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Bandit, The Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
New Braunfels
Website · Book A Tee Time · Locate This Course
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: November 15, 2014

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Bandit, The Review

Review and Rating of The Bandit in New Braunfels

Voted "8th Best Golf Course in Texas" by Golf Week Magazine, The Bandit is a  fun, challenging, and scenic course at a reasonable price and one of our favorites. 

The Bandit is one of those courses that the first time you play, you'll find the layout somewhat challenging and demanding thanks to:

  • Long Creek and Lake McQueeney which come into play on 13 holes
  • strategically placed bunkers
  • significant elevation changes
  • risk reward opportunities as well as forced carries
  • lots of slope and contour plus mounding, trees, and swales in the fairways
  • very challenging green complexes

The Bandit is demanding but it's fair and each hole is different from the others - giving the course lots of character and personality.  And the second time you play The Bandit, you should find it a little easier.

Each of the holes are named and the names represent what you can expect, for example:

  • Blind Date - a 421 yard par 4 with ample fairway but a blind shot to a downhill green
  • Too Much Too Soon - #2 is a long 241 yard par 3 requiring an accurate shot off the tee box to avoid the bunker on the left front of the green
  • Lake Breeze - a beautiful 185 par 3 that requires a carry across the lake - a breeze behind you helps but if you're driving into the wind, you best club up if you don't want to go swimming
  • Long Creek - #18 is a fantastic 552 yard par 5 finishing hole where Long Creek runs from the tee box to the front of the green and splits the fairway and forces you to make a tough decision - risk a long carry across the creek to a tight landing zone and then a easy approach shot or take a safer but longer approach with a shorter carry to the green - a very memorable hole
  • R.I.P. - a great downhill shot on a 417 yard dog leg left with a lot going on once you get off the elevated tee box - fairway and greenside bunkers, a sloping fairway with a creek cutting across it, and a tough putting surface

The front nine is very pretty and most holes require good club selection and course management. Water on 5 holes, natural hazards, and rolling hills add challenge and make this a very fun nine. The Bandit's back nine is outstanding and includes: rolling hills, dramatic elevation changes, some very challenging holes, blind shots, water on 8 holes, and doglegs - they just don't get much better than this nine. 

The Bandit also has a great stay and play package.  The Lodges at The Bandit  has 2 and 3 bedroom nicely appointed and fully equipped condos that overlook the 10th fairway available for a stay and play.  Read our review of The Lodges at The Bandit to learn more.

We have played The Bandit several times and it has always been in near perfect condition.  The fairways are lush and ample with a rough that is playable.  You'll encounter a lot of slope and undulation and ups and downs in the fairways that you need to manage - the mounds can kick you back into the fairway but the fairway slope can take your ball places it doesn't want to go! 

The greens are medium sized to large and have lots of slope and contour plus tiers and undulation.  Most are raised and all are guarded.  When we last played they were running very fast and were in excellent condition.  The Bandit puts a premium on approach shots and holding the green on the approach shot can be tough and putting can be challenging.  The Bandit puts a premium on approach shots.

The bunkers range from small deep and steep pot bunkers to some big monsters.  Some of the bunkers had been redone with soft light and deep white sand - a joy to hit out of.  Some were damaged and being worked on and others had sand that was a little thin and gritty.

This is a great course and well deserving of its ranking as one of the best in Texas.  The Bandit lives up to it's motto of "Exceptional Golf" and a "Remarkable Value."   A must play.

The Bandit also has a great Stay & Play package with 2 and 3 bedroom condos that overlook the 10th fairway.  Read about our Stay & Play at The Bandit to learn more.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,928 72.7 130
Gold 6,405 70.3 124
Blue 5,913 67.6 114
White 5,289 64.9 101
Red 4,468 70.7 122

Course Information

Course Architect:
Keith Foster
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.2
Bunker Condition
8.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hard walk
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 13 holes and the 64 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.3 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
9.7
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
9.5
Condition:
9.2
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.5
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $69.00

Service is very good and friendly, the pro shop is limited but has the basics, and from what we hear, the food is good. The practice facility is ok.

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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.