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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

May 23, 1997|STEVE KRESAL, 17 handicap

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

Tustin Ranch Golf Club

Address: 12442 Tustin Ranch Rd.

Green fees: $75 and $105 (cart included).

Phone: 714 730-1611.

Tee Times: 7 days in advance.

The facility: The Ted Robinson-designed course has matured into one of the top sites in the area since it opened in 1989. The course has the feel of a country club and started offering caddies in early April ($35 for one bag, $50 for two).

The good: With only about 65,000 rounds a year, the fairways are in top condition and the greens are better than most. Many less-expensive layouts have 110,000 rounds or more and the greens are trampled from sunup to sunset. The par fours--which range from 312 to 411 yards--allow for several different kinds of tee shots.

The bad: Carts must stay on cart paths. As long as the price is not a factor for you, there's not a lot to complain about. Four fairways didn't drain during last winter's rains but a new drainage system on those holes is just about completed.

The score: Robinson's influence can best be best seen on the ninth and 18th holes, which have lakes with his trademark waterfalls. The fairways are gently rolling and petty generous, and there is a set of tournament tees that extends the course to 6,736 yards. The rough looks tranquil enough but will twist a club if not respected. The traps are filled with actual sand, which is always nice.

*

Overall course rating: 3 1/2 balls.

* One ball: No-frills golf.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the golf gods play.

*--*

Hole Back Tees Middle Tees Par Front Tees 1 386 370 4 312 2 492 467 5 428 3 177 162 3 142 4 373 349 4 295 5 316 304 4 278 6 189 175 3 142 7 362 342 4 270 8 410 374 4 318 9 516 487 5 443 Out 3,221 3,030 36 2,628 10 492 478 5 432 11 155 133 3 107 12 411 380 4 305 13 312 299 4 277 14 374 339 4 295 15 536 518 5 447 16 348 336 4 303 17 171 147 3 116 18 359 345 4 294 In 3,158 2,975 36 2,576 Total 6,379 6,005 72 5,204

*--*

Rating/Slope: Black--70.8/124, Middle--68.8/118, Front--64.6/101.

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