Southland Golf: A Look At The Wildfire Recovery And Renovation At Robinson Ranch


Four months after it was hit by a devastating wildfire, the signs of destruction are everywhere at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita. But so are the signs of re-birth.

Acres of trees and turf burned black are increasingly intermingled with the skinny plantings of new trees and the freshly graded and carved earth of a course gaining a new life and identity.

The renovation at Robinson Ranch is more by circumstance than choice, but Robinson Head Golf Professional Mark Kagaoan said the opportunity is one the course and club are seizing in full.

“It’s actually a blessing in disguise,” he said during a visit to the course in August on the day the clubhouse was getting a fresh coat of white paint. “This is our opportunity do a complete re-branding and bring back the wow factor to Robinson Ranch.”

Read the story in full here.



Tweet, Tweet: Named One Of 25 Most Influential Golf Accounts on Twitter


First the blog was named one of the top 100 golf blogs on the Internet. Now we’ve been named one of the 25 Most Influential Golf Accounts on Twitter. Is there a Triple Crown for this stuff? Can we get some Facebook or Instagram love?

We’re joking of course because we’re always humbled, honored and usually surprised to found out we’ve won something. I don’t know how many “Congratulations!” emails you wake up to every day, but it’s now happened to me twice in the last two months. I usually have to track it back to find out what I actually won.

This time it’s an honor from You can read the list here. I’ll say this: It’s an eclectic list, from Beef Johnson to Claude Harmon to my San Diego colleague Jenn Harris at

Here’s our listing:

Corey Ross – – San Diego golf and travel writer tweeting on a regular basis. Known for marketing golf courses and author of the

Yep. That’s us in a nutshell. Feel free to follow and learn a whole about golf courses in San Diego and particularly Maderas, where I work as the Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media. I also partner with Zeb Welborn to post for 19th Hole Media and our growing list of course clients.

And I have a thought or two about social media in general from time to time. It’s a funny place, this Internet. You never know who might discover you, but I’m glad the people at 360 Golf Holidays did. Thanks for the recognition. We’ll hopefully see you all on Twitter soon.


19th Hole Media: Indian Wells Golf Resort To Offer GolfBoard Starting In November


In November Indian Wells Golf Resort will become the first golf course in the Coachella Valley to offer GolfBoard.

Indian Wells Director of Sales And Marketing Michael Tebbetts said the arrival of the four GolfBoards will closely coincide with the course re-opening on Nov. 1.

GolfBoard is a battery-powered scooter that allows golfers to traverse the course in a manner similar to surfing, skiing or skating. The experience is called “surfing the Earth.”

GolfBoard launched three years at the West Coast PGA Show in Vegas. It has gained gradual adaption and Tebbetts said success at courses in Arizona and San Diego and a positive response to the boards during a pro-am at Indian Wells last February weighed heavily in the decision to offer the boards for rental.

“We offered it as a hole-in-one prize,” Tebbetts said. “We got a lot of questions about how it worked and overall it generated a lot of interest.”

Advancements in the design of the board and ease of operation also factored into the timing, Tebbetts said.

“The board itself has gotten much better in the last six or seven months,” he said. “It’s a much better experience for the user.”

GolfBoard is currently available at about 200 courses, including more than 20 in California.

Golfers at Indian Wells will have two 18-hole courses on which to enjoy the GolfBoard experience, which, among other things, is credited with an increased pace of play and a greater sense of independence than a cart in that golfers can go straight to their ball.

Tebbetts said GolfBoard fits and complements the luxury resort experience that Indian Wells provides.

“Everything we do is five-star,” he said. “We’re here for our guests to come and relax, and we strive to provide the best service experience and the best golf experience, and GolfBoard fits both of those.”

Tebbetts said Indian Wells will announce the rental rate for GolfBoard when the boards arrive. The course is taking advance reservations for the board. Those interested in booking the boards can call 760.346.4653.

There’s a one-time advance registration to use the boards that requires watching a safety/training video. You can view the video and register here:

Even if golfers have registered to use GolfBoard at other courses, such as Maderas Golf Club in San Diego, they’ll be required to re-register at Indian Wells, Tebbetts said.

The board is thought of as a lure to millennials but courses who offer it report it appealing to all demographics. Tebbetts is looking forward to GolfBoard enhancing the golf experience at Indian Wells and attracting new golfers to try GolfBoard.

“We don’t think this is a fad at all,” he said. “You’re seeing more courses adopt it and have success, and we think it’s something that will make people look forward to coming out and playing golf.”

Any questions about GolfBoard at Indian Wells can be directed to Tebbetts at

You can learn more about the golf and resort experience at Indian Wells at You can learn more about GolfBoard at



19th Hole Media: An FAQ About The Fire And Renovation At Robinson Ranch


On the afternoon of July 22nd, a brush fire started near Robinson Ranch that a day later would hit the course and burn up its back nine, causing the course and clubhouse to close.

The extensive damage prompted a course renovation, but the club is also undergoing a renovation of its restaurant, clubhouse and golf shop while closed. The new restaurant is due to open in October with the course hopefully opening by the end of the year.

