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Comanche Trace - The Hills Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 72
Kerrville
Website · Locate This Course
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: July 29, 2012

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Comanche Trace - The Hills Nine Review

Review of Comanche Trace Valley 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"  by Golf Digest.  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 - read our review of The Creeks to learn more
  • 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 - here is a link to The Valley Nine Review
  • 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 and it is regarded as the easiest of the nines

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

The Hills nine is the shortest of the three nines and you'll most likely find it to be the easiest of the three nines but don't let that lull you into complacency, you'll still need to manage elevation changes, challenging green complexes, dog legs, water, rolling contoured fairways, and some very treacherous greens. 

The Hills is also home to some great holes, for example:

  • #1 is a 443 yard dog leg right with an elevated tee box, a good risk reward opportunity off the tee, a rolling fairway, and an uphill shot to a tiered green
  • #3 is a picturesque 167 yard par three with a downhill shot over a creek with cascading waterfalls and a huge front and rear bunker guarding the green
  • on the short 318 yard #6 you can pull out the big dog and let it rip but watch out for the steep and deep pot bunker in the middle of the fairway - a good birdie opportunity
  • #8 is a blast with a great risk reward opportunity to fly the bunker and miss the trees and natural area to shorten this dog right 525 yard par 5 - from there you have an uphill shot to the pin

When we played in late July, the fairways couldn't have been in much better condition - lush and plush.  All of the fairways on The Hills are rolling and most are generous off the tee.  But if you miss you're in a thick but playable rough and then most likely lost in the natural areas. 

The bent grass greens were also near perfect - soft and smooth, fast (around 10 to 11) and true, and huge!  But they also are well guarded, some are raised, and all have some combination of significant slope, contour, ridges or saddles, or tiers. 

The other big challenge on The Hills is to avoid the bunkers which are all shapes and sizes ranging from small pot bunkers to some real monsters.  The good news is that they all have soft thick fluffy sand that's perfect.  The bad news is they are steep and deep and surrounded by a thick rough. 

Bottom - a fun, scenic, and fair nine that's in excellent condition and very scenic.  A real joy to play.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,518 76.6 138
Gold 3,271 73.5 132
Blue 3,091 71.6 131
White 2,849 68.6 125
Red 2,576 72.3 133

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Kite
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.8
Greens Difficulty
8.8
Fairway Condition
9.8
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 20 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
9.3
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.8
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

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

Service is good, the pro shop is very well stocked, the 15 acre practice facility is excellent, and the food is very good. The 24,000 square foot clubhouse is upscale and magnificent - it's perched on the highest bluff around and has a panoramic 360 degree view.

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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.