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Canongate at Lake Windcrest Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Resort Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Magnolia
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: November 17, 2012

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Canongate at Lake Windcrest Golf Club Review

Review of Canongate at Lake Wincrest Golf Course

Lake Windcrest is characterized by an open links style course look and feel, fairly generous but heavily contoured fairways, thick and challenging roughs, plenty of mounding, strategic bunkering, big fast greens with lots of slope and undulation, very good conditions, and big beautiful homes on huge lots which are fenced meaning I donated a few balls to some homeowners. 

Lake Windcrest is fun, fair, and demanding – you can let-er-rip off the tee box, but after that it’s "game on."  With a slope and rating of 73.8 and 132 from the tips, to score well here you need some good shot making and good putting – make sure you pick the right set of tee boxes, there are 5 with yardages ranging from 5030 to 7040.  

Even though Canongate at Lake Windcrest is demanding, it’s a blast to play and a course you won’t get tired of playing as it twists and turns through a beautiful neighborhood and some natural areas.  Some of the holes that we really liked included:

  • The first hole sets the stage and gives you a feel for what to expect during your round – a long 542 yard par 5 with a big pond and bunker along the right side of a heavily contoured fairway, a hidden ditch about 190 out, three more huge bunkers covering from 150 yards out to the green, and a challenging green – and this is only the #7 handicap
  • #6 is great – a 394 yard par 4 with a carry over a ditch off an elevated tee box to a large landing zone, followed by 3 huge sprawling bunkers leading to a light bulb shaped green with a lake off the back
  • #11 is a fun 520 yard par 5 with a natural area that will eat your ball along the right side from tee to green, a fairway that zigs and zags with 3 different landing areas, a huge facing bunker guarding the green and three pot bunkers in back of the green plus 3 deep swales around the green – your approach shot needs to be very accurate to par this beauty
  • 18 is a great finishing hole – with a minefield of 7 bunkers including a treacherous pot bunker that splits the fairway leading to a dog leg right green

When we played just after Thanksgiving the fairways and rough were in very good condition and all have lots of dramatic mounding and contour which creates plenty of uneven lies.  Most of the fairways are ample from tee to green but if you spray the ball you’ll be in a back yard on one side or under the trees on the other side.  The rough is wide but thick - so try and stay in the fairways!  The fairways were firm and I loved the extra roll when I missed the mounds.

The greens at Lake Windcrest golf course seem larger than average and some are downright huge – at times I felt like I was in a different zip code!  They were in excellent condition, and ran at a good speed of around 10 or so.  Most of the greens are well guarded and have plenty of slope and undulation – study them carefully before you putt.

Canongate at Lake Windcrest’s bunkers are all sizes and shapes and were in perfect condition with soft fluffy sand that’s a joy to hit from – it’s a little thinner after all my shots which put sand in my hair, shoes, and pockets.

We played Lake Windcrest just before Thanksgiving in 2012 and as part of a very fun 4 day golfing vacation - to learn more about where we played and stayed, read our Golfing Southeast Texas Vacation.

Canongateat at Lake Windcrest is a private club and part of a portfolio of 4 other excellent Canongate Golf Club courses in Texas - read our review of South Shore Harbour, Oaks, Panther Trail, and Magnolia Creek which has three nine hole courses.  All of the courses are private and available for play by members at a reasonable monthly and one time initiation fee.  Or you can play the courses as part of a stay and play package at two different resorts - to learn more, read our review of the Woodlands Resort’s Stay & Play (adjacent to Oaks and Panther Trail in The Woodlands and not too far from Lake Windcrest) and South Shore Harbour’s Stay & Play which is within minutes of Canongate at South Shore Harbour’s three courses.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,040 73.8 132
Gold 6,574 71.7 128
Blue 6,075 69.2 120
White 5,679 67.5 115
Red 5,030 68.6 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Thomas Walker
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
9.0
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 67 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
8.0
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.5
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: Under $10,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400

Service and amenities 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.