Hogan Park Golf Course - Roadrunner Course Review
Hogan Park Golf Course - Roadrunner Course Review
Hogan Park Golf Club is home to two 18 hole golf courses – Roadrunner and Quail – each of which is a little bit different from the other. Roadrunner is a more modern style links course with wide and open fairways and it is the longest and the hardest of the two 18s by a stroke or two. The Quail Course is more straight forward with traditional holes and tree lined fairways. Read our review of Hogan Park’s Quail Golf Course to learn more.
The Roadrunner Course opened in 1998 and as mentioned earlier it has a links feel and is characterized by wide forgiving fairways, very few trees, heavy mounding, 15 bunkers, water on 5 holes, 13 dog legs, and some challenging greens on the back nine. The designer, Alton Yowell must have moved a lot of desert around to get the large and intimidating mounds that will stop your ball, create an uneven lie, cause a blind shot, pinch the fairway, or force you to use a higher loft club to fly them.
Alton must have been in love with dog legs because he created 14 of them on Roadrunner, which actually makes this 18 more interesting, challenging, and fun to play. The dog legs vary from gentle lefts and rights to some pretty sharp turns requiring an accurate drive if you want to have a good shot at the green. The dog legs also create several risk reward opportunities if you want to try and fly a bunker, a mound, or a natural area to try and shorten the hole and go for a birdie or eagle – but don’t miss or par may be hard to come by.
Most of the holes will start to look and feel about the same, but there are several fun and somewhat challenging holes, for example:
- #4 is a 400 yard par four with a large lake that is hidden from view and can come into play if you spray the ball left on the approach to the green
- #7 is a 570 yard par 5 and the #1 handicap hole thanks to a sharp dog leg right and the most challenging green on the front nine
- #15, a 515 yard 5, horseshoes around a large clear lake forcing you to be careful on the drive to stay dry, make a decision on the second shot to fly the lake to the green or take the safer but tricky way along a narrow fairway to the lake
- On #16 club selection and risk tolerance is important and you need to make a decision on the tee box – do you want to take a risk and try to fly a bunker and some small trees to shorten the hole or leave the big dog in the bag to avoid driving straight into the lake or play it safe and stay in the fairway for a little longer approach on this par 4 425 yard hole
We played in November 2011 and the conditions were not very good thanks to a harsh winter, severe drought, and record high temperatures. Mother Nature had taken its toll on Hogan Park as well as a majority of the Texas golf courses. The fairways were brown, spotty, and firm; the roughs were really rough with a lot of dirt; and the greens had quite a few damaged spots. Most of the fairways are ample and with a large playable rough, but if you miss both you’re in the desert with sand, cactus, sage brush, rabbits, roadrunners, snakes, and some very sharp thorny bushes that will leave very bloody! Stay out of the desert - let the rabbits play with your golf balls.
The bent grass greens are about average size and were in fair shape with some damaged areas primarily around the fringe, which is very puttable. The Hogan Park Roadrunner greens ran true and held the ball well but were running a little slow thanks to a recent aeration. Most of the greens on the front are relatively flat with minor to no undulation and gentle slope but subtle breaks. That’s not the case on the back nine – the range from bowls, to severe slope, to everything in between, plus some have ridges and spines as well as undulation.
All but four of the bunkers are guarding the greens. Most of the bunkers are small to average and have very thin lips which means if you’re lucky you’ll roll out. They were not in good shape when we played – looked like they had lost a lot of the sand, they were firm and hard, and not well maintained. The good news is we found them easy to avoid and there are only 15 of them.
Bottom line – the conditions weren’t the best due to a harsh year but this is an interesting course to play and one where you can have a good round if you can keep it in the fairway – and the price is right.
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Alton Yowell
- Greens Type:
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Fairway Condition
- Bunker Condition
- Beware of water on 5 holes and the 15 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 8.0 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $19.00 to $29.00
Service is ok, the pro shop has the basics, and grill serves hot dogs, burgers, and more. The practice facilities are adequate.
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.