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Canongate at Magnolia Creek - Scotland Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Resort Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
League City
Website · Locate This Course
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: November 26, 2012

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Canongate at Magnolia Creek - Scotland Golf Course Review

Review of Canongate at Magnolia Creek - Scotland Golf Course

Canongate at Magnolia Creek in League City is home to three 9 hole courses (Scotland, England, and Ireland) that were designed by Thomas E Clark and are about as authentic as you can get to St. Andrews, North Berwick, and Royal County Down.  Each of the three nines - England, Scotland, and Ireland - are truly unique to Texas and they capture the best of the British Isles.  Even the flag poles are wooden like you'll find across the pond.  The Magnolia Creek Courses are characterized by dramatic mounding, deep entrenched bunkers, spacious rolling contoured fairways, native grasses, challenging green complexes, and at times, strong winds.  Read our review of the England Course at Canongate at Magnolia Creek

Canongate at Magnolia Creek is a private club and part of a portfolio of 4 other excellent Canongate Golf Club courses in Texas - read our review of Lake WindcrestOaks, Panther Trails, and South Shore Harbour which also has three nines. All 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 Woodlands Resort Stay & Play or South Shore Harbour Stay & Play Package.

If you like a links style course, you're going to love the Scotland Course at Canongate at Magnolia Creek.  It's fun, demanding but fair, unique, and a blast to play thanks to dramatic mounding, interesting holes, challenging greens, rolling fairways, and lots of bunkers.  Each of the holes is a little different from the others and you'll encounter something that will force you to focus if you want to score well, for example:

  • #2 is the shortest par 4 on this nine at 324 yards from the tips and it gives the long hitters an opportunity to go for the green - the fairway is wide and forgiving but the 6 bunkers around the green are real trouble
  • #4 requires an accurate tee shot to avoid the mounds and 4 bunkers that pinch the landing zone plus you need a precise approach shot to miss the three bunkers guarding the light bulb shaped 2 tiered sloping green
  • #5 is a roller coaster fairway through some dramatic mounding plus a rough and mound that split the fairway about 100 yards out
  • on #6 I hit the only tree on the entire course
  • you'll want to play the 617 yard #7 again - the fairway is split at 200 yards out and the left side is longer but safer and the right side is shorter but you'll need to carry a very steep wood faced bunker to a skinny semi-horseshoe green with 4 bunkers and 2 big mounds

When we played in November 2012 the fairways were in very good shape.  The Scotland fairways range from ample to tight and from flat to heavily contoured roller coasters.  Plus you'll need to avoid the dramatic and challenging mounds lining all of the holes and all the fairway bunkers on 4 of the 9 holes.  The roughs are wide and somewhat thick, but playable.  You'll also need to manage the wind which at times can be a howling.

The greens on the Scotland course were also in very good condition with an ample fringe.  The ran fast and true and held the ball well.  They range in size from average to huge and they are demanding thanks to significant slope, tiers, and undulation.  Pin placement can be a killer.  A lot of the greens are raised and bump and run shots work well if you can hold the green.

The bunkers are excellent and most are oval pot type bunkers with some nasty faces.  The sand is soft, thick, and fluffy.  A joy to hit from.

Bottom line - Magnolia Creek is home to three excellent links style courses which are the best and most authentic we've found in Texas - a must play if you like links courses.

The slope and rating is based on playing the Scotland and England golf courses.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,669 74.5 128
Blue 3,385 71.3 121
White 3,086 68.8 116
Red 2,755 71.9 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Thomas Clark
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
9.3
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
9.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 39 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

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

The service is good, the pro shop is well stocked, and the 22 acre practice facilities are excellent. The grill has a wide variety of choices and a pint of Irish ale waiting for you after your round.

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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.