Review of Blackhawk Golf Club - Pflugerville, TX
Charles Howard and three time US Women's Open champion Hollis Stacey designed a fairly traditional and straightforward links style course (without the normal huge fairway mounds found on most links courses) in Pflugerville that opened in 1990. In 2011 OnCourse Strategies, who has a portfolio of courses in Texas, bought Blackhawk and started making significant changes to improve the course conditions and playability. Some of the changes included: redoing all of the irrigation; re-sodding over 12 acres; removing and redoing some of the bunkers; major work on the tee boxes (they had no grass at all in 2011); improved the turf grass coverage from 25% to 95%, and replaced 4 bridges. More changes are planned for 2014 and our guess is that it will be in great shape this summer.
With 4 sets of tee boxes and yardages ranging from 5507 to 7072 you need to make sure you pick the right tee box and don't bite off more than you can chew. The course can be demanding thanks to:
Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving off the tee box but you need to manage the wind direction and speed (it's usually blowing pretty good) which can change your club selection and the way you'll have to play the course. The 11 ponds and the creeks that cross the fairways on four holes can add several stokes to your round if you tend to spray the ball or not play strategically to avoid the water.
Most of the holes on the front nine are pretty straightforward and you can see the pin from the tee box, but you may not see the creek or the bunkers guarding the greens. This is a nine where you can turn in a good score if you play smart and manage the wind. Some of the holes we liked on this nine include:
We liked the back nine at Blackhawk Golf Club a lot more than the front - it has a little more variety and character, the greens seemed a little more challenging, club selection and course management are needed, and there are some great holes like:
Most of the fairways are wide open off the tee and ample the rest of the way to the pin. Homes line one side of most of the fairways and if you spray it, you're in a yard with some kids or dogs! When we played the course was still dormant and suffering (like most other Texas courses) from the sever drought. Some of the fairways and rough were in very good condition while others had a mixture of some dirt, weeds, and bare spots.
The greens at Blackhawk Golf Club were a variety of shapes and most were about average size - on the back nine there were a couple monster sized greens - and all but one are well guarded by one to three bunkers. They were in pretty good shape, held the ball well, ran very true, and were a bit slow. Most of the greens have minor slope but are easy to read. Putting wasn't an issue for us.
The bunkers were about average size with lips ranging from a few inches to a couple feet. The sand varied from soft and deep to thin, hard, and gritty. The bunkers that had been redone were great.
Bottom line - a good quality links course that gives you an opportunity to have fun and low scoring round at a very reasonable price.
Rates: $15.00 to $42.00
Service is good, the pro shop has the basics, and the range and putting green are adequate. The grill serves a variety of food.
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.