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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

October 23, 1998|STEVE HORN, 15 HANDICAP

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

Moreno Valley Ranch Golf Club

28095 John F. Kennedy Drive

Moreno Valley, Calif. 92555

(909) 924-4444

Green fees: $40-$58 (includes cart).

Tee Times: Seven days in advance.

The facility: This 27-hole Pete Dye design is an attractive, challenging layout, and an outstanding weekday value. There are three nines--the Mountain, Lake and Valley--but this review concerns only the Mountain and Lake. There is a great, all-grass driving range.

The good: Didn't see any railroad ties, but otherwise the course has the feel of the usual Dye layout--lots of undulating fairways and greens. There are some terrific holes on the Mountain side--especially the uphill No. 6, a par five, and the downhill No. 7, a treacherous par three. No. 9, a short par four, is a nice change of pace.

The bad: Not too much, although No. 5 on the Lake nine is bordering on unfair, with the fairway ending about 150 yards from the green. The rough was extremely high in late September, which made for a lot of lost balls and delays while looking for them, but it will be cut down after this week's Nike Tour Inland Empire Open. And that "Lake" title is a little misleading, with water in play on one hole.

The score: "It's a thinking man's course," one of my playing partners said. "That's why we're not doing very well." True, it's not the most wide-open course around, but there is plenty of room to use the driver.

*

Overall rating: 3 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 1 333 279 4 264 2 374 334 4 315 3 150 144 3 114 4 359 343 4 278 5 404 380 4 322 6 489 472 5 420 7 165 115 3 91 8 515 498 5 439 9 334 313 4 286 Out 3,123 2,878 36 2,529 10 526 512 5 431 11 125 116 3 110 12 381 357 4 322 13 171 153 3 101 14 416 363 4 303 15 318 303 4 266 16 405 357 4 309 17 529 467 5 434 18 367 324 4 303 In 3,238 2,952 36 2,579 Total 6,361 5,830 72 5,108

*--*

Rating/Slope: Back--72.2/128; Middle--70.4/124; Front--71.7/125

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