Campus Course at Texas A&M University Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
College Station
Website · Book A Tee Time · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: October 28, 2014

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Campus Course at Texas A&M University Review

Review of The Campus Course at Texas A & M

The Campus Course at Texas A&M was designed by Ralph Plummer and first opened for play in 1951 was renovated by well-known architect Jeff Blume (a 1989 Aggie) in 2013.  This multi-million dollar renovation included significant changes to the course layout and design, a driving range and short game practice area, and a new club house and tournament pavilion that will be added in the near future.

Jeff must have moved a lot of dirt to give the fairways plenty of contour, raise the greens, and dig and then fill over 150 bunkers with soft white sand.  Jeff made the course both challenging but playable for all levels of players – from the tips it’s 7008 yards with a slope and rating of 73.8 and 130 but there are 5 other tee boxes with yardages of 4968 to 6503 yards.  You need to play strategically, not take too many risks, avoid water on 14 holes, and deploy your best sand game because there are 153 bunkers you’ll need to stay out of.

The fairways are wide and forgiving off the tee box but if you spray it or over hit the ball, you’re likely wet or sandy.  There are also 9 dog legs that you need to position your shot for.  But what makes the Campus Course challenging are the approach shots to the greens – all of the greens are well guarded with one to five bunkers and most of the greens are raised which means bump and runs won’t work and if you don’t hold the green you’ve got a tough chip back up to the green, a sand shot, or you’re wet. 

But don’t let all of that scare you away from playing the Campus Course at A&M – the course is fair and a lot of fun to play.  The front nine seems a little easier, has 7 less bunkers, and offers a good chance to score well.  The back nine is more interesting, a little harder, and has some excellent risk reward opportunities.  Part of what we think makes playing the Campus Course interesting is that Jeff designed several holes with risk reward opportunities – allowing you to risk shortening the hole or taking a safer but longer approach to the green.

Some of the holes we really liked include:

  • #1 a 550 yard par 5 sets the stage for your round – 8 bunkers in your landing zone off the tee box, a slight downhill shot down an wide mini roller coaster fairway, followed by an approach shot over a creek crossing in front of a green surrounded by 3 bunkers
  • #3 is another par 5 with water from tee to green on the right – off the tee the water cuts into the fairway and offers an excellent risk reward shot if you think you and carry it and the three bunkers to shorten the hole as the fairway turns right
  • #8 is a 465 yard dog leg right with another excellent risk reward opportunity if you think you can fly three big bunkers and stay away from some trees on the right
  • #10 makes you decide which side of a fairway split by some trees and rough you’re going to take – whichever way you go you’ll need to avoid 5 bunkers on left and 6 on the right side plus some mounding
  • #15 is another risk reward opportunity – long risky hitters can try to carry all of the lake (over 248 yards from the tips) or bite off less to carry over the lake but a much longer shot down a fairway with a minefield of 13 bunkers
  • On #17 you can stay left on a wide fairway and then fly a creek to the green with a big front facing bunker and 4 hidden bunkers off the back or try flying the lake with a minimum 232 yard shot to carry the lake or a 332 yard drive to stuff it on the green

When we played in October 2014 the fairways were near perfect.  All but a couple of the fairways are wide and forgiving off the tee but they are littered with bunkers of all shapes and sizes - and in a couple cases you'll find bunkers in the middle of the fairway.  The first cut of the rough was wide and playable and with grass that held the ball up.  Miss that and you've got trouble with thicker rough or water.  A lot of the fairways are side by side but wide enough that it's hard to hit into the other fairway.  The perimeter holes (2, 3, 4, 7, 12, and 18) play along the road with traffic noise, but you need to really spray it to hit a car!

The Campus Course greens were also in near perfect condition and the greens are what make this course tough.  They are raised, well guarded, and somewhat fast at around 10.  You can't bump and run and if you can't hold the green you've got a tough shot back or out of the sand.  The are soft and run true and have some minor slope and contour which means very subtle breaks that can surprise you. 

The bunkers are everywhere but the good news is that the sand is soft and fluffy and in most cases the lips are manageable.  The Campus Course bunkers range from small somewhat deep and steep to long skinny multi-fingered monsters.  A lot of the greens have bunkers hidden off the back side - a surprise if you don't hold the green.

Bottom line - an interesting layout that's fair but with demanding greens and lots of bunkers.  A must play if you're in the area.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,008 73.8 130
Gold 6,503 71.6 125
Blue 6,088 69.7 122
White 5,631 67.5 116
Red 4,968 64.5 110

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jeff Blume
Greens Type:
Mini Verde
Greens Condition
10.0
Greens Difficulty
8.7
Fairway Condition
10.0
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 14 holes and the 153 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
10.0
Front Nine Rating:
8.5
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $69.00

The pro shop is pretty well stocked with a lot of maroon A&M gear! The grill has burgers, sandwiches, and more. The practice facilities are very good.

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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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