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Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Fredericksburg
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: April 09, 2013

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Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course Review

Review of Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course

Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course which is just a couple miles from downtown Fredericksburg opened as a nine hole course in 1969 and another nine was added in 1991.

The front nine has some very demanding, interesting, fun, and unique holes that are really a blast to play.  The back nine is more traditional, much easier, and a more relaxing nine holes. 

In 2012 Jeff Blume redesigned several holes (ie, 5, 6, 7, 14, and 16) to help make the course a little softer, more forgiving/playable, and 200 yards longer.  In addition, a new irrigation system was added as well as all of the bunkers and greens were redone, new fairway grass was added, and lots more.  Over $2 million was invested in the renovation of Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course and when we played in April 2013, we were very impressed with the changes, conditions, and playability of the redesign.

The front nine of Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course takes maximum advantage of some hilly terrain and the meandering Live Oak Creek.  This nine will throw a little bit of everything at you that will test your nerves, course management, club selection, and accuracy.   For example, you'll find:

  • elevated tee boxes as well as big uphill shots to the green
  • forced carries over natural areas and the creek
  • some bunkers that seem to be where your ball wants to land
  • a couple very interesting risk reward opportunities
  • some pinched landing zones as well as some tight and tough approaches
  • small sloping greens that are hard to nail

The front nine at Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course is very demanding and loaded with some really fun and unique holes like:

  • #1 a 402 yard par 4 with an elevated tee shot to a pinched landing zone thanks to a hill on the left and trees on the right and then a shot over a grassy ravine to an uphill green
  • #3 has an intimidating carry over a natural area and the creek to an elevated fairway and another 350 yards to the green
  • #7 is a short 302 yard uphill shot along a severely right to left sloping fairway (that can take you ball back down the hill and make the approach tough thanks to the trees guarding the left side of the green) with a big fairway bunker and an uphill shot to a well guarded oblong green

After this nine you'll need a cold beer and you'll be ready for the back nine which will seem like a walk in the park. It's flatter, more open, and from our perspective plays much easier than the front nine of Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course. You will encounter some fairway mounding and lots of mounds, swales, grass bunkers, and collection areas around some of the greens - approach shots demand some accuracy. 

This nine is your opportunity to salvage a good score and walk into the club house with your head held high!  Some of the holes we liked include:

  • the 10th hole is fun and demanding -  a 495 yard par 5 with a downhill tee shot on a sloping and rolling fairway, a lake to cross around 100 yards out, and an uphill shot past 4 bunkers to the green
  • #12 offers a good risk reward shot to fly some trees and miss a bunker to shorten the hole on this short 308 yard par 4
  • #14 is decieving the first time you play it - a long 611 yard par 5 that ends with 4 bunkers that you might think are protecting the green, but the fairway takes a sharp dog right to the raised green with swales, mounds, and 4 more bunkers - check out the appoach through the trees on the right to shorten the hole

The Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course fairways range from wide to a tad tight but most are ample with a wide playable rough and no homes to worry about.  All the fairways are lined with stately oaks and a variety of other trees.  They range from up and down roller coasters on the front nine to flat and straight on the back. After the renovation, the fairways were in very good condition and the rough was thin and playable.  Like most Texas courses, they were a little hard and firm which gave us lots of extra roll. 

All of the Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course greens were redone in 2012 and are fantastic.  The greens range is size and shape and most are about average size.  Most have some very minor and manageable slope and a few had some undulation and ridges.  We thought that they were in very good condition, ran true, about average speed, and held the ball pretty well.  We were pleasantly surprised at the condition of the greens - they were in excellent condition. 

The bunkers at Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course were perfect with soft thick sand.  The bunkers ranged in size from small pot sized bunkers to large monsters.  Several had some very steep and deep faces. 

Bottom line - a must play if you're in the area, a fantastic and unique and challenging front nine and a traditional relaxing back nine - and a very reasonable rate! 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,686 72.1 127
Gold 6,148 69.7 122
Blue 5,757 68.0 116
White 5,243 65.2 110
Red 4,598 65.0 110

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jeff Blume renovation
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
7.5
Fairway Condition
8.5
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Some hills
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 48 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
8.8
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
9.5
Condition:
9.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.3
Back Nine Rating:
8.3
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$44.00 to $50.00

Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course is home to a newly built 10,000 square foot clubhouse with a fully-stocked golf shop, good restaurant, and a great meeting room for corporate outings or tournaments. Practice facilities include a 20 station driving range and two practice greens. The staff is friendly and outgoing.

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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.