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Bentwater - Miller Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Montgomery
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: September 03, 2013

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Bentwater - Miller Course Review

Review of Bentwater's Miller Golf Course

Bentwater, on Lake Conroe, is the only private, gated, waterfront community in Texas with 54-holes of championship golf, a Country Club, Yacht Club & Marina, a Racquet Club, Fitness Center, Day Spa, Pro Shops, and two private islands. Bentwater’s three private golf courses are a marvel of engineering, ingenuity and breathtaking beauty. Designed by nationally recognized course designers Tom Weiskopf, Jay Morrish, Jeffrey D. Blume and Scott Miller, each course offers challenging play in stunning natural surroundings that take advantage gently rolling hills, dense hardwood and pine forests, and beautiful views of Lake Conroe. Each of the three golf courses has it's own unique personality and characteristics:

  • The Weiskopf Course is a collaboration between Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish and together they created a course with broad, rolling fairways and Tiff Dwarf greens that seem to emerge from the thick forests of hardwood and pines that are a signature feature at Bentwater
  • Sitting on 182 acres the 18-hole Grand Pines course is the premier course at Bentwater and was designed in the tradition of some of America's classic courses such as Pinehurst and Pine Valley and is described as a classic-play, all-green course that is highlighted by rolling hills, water features and a 160,000-acre national forest as a backdrop without encumbrances from homes, streets, or backyards - all you need to worry about is your game and the deer.  Grand Pines has big greens but plays harder than the other two courses.
  • Scott Miller designed the Miller course around a natural creek and a 3-acre lake and it plays through towering pines and pine straw roughs similar to those at Augusta National

The Miller Course, designed by an internationally recognized name, Scott Miller, seems to have been carved along the natural curve of Lake Conroe and offers some great views of the Lake. A rippling creek provides background music at holes sixteen and seventeen and more water views greet players at holes three and four as they enjoy a sparkling 3-acre lake.  Bentwater's Miller Course can be characterized as a shot makers course where you really need to put the ball in the right position if you want to score well.  The course also puts a premium on the approach shots to small guarded greens with trees that can block most shots. 

Some of the holes that we thought were really fun and unique included:

  • #1 is a 511 yard par five with a landing zone off the tee box that is pinched by the trees, followed by a layup that needs to be accurate to give you an approach shot over a very tight roller coaster fairway to a small oval green - par this and you're off on a great start
  • #5 is a very fun and challenging (#1 handicap) 439 yard par 4 that requires accuracy from tee to cup - a good drives needs to position your ball for a second shot though a tree lined narrow slot that needs to miss the trees and wetland followed by an approach shot that could land in Lake Conroe if you spray it left
  • #10 sets the stage for the back nine - a 544 yard par 5 that requires a left to right fade off the tee, a carry over a creek that crosses the fairway at 170 out, and an approach shot over a tall mound guarding the right front of the green plus you need to avoid the creek that runs up the left side of the fairway and along the left side of the green
  • off the tee on the 405 yard #15 you'll need to position your ball so a huge sprawling tree, which splits the fairway at 100 out,  doesn't block your approach shot to a skinny oblong green guarded by a big bunker on the left side

When we played in September the Miller Course fairways were a little dry as you might expect in the Texas summer, but they were in very good condition as was the rough.  The fairways are tree lined and if you miss them you'll be playing off the pine needles and may have a tricky shot back to the fairway.  The fairways are flat to gently rolling with beautiful homes that could come into play.  When we played the rough was cut very playable.

The greens are all shapes and sizes (but typically smaller than average) and most have at least one bunker and lots of trees guarding them.  The Miller Course puts a premium on accurate approach shots.  The greens held the ball well, have gentle slope that we found easy to read, and they ran smooth and true but a tad slower than a 10 on the stimpmeter. 

The bunkers were in perfect condition with manageable faces and soft fluffy thick sand that was a joy to hit out of. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,809 74.2 135
Gold 6,353 72.1 131
Blue 5,943 70.5 122
White 5,459 68.2 116
Red 4,711 69.1 113

Course Information

Course Architect:
Scott Miller
Greens Type:
Bermuda
Greens Condition
8.7
Greens Difficulty
8.5
Fairway Condition
8.5
Bunker Condition
9.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 25 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
9.3
Difficulty:
9.3
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.8
Condition:
8.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: $40,001 to $55,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600

Service is very good, the clubhouse is upscale, and the practice facilties are good. The pro shop is well stocked. We didn't have a chance to sample the food at the Cresent Grill.

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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! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

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.