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Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.8

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Montgomery
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: September 02, 2013

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Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club Review

Review of Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course

Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course is one of those courses that you won’t forget and you’ll want to play again, and again, and again.  What a fantastic layout that is challenging but fair, scenic, and a blast to play.  Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course is a premiere private golf club that was designed by Robert Von Hagge and former PGA tour player Bruce Devlin in 1976.  Together they built an excellent shot makers course that doesn’t favor left or right handers, requires you to hit a variety of shots, and puts a premium on placement off the tee box as well as course management and club selection.  They also sculptured one of the best holes in Texas and according to Golf Magazine, the par 5 11th hole is one of the “Top 500 Greatest Golf Holes in the World.”   After a round on Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course you won’t find it surprising to learn that the course has won a number of awards and accolades since opening, some of which include:

  • Ranked by the Dallas Morning News every year since opening as on of the “Top Ten Private Golf Courses in Texas”
  • Golf Digest said that Walden Golf Club was the 5th best course in Texas and #1 in the Houston Area
  • According to several other sources, Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club is consistently ranked in the top 20 courses - it is one of Texas Outside's Top Ranked Private Courses

The course plays through the towering pines of south east Texas, with some holes along the shoreline of Lake Conroe, and some holes lined by huge beautiful homes that could come into play if you tend to spray the ball. In fact, on a lot of holes you should consider leaving the big dog in the bag and focus on placement and strategy or you might find your ball in the sand, under the pine needles, or wet.  It will help your score if you can fade or hook the ball off the tee to give you a good second shot on several dog legs both left and right.  You might also practice your sand game because Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course has 91 bunkers ranging from small pot bunkers to some monsters that guard the greens, line the fairways, and even cross the fairway.  Both nines are excellent but the back nine has got to be one of the best in Texas with 3 par 3s, 3 par 5s, and some outstanding and demanding holes.  The course is very scenic with towering trees, beautiful homes, views of Lake Conroe, ponds with water fountains, and some colorful landscaping. 

What really separates  Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course from other Texas golf courses are the course conditions, a layout with each hole being a little different, and lots of holes that are unique and a blast to play, some of which include:

  • #2 is a 514 yard double dog leg par 5 that will devour your ball if you don’t play conservative and add a couple stokes if you don’t have a deadly accurate approach shot to a 20 yard deep green surrounded by 5 bunkers
  • #3 is a short 349 yard par 4 that is a minefield of bunkers – an 80 yard monster on the left side of the fairway that has 5 little islands of grass and multiple fingers plus two more big right side fairway bunkers and three bunkers guarding the front of a shallow green plus one more in back of the green
  • Your tee shot is going to make or break you on the 400 yard par 4 #1 handicap 8th hole – the fairway ends in Lake Conroe, the left side is out of bounds, and the approach is all carry over the lake to a challenging green with 6 bunkers on the left side and 1 on the right
  • It’s not surprising that #11, a 582 yard double dog leg three shot par 5, is one of the best holes in Texas – trees and out of bounds on the left and three bunkers on the right put a premium on an accurate tee shot, then you’ll need to layup on a tight fairway with Lake Conroe on the both sides and 3 bunkers where the fairway turns right to a peninsula green jutting into Lake Conroe with 5 more bunkers and wind that can cause problems
  • #12 and #13 both force you to carry the lake - #12 is a short 158 yard par three that’s all carry to a green with the lake surrounding three quarters of it and two bunkers covering the rest and #13 is an intimidating carry over the lake and then uphill past 4 bunkers to the green

When we played in early September, the conditions at Waldon on Lake Conroe Golf Course were near perfect - the fairways were lush and plush, the rough was excellent; the bunkers were perfect, and the greens were great. 

The fairways are tree or water lined with beautiful homes sitting off the side and creating an out of bounds situation if you spray the ball.  Most of the fairways are relatively flat and tight thanks to bunkers and the trees.  You'll encounter some minor ups and downs and some contour on some of the fairways.  The rough was a little thicker than what we were told was normal but it was in great condition and playable - miss it and you're under the trees and pine needles making for a challenging recovery shot.

The Waldon Golf Club greens were also in near perfect condition, held the ball very well, and rolled smooth and true, but a bit slow from our perspective. Most of the greens are smaller than normal and all are guarded with from one to seven bunkers, putting a premium on the approach shot.

The bad news is that there are over 90 bunkers waiting for you but the good news is that the sand is soft and fluffy and a joy to hit out of. The bunkers are all shapes and sizes from small oval pot bunkers to huge sprawling monsters.  Some are steep and deep and other have a manageable face.

Bottom line - a fantastic golf course with great conditions, memorable holes,  and a good value.  Membership at Waldon on Lake Conroe Golf Club also includes the ability to play a sister course - Northgate Country Club.

Head Pro's Corner


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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,756 72.2 133
Gold 6,248 69.7 129
Blue 6,012 68.6 123
White 5,665 67.5 115
Red 4,993 71.8 125

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert Von Hagge
Greens Type:
TIF
Greens Condition
9.8
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 91 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.8 out of 10
Beauty:
9.8
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
9.8
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
10.0
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.8
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: Under $10,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400

The pro shop is well stocked, the staff is very friendly and outgoing, the practice facilities are good, the clubhouse is home to Cafe on the Green which has some very 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.