Blue Lake Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 32
Horseshoe Bay
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: July 05, 2014

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Blue Lake Golf Club Review

Review of Blue Lake Golf Club

Blue Lake Golf Club is a very fun and demanding 9 hole course that is in the rolling hills near Lake LBJ and it is consistently rated as one of the best nine hole courses in Texas.  With three sets of tee boxes and yardages of 2301 to 2376 yards, Blue Lake is short but puts a premium on accuracy.  It seems to play a lot tougher than its slope of 103 and rating of 63.1 and longer than the posted yardages, thanks to all the ups and downs.  Blue Lake has 5 par 3s, 1 par 5, and 3 par 4s.

For such a short course, Blue Lake will throw a lot at you and the course demands accuracy and precision to score well.  You'll need to manage elevated tee boxes, uphill greens with raised fronts, dog legs, blind shots, a couple good risk reward opportunities, some challenging approach shots, contoured and sloping fairways that make finding an flat lie virtually impossible, and small postage stamp greens that are difficult to nail.  The good news is there are no bunkers or water. 

Blue Lake is an interesting layout with some good variety and each hole seems to offer at least one obstacle to keep you interested and focused.  There are also so fun holes like:

  • #1 starts off with an elevated tee box to an uphill dog leg right green - it offers an excellent risk reward shot to carry the trees to shorten the hole, demands an accurate shot off the tee to avoid the trees and gully on the left and not overshot the fairway, and then you need to fly a  tree in the middle of the fairway and stuff it on a small green
  • most of the par threes are downhill shots to small oval greens with raised fronts and sloping sides and three of the par 3s are 172, 189, and 191 yards with little margin for error
  • #5 is a fun 366 yard par four with a slightly up hill shot and than a downhill shot to an elevated turtle back green with a great view of Lake LBJ - a good risk reward opportunity off the tee if you think you can carry the trees and not spray it right down the right sloping fairway
  • the only par 5 is an uphill shot to the fairway with a big oak tree smack dab in the middle of it and then a slightly downhill shot to a dog left green

We played in the middle of August during one of the worst droughts in Texas history and the vast majority of Texas courses were suffering.  The lack of water had turned the Blue Lake Golf Course rough into mostly dirt and patches of brown dead grass, but the fairways were in surprisingly good condition with some dry brown spots.  We have played Blue Lake several times over the years and it's always in very good condition.  

The greens are mostly ovals and range from small to smaller and very difficult to hit and hold - you've got to come in high and bump and runs are tough because of the raised fronts.  The greens were near perfect, about average speed, and true.  Most have some slope but they are easy to read. 

Bottom line - fun and challenging holes, good conditions, and excellent value. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
White 2,376 63.1 103
Red 2,203 65.1 101

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jimmy Burke
Greens Condition
8.5
Greens Difficulty
7.0
Fairway Condition
7.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hard - very hilly
Beware of water on 0 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.3 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
8.5
Fun to Play:
8.0
Value:
8.5
Condition:
7.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.3
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$12.00 to $25.00

Service is low key and laid back and the facilities are dated but functional. There is no practice range, putting green, cart service, or food except for a few snacks.

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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. 

 

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