Review of Canongate at South Shore Harbour Shore Course
Canongate at South Shore Harbour is home to three nines, each of which has it’s own unique characteristics and personality but common to all is a fairly traditional layout with flat to gently rolling fairways, water hazards, plenty of bunkers, challenging greens, and a steady wind that beats off the bay. Each of the nines was originally designed by Dave Marr and Jay Riviere and was renovated and augmented by Jeffery Blume in the late 1990s.
The Shore Nine is regarded as the most challenging thanks to tough greens, thicker roughs, and tighter fairways. The Harbour Nine has water on 7 holes but it’s a little shorter and more forgiving from tee to green. South plays the longest and has the highest slope and rating, but plays easier than the Shore Nine and harder than the Harbour nine. Read our review of Canongate at South Shore Harbour's Harbour Course.
Canongateat South Shore Harbour is a private club and part of a portfolio of 4 other excellent Canongate Golf Club courses in Texas - read our review of Lake Windcrest, 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 South Shore Harbour’s Stay & Play which is within minutes of Canongate at South Shore Harbour’s three courses.
The Shore Course at Canongate at South Shore Harbour is a joy to play - its demanding but fair, has some good holes that you won't get tired of playing, the conditions are good, and the greens are fast and tough. It's fairly straight forward and traditional and generally regarded as the toughest of the three nines – after trying most of the bunkers and playing out of a lot of the rough, two and three putting, and taking a dip in the water a couple times, I would agree it's pretty challenging.
Compared to the other two nines, the Shore Course fairways are a little tighter, there is water on 7 holes, the rough is a little thicker, and the greens are guarded, fast, and undulating. But don’t let that scare you – there are 4 sets of tee boxes, the course is fair, and if you play strategically you’ll have a fun and enjoyable round.
The Shore nine offers good variety, with each hole being a little different than the previous holes, and they are all fun because each hole offers something that will force you to focus if you want to score well, for example:
When we played in November, the Shore Course was in very good condition from tee box to the pin. The fairways range from ample to a tad tight and most are flat to gently rolling and contoured. They are firm providing some extra roll and the rough is wide and fairly thick but playable. You’ll really need to spray it to end up in the back yard of some beautiful homes that line one side of some of the holes or if you spray it the other way, you're lost in some dense brush.
The TIF Eagle greens on the Shore Course are large, but not huge, fast and true, and hold the ball well. That’s the good news, the bad news is they are all guarded, some are raised, and you’ll encounter some challenging putting surfaces – multiple tiers, lots of severe slope, plenty of contour, and some subtle breaks. Practice putting before you head out.
The bunkers also range in size and shape from average to some huge treacherous monsters. The sand was wet thanks to a recent rain but when dry I would image they are soft, and thick and fun to play out of. The faces are manageable but don’t end up stuck right in front of them.
Rates: $75.00 to $75.00
Service is good, the practice facilities are adequate, and the pro shop is well stocked. The members seemed overly friendly. We didn’t have a chance to try the grill.
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.