While the circumstances of the renovation are unfortunate, the opportunity it presents is for a new and improved Robinson Ranch that’s able to provide a re-invented and re-branded experience to its golfers and guests.

To keep you in the loop about the renovation, we’ve prepared this FAQ to answer your inquiries about the renovation. We hope this addresses your curiosity about the project, and we appreciate your inquiries and support during this challenging yet exciting time of change for the club.

In this FAQ, Robinson Ranch Head Golf Professional Mark Kagaoan answers your questions about the fire and renovation.


How did the fire start? How much of the course was impacted by the fire?

It started as a brush fire near our driving range at 2:14 on July 22nd. It was going in the opposite direction (from the course), but the next day wind changed and took it back in our direction and it took over our whole back nine. It’s hard to believe that little bush turned into all those many acres.

What does a desert-style renovation mean?

It’s like the turf reduction some courses undertook last year due to the drought. We’ll have green tee boxes, green fairways and green chipping areas and greens. Then it’ll be desert-scape and decomposed granite waste bunkers. We’ll also introduce lots of desert plants, including cactus. And we’re re-sodding the areas that need to be sodded.

The community needs this. We’re the only public championship golf course in Santa Clarita.


What’s the status of the renovation?

We lost a lot of tree cover and we’re just starting to replant trees. Between landscaping and construction, there’s a lot to do, but we’re hoping to open by the end of the year.

Will the renovation make the course harder?

We’ve always been a tough track because the fairways are really narrow, but the back nine has actually opened up now. You can hit it and spray now, but you’ll be in the waste area.
It’s going to remain challenging, but we’re also going to make some aspects easier. The slopes going into the habitat area, for example, are going to be leveled off. We’re also leveling the fairways.

But you’re only open the Valley Course, right? The Mountain Course will remain closed?

Yes. We want to focus on giving people one great golf product.


How will having one course change Robinson Ranch as a tournament venue?

We were one of the biggest tournament facilities before because we had two golf courses. We’re going to do smaller tournaments now but we’re still going to push to be one of the top options. We do tournaments really well and make it easy for tournament coordinators and committees. Our guys know exactly what they’re doing.

What changes are you making to the driving range?

We’re doing solar on property and going to put the panels over the mats driving range so we’ll be the only shaded driving range for 20 miles. We are also re-grading the range and adding actual turf.

The new restaurant will open in October. What will the new concept look like?

We’re going to make the patio a more functional restaurant and partially enclose it with a grass windscreen. We’re replacing the old furniture with all new furniture and replacing all the carpet as well in addition to re-painting the entire clubhouse.

What’s happening to the old furniture?

We want the community to come take it. We’re giving away tables, chairs, etc., and the community is welcome to come get it.


What’s happening to the golf shop?

We’re re-stocking with all new merchandise. We’re looking forward to people coming to shop with us again soon.

What’s the overall intent of the renovation?

This opportunity is a blessing in disguise. Our owner is putting insurance money and capital into this project to do some re-branding and put the wow factor back into Robinson Ranch.

If you questions about the renovation, you can contact Mark at Follow our Facebook page for continued updates about the progress of the renovation.


Aviara’s Tribute To Arnold Palmer: The Arnold Palmer Bridge


As most San Diegan golfers know well, Aviara Golf Club is the only Arnold Palmer design in San Diego. Last summer, the course paid tribute to its architect on its 25th anniversary by dedicating a bridge on the signature par 3 3rd to Mr. Palmer. It’s nice to know there’ll be a lasting tribute to Palmer in San Diego golfers can visit and appreciate – and what a place to do it. In terms of sheer beauty, No. 3 at Aviara is right up there with the iconic par 3s at Torrey. The lush landscaping, dual waterfall and deep tiered green on this par 3 make this hole a sheer joy to play.

When you cross the bridge, you ideally have putter in hand and are walking toward a birdie putt, though the water often has its way. The last time I played this hole, I had hit what looked to be a perfect shot – until it hit the green and spun back in the drink.

But the frustrating of bogey tends to quickly be satiated by the sheer beauty of this hole. Standing on the 4th tee looking back gives you yet another level of appreciation for Mr. Palmer’s work. It’s good to know this gorgeous golf hole will continue to honor a man who gave so much to the game. And his lasting work and memory still will for generations to come. Thank you, Mr. Palmer.


The view of No. 3 from the 4th tee


Southland: Golf Artist Lee Wybranski Paints Major Masterpieces


Golf artist Lee Wybranski has created a unique niche for himself: He paints for the majors. You saw his work at Torrey fo the U.S. Open in 2008 and you’ll see it again when the Open returns in 2021. Also of local interest, he’s working on a project for Goat Hill Park in Oceanside. You can read my Southland Golf interview with Lee here:


19th Hole Media: Arroyo Trabuco Announces New Monday Burger Menu


Stop by O’Neill’s at Arroyo Trabuco in Mission Viejo after 5 p.m. to take advantage of their new Monday Burger & Beverage special. Enjoy a signature burger and your choice of house wine, well cocktail, or draft beer for only $15.95 while watching Monday Night football on their flat screen TV’s!


