Review of Balcones Country Club Course
The Balcones Course is one of two courses that are part of Balcones Country Club. The Balcones Course is semi private and open to the public after 11:00 and the Spicewood Course is private. The Balcones Course was built in 1958 and has the traditional look and feel of most courses built in that era - rather straight Bermuda fairways, some side by side holes, short (Balcones is 6360 from the tips), and not a lot of unique or challenging holes - all of which makes for an easy, relaxing, and enjoyable round where you can typically score very well.
The front fairways are flat, straight, and lined by trees or some houses on each side. From the tee box you can see what you're up against and in most cases the fairways are wide enough to let 'er rip and there are only a couple of fairway bunkers to contend with. When we played the rough was cut very short and it was easy to recover from the rough or from under the trees.
The back nine was much more interesting, more scenic, and a little harder as it meandered through the trees and homes sites - and no side by side holes. This side had more dog legs, a water hole, more traps, some fun holes, and some ups and downs. For example, hole #11 which is the #1 handicap is a 407 yard downhill par 4 with a dog leg (a good risk reward shot if you want to try and carry the trees!) and an uphill shot to the green protected by a couple of traps. The back nine of Balcones also has a couple of fun par threes including the beautiful #15 which is a challenging 163 yard carry over a lake to a green that is protected on all sides - club selection is critical on this baby!
The fairways were in average condition as were the greens when we played in October. The greens were about average speed and had minor to no slope.
The Balcones Course is a good value and if you're looking for an enjoyable and relaxing round, then call them to book a tee time.
Rates: $40.00 to $40.00
There was no cart service when we played on a Sunday.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.