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Quicksand Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
San Angelo
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: November 14, 2011

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Quicksand Golf Club Review

Quicksand Golf Club in San Angelo is a fun but demanding 18 hole course that plays on 320 acres of what we would call typical west Texas terrain - relatively flat desert terrain with small trees, desert brush, cactus, and sand.  The course is a combination of a desert course (with forced carries, natural sand areas, cactus that will stick you, snakes, and sage brush) and a links style course.  Quicksand Golf Club is very appropriately named after its 96 steep and deep treacherous bunkers that seem to attract and swallow your golf ball.  I have plenty of first hand experience with the bunkers, I must have found at least half of them and taken a lot of the sand home with me in the hair, shoes, socks, and pockets! 

The 96 sand and 15 to 20 grass bunkers clearly define Quicksand Golf Club and make it a very demanding course that requires excellent course management and strategic thinking, precise and accurate tee as well approach shots, and good skills with whatever to try to get out of the bunkers with.  The bunkers pinch the landing zones and protect the greens.  To score well you'll need to pick the right set of tee boxes (five to choose from with yardages of 5023 to 7171 yards), consider leaving the big dog in the bag on most holes, and be precise on the approach shots.  But don't let all of that discourage you from playing this outstanding layout it's fair, fun, and an outstanding value.

Speaking of fun, there are some outstanding holes, for example:

  • #3 requires an accurate drive tee shot from a slightly raised tee box  to nail the fairway and avoid the long bunker and  lake on the left side which has a finger into about the middle of the fairway and an accurate approach from a roller coaster fairway to the green with a huge green side bunker and the lake on the left and some trees on the right side
  • #4 is a 415 yard par four leading to an island green - one huge steep and deep bunker surrounds 3/4 ths of the green and another one surround most of what's left - you'll need a precise shot to the odd shaped green
  • #7 is the the #1 handicap hole - a 621 yarder with a narrow rolling fairway that twists and turns through 14 treacherous bunkers leading to a raised green guarded by 2 more bunkers
  • #12 is a narrow 520 yard fairway that snakes it way past 8 bunkers leading to green surrounded by 4 more bunkers
  • 16, 17, and 18 are three fun and demanding holes with a demanding approach on 16 thanks to a lake and 5 bunkers, a forced carry over the lake on the par 3 209 yard #17, and accuracy from tee to green on #18 because of the lake and bunker pinching the landing zone and a fairway that dogs left around the lake to the green

When played in November 2011 when all Texas courses had suffered through harsh winter freezes, record high temperatures, and a severe drought that had impacted the fairway and greens.  Quicksand Golf Club in San Angelo had survived all of that very well - but the fairways had some brown spots and a few rough spots and the rough in some places was shabby and had lots of dirt spots.  Compared to other courses the fairways were in very good condition but not their normal lush and plush green.  The fairways, which were also starting to go dormant, are a little tight in spots and most are heavily contoured creating a lot of uneven lies.  The roughs are large but if you miss them and you're wet or in the desert where you don't want to have an encounter with those sharp cactus needles.  The roughs are dense grass and the ball tended to sit on top making for a very playable lie.

I don't think the greens could have been in much better condition and we didn't spot any weather damage.  They were average size, soft, held the ball well, ran a good speed (9 to 10), and were very true.  The slope and contour is minor and in most cases very manageable, but watch out, there are a few subtle breaks.  Most of the greens are raised and very well guarded putting a premium on accurate approach shots.

The bunkers are everywhere, so make sure you practice you sand shots before you head out.  They range in size from small pot bunkers to some huge treacherous monsters the size of Rhode Island and they are all different shapes from oval to long with up to 10 fingers, to Mickey Mouse ears, to heart shaped, to one with a grass island with a tree in the middle of the bunker!  Most of them are deep and steep faced but the good news is they are firm and the ball will hit the face and roll back toward the center of the bunker giving you a much better shot.  The sand is thin and hard to get under and it's gritty. 

Bottom line - what a pleasant surprise with very good conditions; some fun, fair and demanding holes; and an excellent value - a must play if you're anywhere near San Angelo. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,171 75.9 139
Gold 6,693 73.7 135
Blue 6,120 71.2 131
White 5,606 68.9 125
Red 5,023 69.5 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA
Greens Type:
Champion Dwarf
Greens Condition
9.3
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
8.0
Bunker Condition
8.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
yes
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 96 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
9.3
Variety:
8.0
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
10.0
Condition:
8.0
Front Nine Rating:
8.5
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$33.00 to $45.00

The pro shop has all the basics, the range and practice area is adequate, but I didn't see a practice bunker! The grill is outstanding - one of the best burgers I've had, it's thick, huge, juicy, and loaded. The chicken tortilla soup was also excellent. The staff is very friendly as are all of the locals and players we met.

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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.