Robinson Ranch is the delight of the late golf course architect Ted Robinson and his son, Ted Jr. and features two golf courses. This review features the Mountain Course. Located at the foot of the Angeles National Forest, you will be treated to numerous views of the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Mountain Course is not long and most of the fairways seem ample until you realize that the edges bleed off into the thick desert surrounds of sage and chaparral making them effectively play much more narrow. This brush is so thick and the terrain so steep in places that searching for your ball is definitely not recommended. In other words, this layout will punish the long and wrong hitters. Better to play with a fairway wood or hybrid most of the time.
Winter rye grass accentuates the dormant Bermuda revealing the narrow twisting fairways and elevation changes typical of Robinson Ranch’s Mountain Course. The 532-yard par-5 first hole is shown above.
In addition to the views, I particularly enjoyed the natural ambiance of the setting. While homes are certainly visible in the distance, the only ones that intrude on the course are immediately off the ninth hole. You will find water on four holes, but the elevation changes, abundance of uneven lies, and several sloped greens are as much the challenge to scoring well.
For shorter-hitter golfers, particularly women, many of the putting surfaces lack sufficient depth or are elevated making them difficult to accept and hold their typically lower trajectory approach shots. For the longer hitters, there are several challenging par-fours where driving accuracy is paramount such as the 3rd, 5th, and 11th and the par-3 6th and 14th are quite challenging as well. And for risk-and-reward, the 293-yard par-4 8th hole is a fun, engaging drivable hole for those with a big high power fade.
Only 6,508 yards from the tips, the layout nonetheless rates a challenging 137 slope and 72.3 rating. Regular rates range between $87 weekdays to $117 on weekends and holidays, and locals get a further discount with fees ranging from $57 to $97. Robinson Ranch features friendly, attentive service and an attractive modern 25,000 s.f. rustic ranch-style Clubhouse that you might expect to find at a nice private club.
Fagan Rating: B-. Robinson Ranch’s Mountain Course is an above average golf course at an upscale daily fee layout comparable, but not superior to the better public layouts in the region. Accordingly there is the feel of a private club setting and the quiet rugged desert ambiance and views from many of the elevations are striking. The Mountain Course will play into the hands of the shorter, more accurate player, but may not be the longer hitter’s “cup of tea” if they want to let out the shaft.
Sunset casts beautiful shadows over the par-4 third hole at Robinson Ranch’s Mountain Course.