Try Golfing for a Change
Some of the best shots I've ever made happened at this demanding nine-hole course (and some of my worst), and it's a favorite spot for my dad, my brother and I to play a nice friendly round of golf. Granted I'm no Tiger Woods, and I still have lots of room for improvement, but it is an exciting place to play at if you just relax and not take everything too seriously.
In addition, the driving range is absolutely fantastic. The range can be a lot of fun, especially when they put out old junked cars as targets. The driving range and practice putting green are well maintained, and there's a nice clubhouse/restaurant on the property next to the golf pro shop where you can grab something to eat and drink before or after your game. I recommend the breakfast burrito, you'll love it!
It will cost you about $12 to play a round (cheaper at certain times of the day or if you're a senior). The wait isn't too bad if you're a walk-in, but you can call ahead to reserve a tee time for your group, although I don’t think it will be necessary. Each hole varies from about 70 yards to over 300 yards, with no water hazards but a lot of trees and a few sand traps to get in your way. This is a walking course, so no golf carts are available...but the greens are well maintained, so walking isn't so bad when you can enjoy the scenery and nature around you. The best time to go is early mornings and late afternoons. It becomes quite crowded around 12 at noon till 3. Also, if you don't like being paired up with strangers, make sure you have at least 3-4 players in your group.
Last but not least, the golf course is amazing! The most memorable hole on the course has got be the first hole. It's only 58-63 yards and is a little chip shot with a putting green that ducks down steeply on the right. It may seem like a piece of cake, but it's a challenging little first hole. The best hole though is the 330 yard Par 4 third hole. It's a great test and it all ends up in a huge green that slopes back to front. This course may be difficult for those who are first starting, but it will motivate you to become better. The only thing that I disliked about this course was the patches of grass that were wet/muddy.
In conclusion, Rancho Duarte is an absolute wonderful course for beginners and intermediate players to work on their golf game. I would say that this course is kid friendly. It's a longer walk with more elevation changes and no cart play, but if you have kids that are older than say, 9 and up for the walk they would absolutely enjoy it! I will definitely be returning to this course soon!