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Ranchland Hills Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.7

Golf - Semi Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Midland
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: January 27, 2011

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Ranchland Hills Country Club Review

Opened in 1949, Ranchland Hills Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the region and the course was home to the 1953 Texas PGA Championship.   Like most older courses, Ranchland Hills is short at 6560 yards by todays standards and has a fairly traditional layout with most holes running side by side, separated by a row of trees.  Both nines are similar but we thought that the back nine was a little more interesting and demanded a little more accuracy. 

In most cases you can see the pin and what you're up against - no tricked up holes or hidden surprises to get ya.  There are some dog legs that require a precise shot off the tee box and some fun holes, for example:

  • #1 starts you off with the #3 handicap hole - a 604 yard par 5 with a slight dog leg right to a well guarded green
  • #8 is a challenging 164 yard par 3 that requires a carry over a pond to a green with little room for error
  • #10 is a fun 342 yard dog leg right around a pond guarding the green on the right and cutting across the front of the green about 50 yards out
  • #14, a 487 yard par 5, has a slightly elevated tee shot to a dog leg right around a lake and then up to an elevated well protected green

Ranchland Hills Golf Course fairways are flat, a little tight, and if you spray the ball and get through the mature evergreens and cedar elms, you'll be in another fairway requiring a worm burner back to your fairway or a high flying shot to carry the trees.  During your round you'll encounter nine shimmering ponds and over 33 bunkers waiting for stray shots.  You'll also need to manage the prevailing winds if you want to score well.

When we played in January, conditions were dormant as you can tell from the pictures.  For winter, the conditions were still very good..  The fairways and rough were dry, giving you lots of roll, but very playable.  During the summer my guess, which was confirmed by a couple of locals, is that we would rate the conditions to be an 8 to 8.5. 

The Champion Bermuda greens at Ranchland Hills Golf Club were also in very good condition.  When we played they were soft, very fast (11 or so), held pretty well, and ran true, however, the dormant conditions made them very bumpy adding a big challenge to getting the ball to run straight - or is that just my excuse for poor putting?  Most of the fairways are about average size and a variety of shapes and most have minor slope.  Combine the slope with the speed plus the wind and putting is challenging. 

The bunkers were in very good condition with manageable lips and soft fairly thick sand. 

The course routing is unique in that every four or so holes takes you back to the club house where you can load up on snacks, drinks, or replacement golf balls.  Before you leave, make sure you also give their golf simulator a try - you can play Pebble Beach and several other well known courses. 

Bottom line - Richland Hills Golf Club is a good value with good conditions, some fun holes, and it provides you an opportunity to have an enjoyable and well scoring round.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,560 71.6 122
White 6,030 68.7 119
Red 5,291 70.3 124

Course Information

Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
8.5
Greens Difficulty
7.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Beware of water on 12 holes and the 33 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.7 out of 10
Beauty:
7.5
Difficulty:
7.0
Variety:
7.0
Fun to Play:
8.0
Value:
8.5
Condition:
8.5
Front Nine Rating:
7.3
Back Nine Rating:
8.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$30.00 to $45.00

Service is very friendly, pace of play on the weekends can be slow, and the pro shop is well stocked. You'll also find a driving range, putting green, 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.