Canongate at South Shore Harbour - Shore Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
League City
Website · Locate This Course
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: November 28, 2012

Canongate at South Shore Harbour - Shore Course Review

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:

  • #1, a 431 yard par 4 and the #2 handicap, requires some accuracy from tee to pin to avoid the bunkers on the left and right side of your tee shot landing zone, then the lake encroaches into the fairway and needs to be avoided, and the approach shot best miss the two larger bunkers
  • #4 has a very challenging green with two tiers and lots of slope plus a bunker on the right and water on the left
  • On the 547 yard par 5 # 6 you can pull out the big dog and let-er-rip on a long and wide fairway but if you spray it left you’re in a back yard and if it’s right, you’ll be lost in some dense brush
  • #7 requires a good approach to a green with water three fourths around it plus 2 front facing bunkers and lots of mounding
  • The ninth hole is fun and requires a life jacket or accuracy to avoid the water that crosses in front of the tee boxes than goes from the tee to the back of the green along the right side of the fairway plus sprouts an arm that crosses in front of the green - a two ball loss for me

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.  

Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,522 72.9 123
Blue 3,263 70.7 121
White 2,984 68.1 113
Red 2,727 74.5 128

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jeffery Blume
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
9.0
Fairway Condition
8.8
Bunker Condition
9.3
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 30 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
8.8
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.3
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.3
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:

FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
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! 
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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