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Luna Vista Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Dallas
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: May 11, 2011

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Luna Vista Golf Course Review

Review of Luna Vista Golf Course Review – Dallas 

Luna Vista Golf Course, owned and operated by the City of Dallas and formally known as LB Houston Golf Course, underwent a $3.5 million renovation by John Colligan and reopened in October 2012.  Some of what the renovation included was: new irrigation; moving lots of dirt to create new contouring in the fairways; enlarged 3 lakes and removed some water carries; new landscaping with magnolias, sweet gum, maples, and other varieties of trees along with ornamental grasses; new tee boxes: substantial changes to the greens to add elevation, mounding, and new white sand bunkers; completely changed a couple holes and added about 150 yards; enhanced the practice facility with an indoor teaching center, putting green, driving range, and short game area with bunkers; and redid the clubhouse, grill, and pro shop including a new outdoor patio overlooking the practice area. 

The goal was to make the new Luna Vista more player friendly by eliminating some of the water carries, improve the conditions, enhance the green complexes, and provide for a variety of shots. 

Wow, what an improvement and all of the goals were exceeded!  We had played LB Houston in 2006 and rated it a 5 – flat, boring, and poor conditions.  We loved the new Luna Vista – it's in good shape which will only improve as the fairways, rough, and greens mature; the new green complexes are very challenging; perfect sand bunkers that you want to avoid; contoured fairways; demanding but fair; and some good holes. 

Some of the holes we liked include:

  • #2 is a 510 yard par 5 (#2 handicap hole) with a long tight fairway with a creek on the left and lots of trees on the right – to par this baby you best do whatever it takes to stay in the fairway
  • #8 is a pretty 180 yard par 3 with a lake on the right and a very challenging green complexe with two deep right side bunkers and a contoured sloping green
  • #9 is a 530 yard par 5 with a wide landing zone but if you spray the ball you're wet or in the trees and squirrels and the approach to the green is demanding with two front nasty big bunkers, lots of mounding, and some challenging contour on the green
  • #11 was our favorite – a 501 yard par 5 that has a slight dog left around a lake and then turns right back to the green – the second shot is an excellent risk reward shot for a long carry over the lake for a potential birdie or a conservative shot to the left side that needs to avoid the two fairway bunkers for an easier shot to the green
  • #17 is the #1 handicap hole – a 570 yard par 5 with a creek on the left and other on the right side that pinch the fairway about where your drive wants to land and you can’t see them from the tee box

When we played Luna Vista Golf Course in May, the fairways were still maturing but in very good condition.  All of the fairways are tree lined (no homes, barking dogs, or hecklers sitting on their back porch) and range from very tight to let-er-rip but don’t miss.  Most of the fairways have some minor contour that has been added during the renovation to add character and create some uneven lies.  You will also encounter some mounds and slope that can do some things to your shot that you don’t want done – like bounce left or right or roll into the rough, water, or trees. 

There are only 16  new bunkers, most of which guard the greens, and they seemed fairly easy to avoid.  If you do hit them, the sand is perfect (soft and thick) but they are steep and deep – do what you can to avoid them!

The green complexes are fantastic (depending on your point of view, you may hate how hard they are) and really define Luna Vista.  All of the mini verde greens are huge, a variety of shapes, and have plenty of slope, undulation, and contour.  They are raised which means that bump and runs are tough and there is a good probability that your shots may roll back down the fringe to the fairway.  Plus they are guarded by steep and deep bunkers and plenty of mounding that will impact the flight of your ball!  When we played they were in very good condition, a little firm, and a tad slow because they were cut thick to help them mature.  To make it even more challenging, when we played there were some very tough pin placements.  Luna Vista puts a premium on approach shots, knowing the greens, and accurate putting if you want to score well.  Make sure you spend some time in the practice area and on the putting green before you head out.

Bottom line – the renovation has turned this into a course you need to add to your list to play, the conditions are good and should get better with age, the complexes are demanding but fun, and there are some memorable holes – plus the rates are very reasonable for such a good course.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 6,847 72.5 128
Blue 6,309 70.4 124
White 5,801 68.2 120
Red 5,249 65.2 108

Course Information

Course Architect:
John Colligan
Greens Type:
Mini Verde
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
8.8
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Beware of water on 13 holes and the 18 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
10.0
Condition:
9.0
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.3
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$29.00 to $45.00

Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked with everything you need, the practice facilities are excellent, and the grill serves some good food at reasonable prices.

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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.