Lighthouse Country Club Review
Lighthouse Country Club Review
Review of Lighthouse Country Club
Packsaddle Country Club was initially built in 1968 but was completely redone and re-routed by Jerry Slack and Leon Howard and reopened in 2007 for play and with an upgraded clubhouse and pro shop. The course renovation included new greens, fairways, and bunkers making Packsaddle a fun, challenging, and excellent 18 holes of golf.
Over the years thanks to a tough economy and a harsh winter coupled with a severe drought, Packsaddle went through some tough times and the conditions deteriorated. In September 2011, new owners from Midland purchased Packsaddle, renamed it Lighthouse Country Club and they started making significant improvements to bring the course up to their high standards. In a short period of time, the course conditions have improved dramatically and should only continue to get better. In fact, when we last played in July 2013 we were very impressed with the conditions of the fairways, rough, greens, and bunkers particularly in light of the drought conditions in Texas.
Lighthouse Country Club is one of those sleeper courses that are pleasant surprises and hidden gems. Some of the reasons we like this course and what makes it fun as well as demanding include:
- very challenging greens that will test your approach shots as well as your putting skills
- elevation changes with plenty of uphill as well as downhill shots
- lots of variety with no two holes the same and few that are traditional and straightforward
- several dog legs left as well as right and a few of which offer some risk reward opportunities to try and shorten the hole
- blind shots, forced carries, water, strategically placed bunkers, natural areas, and more to test your game, club selection, and course management skills
- an excellent value, very friendly staff, and good restaurant
In addition to all of that, Lighthouse Country Club is home to some very fun, unique, demanding, and interesting holes, some examples include:
- #3 is a short 300 yard dog leg right that you might be tempted to try to drive the green, but if you miss you've got trees, water, or a ravine problem - best off leave the big dog in the bag and go for accuracy on the drive as well as the approach shot
- #5, a dog leg left 412 yard par 4, offers a great risk reward shot if you think you can carry the water and trees for an easy approach shot
- #6 is our favorite hole - a dog leg left 534 yard par 5 with a fairway split but a granite outcropping and some nasty cactus that leads to a small green surrounded by a bunker and granite - accuracy from tee to green is required and if you miss and you'll watch the ball ricocheting off the granite, trees, and cactus
- the last three on the back will make you want to come back and play Lighthouse Country Club again
As mentioned earlier, prior to a change in ownership in September 2011, the course conditions had deteriorated. When we played in July 2012, the fairways were in very good condition, the rough was in good shape, and the course was well maintained. And with more time and TLC, they are only going to get better. The Lighthouse Country Club fairways range from tight to fairly open, they are rolling and contoured, and all are lined with trees or natural areas that will cause significant problems if you spray the ball. The rough was cut thin and very playable.
You best practice putting before you head out for your round - the Lighthouse Country Club greens are very demanding. They range in size from small to about average and most have a bunker or two guarding them and if you miss you've got a tough chip shot or you may be lost. Once you're on the green you'll find plenty of contour, slope, undulation, tiers, ridges, and more. The greens were running between a nine to ten and if you can read the breaks they run true. Like most greens in the Texas summer, they were a little firm and hard to hold.
The bunkers range in size and shape with lips that are 2 to 4 inches or more. A few of the bunkers are steep and deep and challenging to get out of. The sand is firm and thick but a little gritty. Overall they are in very good condition.
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Jerry Slack and Leon Howard
- Greens Type:
- TIF Eagle
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Fairway Condition
- Bunker Condition
- Course Map
- Beware of water on 5 holes and the 29 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 8.6 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $42.00 to $42.00
Service is good and country friendly. A range is available for warm-up and make sure you spend some time on the putting greens. New carts arrived in 2011 and we hear the restaurant is excellent.
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.