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Mission Inn Resort - Las Colinas Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.9

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Howey-in-the-Hills, FL
Website
Date Last Played: March 04, 2012

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Mission Inn Resort - Las Colinas Course Review

Review of Mission Inn Resort's Las Colinas Golf Course

Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howie in the Hills Florida is home to lots of interesting history, beautiful landscaping, friendly service, good golf stay and play packages, plenty of fun amenities, and some excellent food.  Best of all are the two 18 hole golf courses and each of the courses has it's own unique personality and characteristics:

  • El Campeon was built in 1917 and is characterized by some unusual tee to green elevation changes of up to 85 feet, towering forests, and is regarded as the tougher of the two courses by three or four strokes - - read our review of Mission Inn Resort's El Campeon Course to learn more
  • Las Colinas is the newer of the two courses and has more of a troon or resort look and feel with a little bit wider fairways, rolling hills, and larger and more forgiving greens

Las Colinas plays through a very nice neighborhood with some beautiful homes lining one side of the fairway and dense trees lining the other side.  Then you'll play through what seems like two different eco systems, have a nice cart ride on a wooden bridge over a wetland, and finally play back past some homes. 

We were told that Las Colinas was the easiest of the two courses, which we would agree with, but it is no walk in the park.  Some of what will force you to focus on your course management and club selection skills includes:

  • water on 10 holes and it's hidden on a couple holes, so study the course layout on each hole before you take a shot
  • 56 bunkers that range from small somewhat steep and deep pot bunkers to some large monsters
  • green complexes that demand a precise shot to avoid water, bunkers, some mounds, and swales
  • some dog legs, blind shots, tight fairways, and forced carries that can add strokes to your score if you're not careful

Some holes we enjoyed and examples of the above include:

  • #2 is a 206 yard par 3 which is all carry over a lake to a green surrounded by water and 5 small pot bunkers
  • #4 is a fun 432 yard par 4 with mounding on both sides of a rather tight slightly dog leg left fairway plus a long skinny bunker that  guards over half of the fairway on the left side
  • before you tee off on #7 you need to check the periscope to make sure the fairway is clear - you've got a blind uphill shot then back down to an oblong green with 3 pot bunkers
  • #13 a 584 yard par 5 with an uphill tee shot with a wide sweeping bunker on the left and then down a narrow fairway with a very challenging approach shot thanks to trees on both sides  and a couple bunkers protecting a tiered green
  • #16 looks simple but on the other side of two reachable bunkers off the tee is a good sized lake with an alligator waiting for you to try and retrieve you golf ball

The fairways on Mission Inn Resort's Las Colinas course range from let-er-rip to tight dense tree lined on both sides to more open with a scattering of tall pines to flat and straight to rolling with both ups and downs.  The fairways were in good shape as were the roughs, which were thin and playable. 

The greens range in shape and size from large ovals to some pretty skinny oblongs.  Most were in very good shape (a few had some weather stress damage) and all had some minor slope.  A couple were raised, all but one had between one to 5 bunkers guarding them, and on 4 you could get wet if you missed the green.  Putting didn't seem to be an issue - the breaks were manageable and the speed was consistent but a tad slow at around 8.5.

When you see a rake in your cart, I know I'm in trouble and I spent so much time in the bunkers that I kept the rake attached to my belt.  The bunkers ranged in size to a couple monsters to small steep and deep pot bunkers.  Some were in perfect condition with soft white thick sand while others had brown thin sand sitting on hard clay. 

A fun track and one that provides an enjoyable round and an opportunity to turn in a good score.  To really enjoy both courses, some good food, and great amenities then you should take advantage of Mission Inn Resort's Stay & Play package.  Read our review of Mission Inn Resort (the review is still being worked on)  to learn more about this outstanding resort.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,230 74.8 135
Gold 6,829 73.2 131
Blue 6,365 70.9 126
White 5,608 66.7 116
Red 4,922 69.8 135

Course Information

Course Architect:
Gary Koch/Ron Garl
Greens Type:
TIF Dwarf
Greens Condition
8.8
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
8.8
Bunker Condition
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Long
Scorecard
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 56 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.9 out of 10
Beauty:
8.8
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
9.3
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
9.0
Condition:
8.8
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$45.00 to $95.00

Service is good, the pro shop has lots of good gear, and the practice facilities are adequate. Nickers is home to a great bar and some good food.

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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.