravines, more of down in a valley feel to it. After starting with a par 3 at no. 10 next to the under construction clubhouse and a cul-de-sac lined with spacious new homes, we get to no. 11 "Stone Wall", this hole plays a lot like no. 1, being a down hill dogleg right with the exception of having two stone walls on it. They are what remains from the old Avocado groves that were here before this beautiful course was laid out. One is in front of the fairway and the other is adjacent to the green and they seem peculiar and shouldn't come into play, but add a certain nuance to the hole.
No. 12 "Lang Whang" is a long slightly downhill par 5 ranging in length from 650 to 460 yards. With an ever present breeze in your face, it plays even longer. It takes three well played shots to reach this green, make par or better here and feel like a pro!
"Cleveland," no. 14, is the toughest hole at Eagle Glen Golf Club and deserves its ranking! This long uphill par 4 plays back up towards the forest to another immense rolling green that is well bunkered on the left. From the black tee its 441 yards and seems like a par 5, don't feel bad about your bogie here!
What a view from "Bedford Canyon" no. 15's black tee box, aptly named for the canyon you are gazing at. This is the longest of the par 4s at 477 yards, but luckily it plays downhill. The green here has an incredibly large dip in the middle with a large slope from the back that can give you a fit attempting to get a ball close to the pin!
Before we teed off, I asked in the pro shop which hole I should note as being the signature hole and was told that there are 18 of them and that was true, but if there is one hole that can be called the signature its "Eagle's Nest" no. 18. A par 5 that goes from 543 to 413 yards and has the distinction of being the only hole on the course with a body of water on it. Running diagonally from the right, up across the fairway and up to the slightly elevated false front green. It is right in front of where the new clubhouse will be and will entertain those watching the brave souls who give it a rip in two who are trying to salvage their round with an eagle on the last hole. It really is a par 5 that challenges you to go for it with a bail out area right side, just don't hit it left in the water! What a nice finishing hole to an incredible collection of 18 distinct tests of golf.
Eagle Glen Golf Club: The verdict
I would recommend this course to anyone who loves a challenge, while playing a beautifully landscaped and maintained golf course.