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TheSandTrap.com › User Reviews › Courses › Pacific › California › Rancho San Joaquin

Rancho San Joaquin


Pros: Nice course, enjoyed the views and the layout

Cons: Lots of standing water. The water itself does have slightly unpleasant odor. Stay away from it.

This was a nice course. We started playing in the dark and they gave us complementary glow balls. The layout was very nice, and there are two challenging holes on the front 9 near water. One hole had water on the left and right that was in play from the downhill tee shot. Be careful playing those two holes.


The back 9 was a "bumpy" course with lots of challenges in the lie. If your tee shot ended up on a bump it could be a little challenging. There is no water really in play as long as you aim away from it. There is one hole that doglegs extremely to the left, and I recommend a long iron or hybrid to tee off that one. The approach shot is still reasonable.


Fun course.


Pros: Solid practice range with 64 stalls, 4 practice putting greens and several chipping greens and bunkers

Cons: The 18 hole course is not in very good shape

I live just down the street from Rancho San Joaquin, so this is where I practice 99% of the time... And will play twilight rounds here too.  I try to avoid playing too much golf here as the conditions are typically poor, and the pace of play is sloooooow.


The golf course is owned and operated by American Golf.  And the 18 hole course, unfortunately takes a back seat to the practice area.  The range has lights, so it is open until 10:00 PM every day.  And the range is where American Golf makes serious bank as the heavily populated Asian community here in Irvine loves to practice.  They have automated ball dispensing machines which are open until 9:00pm at night.  And from 5:00 PM until close, the range is very busy.


The course is built on an old land fill, many state this is the reason for the courses poor drainage.  And thus why you'll find a lot of standing water on the fairways and rough... A lot of muddy areas where water lies and just doesn't soak into the ground.  Unfortunately, this leads to poor playing conditions as the fairways damp and muddy in many low lying areas.  In fact, if you are looking for courses to play based on quality of playing conditions, then you should probably forget about playing Rancho and go somewhere else.


The thing about Rancho is it is a solid course to just get out, hit golf shots on a decent layout and challenging course, and putting on semi decent greens and green complexes.  The bunkers, rough and fairways are not good - and often times poorly maintained (bunkers are usually very poor).  They really need to get a better greens keeper, and this has been an issue that has plagued the course nearly all of 2012.


The greens could be really solid, but unfortunately, the course gets so much play, that they tend to be bumpy in areas.  I believe a big reason why the greens aren't as solid as they could be is that they send golfers out in 7 minute intervals - and allow fivesomes... So the greens can get a little beat up with the heavy play.  And you'll find a lot of pitch marks that aren't repaired.  Which also makes the greens not as good as they could be.


There are two par 3's, #8 and #15 which are nearly twins and sit side by side... Both uphill - with greens sloped from back to front.  There are pin placements on both greens that can be punishing, and when the pins are in the difficult locations, these two holes can back-up and have people waiting for the group ahead of them to putt out.


Pace of play at Rancho always seems to be an issue... Having the 7 minute intervals for tee times, combined with letting fivesomes play is a big proponent of slow play.  Be ready to spend 6 hours for an 18-hole round.  That is pretty standard practice for Rancho.


The rates are usually very good - and you can get tee times very easily from www.golfzing.com.  The typical rate will range anywhere from $56 to $27 depending on day/time you play.  So this is something that makes the course playable for me, is the fair price combined with its close proximity from where I live.


The practice area as mentioned above, has lights.  It has 64 hitting bays coupled with four practice greens and several chipping areas and practice bunkers.  I'd say the practice area, given it has lights is one of the better areas to sharpen your game in the Orange County area.  It definitely needs to be upgraded, and according to guys I speak to that work at the Practice area, American Golf is looking to make some upgrades to the practice facility.  Hopefully these changes come sooner than later as the conditions are quite poor.

Rancho San Joaquin

Get off the 405 at Culver, head south, make a right on Ethel Coplen and drive ot the end.

Additional Information
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course

One Ethel Coplen Way Irvine, CA 92612

Book Tee Times @ www.golfzing.com


Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course, located just south of Los Angeles in Irvine, CA is a players course with rolling hills and gentle terrain. The golf course is set along a coastal inlet with three different lakes as a back drop and is home to some of South Orange County's finest and most challenging greens. Beginners will find Rancho San Joaquin to be friendly because of the wide fairways and accessible greens, while advanced golfers will be challenged by severe undulations in many of the putting surfaces and holes that often reward precise strategy.      

Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course offers a complete practice facility where players can hone their game with over 60 mat stalls, six rentable short game areas, and three practice putting greens. All practice areas are lit until 10 pm all year for practice any time of day. The learning center programs feature the Tee it Up Series (adult group lessons), Junior Academy, private lessons, and popular Nike Golf summer camps for juniors. 

Rancho San Joaquin was designed in 1964 by famous golf architect William Francis Bell who often worked as a father and son team with William Park Bell. Together, the father and son designed more than 70 courses in the Southland, ranging from Bermuda Dunes Country Club and Newport Beach Country Club to Torrey Pines and Industry Hills Golf Club.  

Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course is located just off the 405 freeway in one of the most convenient areas of Orange County, CA. John Wayne Airport, the University of California - Irvine, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum, and Newport Beach are all within 10 miles of the course.  

Course Details:

Number of Holes: 18

Penn Cross

Tee Yardage Rating Slope
Forward - White 5709 67.6 119
Forward - White -Women 5709 73.5 126
Middle - Blue 6158 69.7 125
Back - Black 6431 70.8 128
Course Architect: William F. Bell
Year Opened: 1970
Fairways: Bermuda and Kukuya
Greens: Poa
Maximum Capacity: 150
Meeting Packages
Golf Outings
Pre-Function Space
Special Events Packages
Price Range: $$

· Chipping Green(s): 7 practice greens are available for chipping and approach shot practice. · Driving Range: 65 stalls and lights provide a great practice experience. Open daily from 7 am until 10 pm. · Instruction: Four Class A PGA Certified Professionals are on staff to handle your training no matter what the skill level. Our extensive practice facility offers a variety of lesson programs for adults and juniors ages 5 and up. · Practice Bunker(s): 7 practice bunkers for chipping practice. · Pro Shop: Our friendly staff is available to answer your questions, book your tee time, or help with course issues. We have a fully stocked Golf Shop that features clubs, shoes, balls, hats, and apparel from all of the key manufacturers. · Putting Green(s): Huge practice greens are available in front of the golf shop and range. They are free to the public to use prior to your round or practice. · Snack Bar: Our Snack Bar is open daily 6 am until sundown. Try out breakfast fare items such as the famous breakfast burrito or Hole-in-One sandwich. Stop by for a quick hot dog, burger, bratwurst, or reuben for lunch or grab a bite when making the turn. · Cart Rental: · Pull Cart:


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