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Quail Valley Golf Course - El Dorado Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.9

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Missouri City
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: November 28, 2010

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Quail Valley Golf Course - El Dorado Review

Quail Valley Golf Course sits on over 400 acres within the upscale Quail Valley residential community and was built in 1970 and opened as a private club with two 18 hole courses, El Dorado and La Quinta.   In 2008, the city of Missouri City acquired both courses and hired Jeff Blume to redesign the El Dorado course.  Jeff added more bunkers, rebuilt the tee boxes and greens, and reshaped and added water hazards.  The end result is a fantastic track that has a lot of character and is fun and challenging to play.  In fact, Avid Golfer rated Quail Valley’s El Dorado Course #2 in the “Top Value Priced ($50 and under)”  category in 2010 and the reviewers gave the redesign a very big thumbs-up. 

Quail Valley’s La Quinta Course is the easier of the two courses with much friendlier flatter fairways with the pin typically visible from the tee box, less water, and half the number of bunkers of the El Dorado Course.  We loved El Dorado and found it visually pleasing with some unique and very interesting, as well as challenging, holes. 

El Dorado is characterized by well guarded and challenging green complexes which put a premium on your ability to hit and hold the greens – miss them and par will be difficult.  For example, a large number of the greens are elevated with significant slope leading to trouble which in a number of cases is water.  In fact, nine of the 18 greens have water in front, back, or along the side of the green – in a couple cases the greens are like islands. 

In addition, the greens are well guarded by mounds and berms and bunkers of all shapes and sizes (some of which are huge) plus some grass bunkers that are fairly steep and deep.  To score well, you best practice your short game before you head out for a round on El Dorado Golf Course. 

At 6931 yards and a rating of 74.3 and slope of 140 from the tips, El Dorado is no walk in the park.  Part of what makes it challenging are the green complexes but you’ll also find dog legs, creeks or ponds on 13 holes, forced carries, risk reward opportunities, 68 bunkers, and some narrow fairways.  Pick the right set of tee boxes and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and you’ll love this 18.  There are some great holes, for example:

  • #1, a 526 yard par 5, sets the stage for your round with a creek and big drop off all along the left side, a fairly narrow fairway with 3 bunkers, an out of bounds on the right side, and two lakes protecting the front and back of the green – and this is the #15 handicap hole
  • #4 is a forced carry over a lake plus 7 bunkers on the way to and around the green
  • #5 has an elevated green with severe slope to the water which surrounds three quarters of the left side and back of the green – plus there are three bunkers guarding the approach on the right side
  • #15 offers some risk reward shots over a large lake with a water fountain as the fairway makes a sharp right turn around the lake
  • #16 has water near the tee box and a minefield of 8 bunkers awaiting your tee shot on this treacherous 403 yard par 4
  • #17 is a beauty and fun to play – a 399 yard par four demanding accuracy off the tee box to avoid the large lake along the entire fairway and then a carry across the lake to a green fronted by water plus a bunker to catch the long shots

Quail Valley’s El Dorado Course is new and the greens and fairways are still maturing, and as such there are still some rough spots and both are firm.  However, we still thought that the greens and fairways were in excellent condition.  Most of the fairways are a tad narrow, well contoured, and the first cut is wide and playable, but after that you’re under the trees or in the back yard of a huge beautiful home.   A couple of outstanding holes play along a busy road which is a little distracting. 

The greens are average to large in size, very well guarded, and most are elevated.   They were in near perfect condition but firm because they are still maturing.  They have minor slope and contour but run true and smooth – once you hit um, putting shouldn’t be a problem. 

The bunkers were also in good shape with soft white sand but the sand isn’t real thick.  Lips on the bunkers range from one to three feet – not real steep and deep.  The bunkers range in size from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters!

Bottom line – this is an outstanding track that is fun to play and will test your game and reward the good shots but severely penalize the bad ones.  For the conditions and layout, it is an excellent value.  

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,931 74.3 140
Gold 6,552 72.5 136
Blue 6,146 70.9 130
White 5,685 69.2 125
Red 5,100 71.0 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jeff Blume Redesign
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
9.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 13 holes and the 68 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$45.00 to $56.00

Service is friendly, the pro shop has the basics, the grill serves a variety of food, and the practice facilities are adequate. A new club house is planned for 2011.

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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.