The Vellano Course at Chino Hills is another example of just how good Greg Norman is at designing golf courses that captivate the imagination and test the golfer to the very last shot on every hole.
This course has something for everyone and is a course which will challenge the most seasoned of golfers, yet still be enjoyable for the not so experienced player – a craft that Norman has down to a fine art.
It is no surprise when you consider the type of golfer Norman was, he liked to be challenged but also liked to be aggressive and have options for the way he could play a hole and it is for this reason that this course must go on this list of courses that will make you play better golf.
Unlike many golf courses, the choices you have here are not so apparent, until you learn the subtleties of the golf course and where you can save the odd shot or two just by changing your approach to the course. As evolving golfers we must learn that there are many “ways to skin a cat” and to improve our games we must learn to imagine these variations in playability, and here at Vellano you are almost encouraged to do so.
It is without doubt a course that requires you to think and plan your way round and becoming efficient at managing a golf course is paramount to improving your golf game.
Another superb course for this is The Eisenhower course at Industry Hills. Having undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation, it re-opened in 2006 and is gaining plaudits for the condition and the challenges it poses to golfers.
At over 7,200 yards from the championship tees the course is a beast, having said that if you learn to manage the holes correctly and avoid any unnecessary risks you can still post a good score.
The Butterfield Stage Course at El Prado is a course that requires accuracy, not from the tee, but with the second shot putting a premium on accurate iron play and correct club choices and therefore it is a course that will help you improve your golf.
Many golfers do not really know exactly how far they hit their irons, but being put under pressure with the need for accuracy with the second shot, the golfer is obliged to learn the distances that they hit each club.
The Butterfield Stage courses design demands that you understand your game, and although not overly difficult, the course is a good learning experience which will hold you in good stead in the future, as you will no longer be second guessing which club you should be taking.
On a final note, any course where the speed of play is relatively slow in comparison to other courses is a great way to learn patience on a golf course in the unfortunate event of getting caught up in slow play during a tournament, learning to deal with the speed of play away from the added pressure of the tournament environment will help you to accept it, if and when it happens.