Maderas: An FAQ About Measure W And The Proposed Hotel at Maderas


This November, Poway citizens will have the opportunity to vote on a measure that will give the Maderas Golf Club permission to begin the process of designing and building a hotel on our golf course property. “Measure W” will appear on the Nov. 8th ballot – and we need your support!

Maderas must win voter approval in order start the process. A “yes” vote for Measure W will give us the green light to begin these hotel development activities in an open and collaborative way, in close coordination with the City of Poway. Once Measure W passes, The City Council will have the final say on the design, which will adhere to the regulations outlined in the City’s municipal code.

Although we are not yet able to begin the design phase, we do have a vision for the hotel. Our vision includes a commitment to creating an environmentally sustainable facility that will blend in naturally with the Maderas Golf Course and the Old Coach Estates neighborhood, as well as enrich the character of the City in the Country.

It is estimated that this privately-funded project will generate $1.5 million dollars in Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City of Poway — that’s three times more TOT than Poway receives today.

We look forward to beginning this exciting process with you. Vote YES on Measure W!


Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you proposing a hotel at Maderas Golf Club?

The Maderas Golf Club in Poway is one of the Top 100 courses in America, and a citizen-approved hotel at this location would ensure that Maderas remains a sustainable business. With a hotel, Maderas seeks to attract and serve visiting golfers and other overnight resort guests to further enhance the Maderas experience. Additionally, the hotel would give Poway residents access to a full-service, high-quality hotel within the city limits, while potentially generating $1.5 million dollars in Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City of Poway.

Why does the ballot measure state the hotel will have 240 rooms?

Until Measure W passes and the hotel is designed, we will not know the exact room count of the hotel project. The actual hotel design and building specifications will be created in close coordination with the Poway community and City Council. As we researched this project, we found that a 240-room maximum would enable us to enhance our service amenities without significant impacts on traffic, noise, and air quality. The hotel ultimately will be 240 rooms, or less.

What is the basis for the two-story hotel height limit?

The two story height limit is established enforced by the City of Poway municipal code. Maderas will adhere to the municipal code and will not ask for any variances or exceptions for the hotel project.

Will the hotel project be environmentally sustainable?

Maderas Golf Club is an environmentally sensitive business that has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its proven ability to operate sustainably while enhancing wildlife habitat. No ground water will be used for the hotel, and any potable water needed will be purchased from the water district after a Water Supply Assessment (WSA) is done.

What additional city services will the hotel require?

Maderas will work with the City of Poway and the Sheriff Department to ensure that existing service levels are maintained for residents and guests alike. Services such as street operations, emergency response times and public safety. We also look forward to additional resident input on what is needed.

What happens if there’s a wildland fire?

The hotel will be built to current fire safety standards to ensure the safety of guests. There are two access roads out of the Old Coach Estates, Maderas’ neighborhood: Old Coach Road going south to Espola Rd., and an emergency access road leading north to Highland Valley Road. We will work with the fire authorities to further increase our fire safety measures, as necessary.

Why do you need my vote?

We need voter approval to begin our hotel design, development, and building process in coordination with YOU and city council.

Maderas is a sustainable and world-class golf course. We want to build a comparable serene and high-quality hotel. We can’t do it without you! Vote YES on Measure W to begin this exciting process together.


Stay in the loop. Follow the blog at for the latest YES on Measure W updates and Maderas hotel project information. We welcome your additional questions and feedback!

For media inquiries, please contact Margie Newman at or 619-501-5172.

Sign Up For The Three-Tee Tournament At CrossCreek on Sept. 18


CrossCreek Golf Club in Temecula is holding a three-tee tournament (6 holes played from three different tees) Sunday, Sept. 18. It’s a two-person best ball with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $69 for the public and $25 for monthly members and includes golf, range balls, a cart, box lunch and prizes. Contact the golf shop at 951.506.3402 to register. Have you discovered CrossCreek? You can find out more about CrossCreek at


Feedspot Names Socalgolfblog One Of The Web’s Top 100 Golf Blogs

blog badge

The blog gained some unexpected but completely welcome recognition this week when it was named one of the web’s top 100 golf blogs by Feedspot. Socalgolfblog ranks No. 75 on a list headed by the Golf Channel’s blog. You can find the rankings and read about the compilation and criteria here.

As a double bonus, the Maderas Golf Club blog, which I also write and edit, made the list at No. 46 and is the ONLY course blog in the rankings. Hence, it appears I write and edit two of the top 100 golf blogs in the world. Hard to imagine much happier news than that in the blogosphere.

Socalgolfblog starts its fourth year in Sept. and the Feedspot honor gives the blog one major award for every year of its existence. Not a bad track record. We always appreciate the honor and recognition.

I’m not posting as much on here right now as in the past due to my duties at Maderas, but I’m expecting my work with 19th Hole Media to increasingly fill the feed here. Thanks to all my readers and supporters over the years. The blog has been quite a ride and has brought a lot of great people into my life. Once you’re on the web, you never know who’ll discover you next … like Feedspot. Thanks again for the honor. What a way to kick off the 4th year of the blog.