Aviara has a lot of reasons for praise. The back nine has a great stretch of holes featuring several lakes, rolling topography, a double green (at a resort course nonetheless!), two par 3s that might be the best in Southern California and a 18th hole that is one of the best in the state.
That being said, Arnie was in full 90s bulldozer mode with this course, creating humps and bowls around greens that make no sense architecturally other than a pure ornamental features. The front side has a little less sizzle but picks up at the 8th hole. You are puzzled why there are so many bunkers divorced from greens and other than some of these features "looking cool", you wonder what could have been with this course.
Still though, the conditioning is top notch, the course is fun and challenging and this is definitely in the upper tier of SoCal courses. It has its flaws but what doesn't except for the Top 100?
Date: February 13, 2017