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Isleta Eagle Golf Course - Arroyo Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Albuquerque, NM
Website
Date Last Played: September 28, 2011

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Isleta Eagle Golf Course - Arroyo Course Review

Isleta Pueblo, which is centrally located in the Río Grande Valley about 13 miles south of Albuquerque owns and operates the Isleta Eagle Golf Course which is home to three very good nine hole courses - Arroyo, Lakes, and Mesa. The course opened in 1996 and has received a four-star rating from Golf Digest and s rated it  “Best Places to Play."

Each of the nines is a little different from the others - the Lakes course has plenty of water, the Arroyo has several arroyos that can cause you a problem, and on the Mesa nine you'll encounter forced carries and natural areas crossing the fairways.  Each of the nines is a modified Parkland course, meaning they have an open links feel, a scattering of trees, natural areas that can result in extra strokes, and contoured and rolling fairways.

Although each nine has its own characteristics and personality, but common to all three of the Isleta Eagle Golf Courses are:

  • lush rolling and heavily contoured fairways
  • good sized greens that are in excellent condition but a real test of your putting skills
  • thick roughs that can devour you ball
  • panoramic vistas of the valley, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque, the mountains, mesas, and the Rio Grande Bosque which is an oasis-like ribbon of green vegetation
  • bunkers that were challenging because the sand was thin, hard, and gritty
  • affordable rates

To learn more, read our review of Isleta Eagle Mesa Course and the Lakes Course.

The first four holes and last two on the Arroyo course  made this our favorite of the three nines at Isleta Eagle Golf Course.  On these six great holes you’ll encounter:

  • an elevated tee box with a panoramic vista of the valley, mountains, mesas, and Rio Grande Bosque
  • some tight fairways that if you miss you’re down a deep arroyo or buried in some thick rough that’s challenging to get out of with any distance and accuracy
  • water and bunkers that will come into play
  • a couple holes that require excellent course management to par and one that gives you the opportunity to go for the green off the tee box
  • some tough approaches to greens that are raised or well guarded and require a precise shot
  • dog legs, forced carries, challenging greens with slope and undulation, uphill and downhill shots, and some surprises like the hidden natural area and the rock creek crossing the fairway

Like the other two nines, Arroyo’s fairway are lush and plush and in excellent condition.  Most of the fairways are ample, but if you miss you may have a hard time getting out of the thick rough.  You can also expect some uneven lies thanks to the slope, contour and undulation of the fairways.   Pay particular attention to the scorecard and hole layout to avoid the natural areas, some deep arroyos, and the water, thick rough, and natural areas crossing the fairways. 

The bent grass greens on Arroyo vary in shape and size and most have some slope and undulation.  Approach shots need to be precise because most of the greens are raised and guarded by at least one bunker, natural areas, or some swales.  The greens were a good speed (around 10 to 11), true, soft, and fair.

From our perspective, the bunkers were not in good shape – thin, gritty, heavy sand made it difficult to get under the ball.  But this seems typical for most of the New Mexico courses that we played.

The slope and rating are based on playing the Lakes and Mesa nines together.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque is across the freeway from Isleta Eagle and it is also owned and operated by the Pueblo.  You can read our review of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque to learn more.  They also have some good stay and play packages.

Head Pro's Corner


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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,745 75.1 134
Blue 3,426 72.1 132
White 3,127 69.3 128
Red 2,808 65.6 112

Course Information

Course Architect:
Bill Phillips
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
9.0
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
6.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 12 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.3 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
9.8
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.5
Condition:
9.3
Front Nine Rating:
9.3
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$30.00 to $65.00

Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked, and the grill has everything from dogs to Philly Cheesesteaks. The range and putting green are adequate.

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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.