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Comanche Trace - The Creeks Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Private Course · 27 Holes · Par 36
Kerrville
Website · Locate This Course
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: June 02, 2011

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Comanche Trace - The Creeks Nine Review

Review of Comanche Trace Creeks Course

Comanche Trace is home to three fantastic nine hole layouts all within the 1300 acres of the upscale Comanche Trace golf community just a few miles south of Kerrville.  Comanche Trace was voted the "#1 Private Course in the Texas Hill Country."  Each of the nines has it's own unique characteristics and personality:

  • The Creeks, designed by Jay and Carter Morrish, is the newest  and hardest of  the nines and is characterized by the meandering creek that twists and turns along and across seven of the fairways
  • The Valley Nine at Comanche Trace was designed by Tom Kite along with Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell and opened in 1999 and it plays in the valley and as such it is the most open and flattest of the nines - read our review of the Valley Course
  • The Hills was part of the original 18 that opened in 1999 and as you would expect it leverages the beautiful Hill Country with plenty of elevation changes and rolling terrain - this nine has the reputation as the easiest of the nines

Common to all three nines are excellent conditions, challenging Bent grass greens, beautiful scenery and views, lots of fun and challenging holes, great service, and an upscale clubhouse.  Everything is very well maintained and manicured. 

The Creeks is a Jay and Carter Morrish masterpiece and a very fun and challenging nine holes that opened for play in 2008 .  This nine is the hardest of the nines by about three shots thanks to the cascading clear creek that meanders along and across the fairways of the first five holes and then a couple lakes on two other holes, plus you'll need to manage elevation changes, uphill shots the greens, blind downhill shots, and some challenging green complexes.  You'll also need to watch out for the deer, let them play through, and try not to think about them snickering when you duff your ball or slice it into the trees or the natural areas. 

Part of what makes playing The Creeks Nine fun is that each hole is a little different from the previous hole and each hole throws something at you to keep you focused on your game.  This nine can test most of your game and it requires accuracy off the tee, precision approach shots,  a good sand game, and an ability to read the tiers, speed, and slope on the greens.  There are  some outstanding holes, for example:

  • #1 is a 417 yard par 4 with an elevated tee box with a forced carry to a downhill green with a tough approach thanks to a clear blue lake and waterfall on the right side of the green
  • #4 is a monstrous 636 yard par 5, number 1 handicap, with a blind downhill shot off the tee box, a cascading creek that parallels the fairway and then cuts across the fairway twice, and an uphill shot to a two tier green guarded by 3 deep bunkers
  • #9 is a beautiful finishing hole that you can't overshoot on the uphill blind shot which then heads downhill to a two tiered  landing zone with a steep drop off to a large natural area leading  to the downhill green - you'll want to play this fun hole a number of times

When we played in early June, even though Texas was still suffering from a severe drought, the fairways at Comanche Trace were in very good condition.  In fact, we felt guilty taking a divot!  The fairways play both up and down the rolling Hill Country terrain and most have some contour, mounding, and slope you'll need to manage.  Generally speaking, the fairways are ample and generous with some exceptions and the rough was playable - after that you're in the natural area and if you can find your ball you may have a shot to get back to the fairway.   This nine plays through natural areas with a scattering of 3 to 4 homes set off a couple fairways.

The bent grass greens at Comanche Trace were in near perfect condition when we played.  The greens range in size and shape with most on the large side.  They run fast, around 11 or so, and true but you'll need to be able to read the breaks and manage the tiers, slope, ridges, and undulation.  Pin placement can also add some strokes to your score.

The bunkers were perfect and range from small to steep and deep.  The sand is thick and soft and at times I felt like I was hitting from the beach at Destin and I considered pulling out my lawn chair and popping a cold beer - but the ocean was missing.    

The Creeks course at Comanche Trace is challenging but don't let that discourage you from playing it - pick the right set of tee boxes (there are six to choose from) and play conservative and you'll have a blast on this scenic and unique nine.  Esthetically, Comanche Trace is a very eye pleasing course - you drive up a long hill to a beautiful clubhouse perched on the top of a hill with 360 degree panoramic views, the cascading creeks and ponds are clear blue water, and the contrast of the natural areas, white sand bunkers, and green fairways is stunning.  Comanche Trace is a private club but Reciprocal play as well Stay & Play is allowed.

The slope and rating are based on playing the Creeks and Valley nine which is the hardest combo of nines by a stroke or two.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,821 76.3 140
Gold 3,570 74.7 139
Blue 3,470 73.9 138
White 3,220 72.1 130
Red 2,759 72.6 132

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jay and Carter Morrish
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.3
Greens Difficulty
9.0
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
No
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 19 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.2 out of 10
Beauty:
9.5
Difficulty:
8.8
Variety:
9.3
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.2
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: $25,001 to $40,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600

Wow, the clubhouse is impressive with a well stocked pro shop, meeting rooms, and great bar and grill with a magnificent view and good food. Service is very good and very friendly. The range and practice facility are excellent.

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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.