Cimarron Hills Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.4

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Georgetown
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: May 18, 2014

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Cimarron Hills Review

Review of Cimarron Hills Golf Course in Georgetown, Texas

Created from some beautiful Texas ranch land on the northern edge of Georgetown, Cimarron Hills Golf and Country Club opened January 2003.  This luxury private gated country club is home to a spectacular 45,000 square-foot clubhouse, spa, fitness center, tennis facilities, restaurant. and an outstanding 18 hole Jack Nicklaus signature course.   The course meanders through some beautiful gently rolling hill country acreage with mature and stately oaks, the south fork of the San Gabriel River, and some huge beautiful homes.  

What makes Cimarron Hills Golf Course one of the best private golf courses in Texas and the reason we  gave the course a 9.3 (out of 10) rating is because it is:

  • very well maintained and manicured from the tee boxes to the cup
  • peaceful and quiet (except for the few holes along highway 29) and the pace of play is excellent
  • fair, but very demanding and requires some strategic shot making to turn in a good score
  • beautiful with cascading waterfalls, rock walls, tall stately oaks, blooming cactus, colorful landscaping, and stunning homes
  • an excellent layout with some outstanding holes and lots of variety
  • in near perfect condition with excellent bent grass greens
  • a blast to  play and you shouldn't get tired of playing it over and over again

Jack Nicklaus describes Cimarron Hills as the "finest, purest experience of golf in all the Hill Country - perhaps in all of Texas."  And it's no surprise to us that Cimarron Hills made Texas Outside's list of the Best Private Courses in Texas and was named as one of the "Best Places To Play in Texas" by Golf Digest.  If you like Nicklaus designed courses, this is one of the best and here is a list of other Jack Nicklaus Courses in Texas with links to Texas Outside's reviews - set a goal and play them all!

With a slope and rating of 69.8 to 77.2 and 129 to 141, Cimarron Hills is no walk in the park.  The good news is that there are 5 sets of tee boxes plus a combo tee box with yardages ranging from 5059 to 7302 and it's critical that the first time you play this course you pick the right set of tee boxes and don't off more than you can chew.  Each of the holes is a little different from the others and each one will throw something at you that will test your game - long par 4s, dog legs left and right, lots of big fairway bunkers and steep and deep greenside bunkers, several very tempting high risk reward opportunities, water hazards, thick rough, tight fairways several of which have trees that will block shots that aren't perfectly positioned, tough approach shots to greens with subtle breaks, and some minor uphill and downhill shots along rolling and sloping fairways.  But all of that is manageable if you pick the right set of tee boxes, play smart and strategic, and don't be tempted to try the risk reward shots. 

Every hole at Cimarron Hills is fun and little different but some of the holes we loved included:

  • #7 is a slightly downhill 390 yard dog leg right with a risk reward opportunity off the tee box to fly the trees followed by a shot over a creek and gully that cuts across the front of a green which is guarded by a left and right bunker
  • #15 is a beautiful and fun 542 yard par 5 with trees in the fairway, a lake on the right front of the green, and 3 bunkers waiting for your approach shot if miss the lake
  • #18 has got to be one of the prettiest holes in Texas with two huge homes overlooking the tee box and the magnificent restaurant and clubhouse overlooking the green, a cascading creek with several water falls from the tee box to the  pin, and some beautiful landscaping, and cart path that crosses the creek next to a waterfall - plus it requires some good shot making skills to par

Cimarron Hills has been through several management companies since opening and the conditions have been hit and miss.  The good news is that Troon Golf took over management of the course in 2014 and they are a premier golf management company with a stable of excellent courses both in Texas and around the United States.  They have done a remarkable job of upgrading the conditions and when we played, despite the tough winter and drought, the conditions from the tee box to the pin were near perfect. 

The bent grass greens at Cimarron Hills range from smallish to huge and are all shapes and sizes.  When we played we were told they were running around a 10, but it seemed a little slower than that.  They ran true and held the ball well.  Some are raised, most are guarded with one to several steep and deep bunkers, and all had some subtle breaks thanks to some gentle slope and a few ridges. 

The Cimarron Hills fairways were also in very good condition - like most Texas fairways they were firm and you need to manage the slope and extra roll as well as the wind.  The first cut of rough is thick and challenging and typically under some trees - it's more like a maintained natural area.  Miss that rough and you're in the natural area which is thicker, taller and may be impossible to find your ball and even more difficult to hit out of. 

The bunkers at Cimarron Hills are everywhere and strategically placed - some are along the side of the fairway, some are in the middle of the fairway, most are where your drive wants to land, and all the greens well protected.  The bunkers range in size and shape from small pot bunkers to some monsters and most of the green bunkers are steep and deep!  The good news is that they are well maintained and the sand is soft and fairly deep.

Cimarron Hills is private, but here's the good news - they have a Stay & Play which will give you the opportunity to play this great course.

Bottom line - Cimarron Hills is an excellent layout that's scenic, fun, demanding, and in fantastic condition - do what it takes to get on it for a round of golf.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,302 77.2 141
Gold 6,803 74.9 137
Blue 6,429 73.1 136
White 6,163 71.7 133
Red 5,059 71.8 131

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jack Nicklaus
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.2
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
9.2
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 64 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.4 out of 10
Beauty:
9.5
Difficulty:
9.3
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
8.8
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.2
Back Nine Rating:
9.8
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Allof the facilities are first class and upscale. The practice range is great, the pro shop is well stocked, and the restaurant and bar are excellent. As you would expect at a luxury golf community, service is top notch.

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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. 

 

About Texas Outside

Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

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