Temecula Creek Inn offers 3 nine-hole courses

The Luiseno tribe purchased the Temecula Creek Inn from another resort operator in 2018 and started working to improve the 1970s-era facilities.

The architecture of the condos, as my wife observed, is similar to what we’ve found at the Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Ore, part of the four-season playground in Central Oregon anchored by Bend. We’ve stayed there a few times over the past 20 years.

Although we didn’t venture into the 125 rooms, we could see that each one has either a balcony or patio overlooking the golf course. The resort has 27 holes in three nine-hole layouts. During the afternoon we played, a warm sunny day after the unusual—to say the least—weather the day before with torrential rain, snow and hail (we spent it traveling and in the spa).

Cork Fire kitchen

Two of the courses were busy with players taking advantage of the sunny skies and included high school golf teams. Weekday prime time rates are $55 plus $20 per person if you take a cart. You can easily walk two of the nines, but Stonehouse runs up into the foothills and has plenty of elevation change over its nine holes—you will get both your steps and exercise in walking it.

Given the winter, the course wasn’t in prime shape—a combination of both the wind and rough weather that had gone through and the lack of time for the grounds crew to clean things up. The course was so saturated that water was running off hillsides throughout our round and on many holes.

The greens, however, were rolling just fine and were in good shape as were the tee boxes. Stonehouse, with its elevation change, has a number of blind shots from the tee and the fairway. We had the course to ourselves going off a bit before 3 p.m. so that wasn’t an issue.

Oaks course

The resort brought in comfortable new carts in the last few months so that was a plus. They have GPS although that was a challenge because we had to keep them on the cart path because of the soaked fairways. No objection to that precaution by the grounds crew—conditions were that soggy.

Temecula Creek offers stay-and-play packages that typically feature unlimited golf on the 27 holes. The Oaks (3,436 yards), Creek (3,348 yards) and Stonehouse (3,237 yards) all tee off near the clubhouse so it would be easy to play them all in a day, whether walking or riding.

Before teeing off we had lunch at the Cork Fire Kitchen that is located on the first floor of the clubhouse. The golf course has its own snack shack and bar downstairs next to the pro shop. The restaurant has a full bar and an impressive selection of top-shelf liquor. It offers about 15 signature cocktails plus rotating beers on tap. Wine is offered by the glass and there’s 17 options ranging from Prosecco to Cork/Fire’s own red blend from nearby Fallbrook and a few local Temecula wines. The Robert Renzoni winery from Temecula is the only establishment with two wines—a California Pinot Grigio and a locally grown Sangiovese.

The chef takes full advantage of the garden with herbs and other vegetables next to the Oaks’ first tee. Another larger garden is ready for planting that will expand the home-grown offerings significantly.

Omelet with buratta and crispy potatoes

he menu is divided into sections: Coop, Griddle, Pantry, Graze, Garden and Broiler to cover eggs, salads, hummus and nachos plus burgers and sandwiches (breakfast and lunch). Offerings ranged from coddled eggs, to Turkish poached eggs to pork confit  hash and omelets. I went for the garden herb and burrata cheese omelet that was filled with crispy ham, roasted tomatoes (quite tasty) with smashed potatoes on the side. The buratta topped it. It was plenty and I didn’t come close to finishing the potatoes which went home for enjoyment the next day.

My wife selected fish and chips with tempura battered mahi mahi and chive house chips that she loved. The fish was perfectly cooked and the portion was ample.

We passed on dessert having enjoyed a beer on tap (my bride) and a bloody Mary. If we’re in the neighborhood again, we’d return and hopefully be able to enjoy the outdoor dining—it was a bit crisp in the shade when we were there.

By Tim Hunt