The Club at Sonterra - North Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Private Course · 36 Holes · Par 72
San Antonio
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: June 19, 2017

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The Club at Sonterra - North Review

The Club at Sonterra in San Antonio Review

The Club at Sonterra is within a very exclusive gated community in one of the most prestigious areas of San Antonio and it's home to 36 excellent holes of golf, beautiful homes, and some excellent amenities including dining, swimming, and tennis.  Each of the courses has it's own unique characteristics and personality, but common to both are good conditions and a fun course to play.

The South Course opened in 1950 and was designed by Press Maxwell.  This 18 meanders through native Texas trees and landscapes is the more traditional of the two courses - a tad tighter off the tee box, not as many forced carries, smaller greens, and little to no development.  It's 320 yards shorter from the tips, has 4 tee boxes, and is considered a stroke or two easier than South. 

The North Course was designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge and it's a more modern design with several forced carries, extensive bunkering, fairly open landing zones off the tee boxes, and elevated greens that put a premium on the approach shots.  The five tee boxes and yardages of 4897 to 7020 yards make the course fair for all skill levels or provide a challenging round if you bite off more than you can chew. The North Course is regarded as one of the toughest courses in San Antonio.

The North Course at The Club at Sonterra plays through some beautiful homes and lots of trees and colorful plants.  The design does a great job of leveraging the native terrain and creating some great holes, for example:

  • #1 is the #3 handicap and it's a 571 yard beauty with an elevated tee box and a carry over the brush and trees followed by a dogleg right and a scary approach shot past 6 bunkers (two very long and skinny ones on the right) leading to an elevated green
  • #9 is a fun 426 yard par 4 (number 1 handicap) that turns left around a left and right side bunker then down and across a pond to the green - a shot makers hole
  • #16 is short at 372 yards and it will temp you to risk flying a bunker and hitting a raised fairway to get closer to the green
  • #17 is a beautiful hole with a scenic and challenging approach shot over a cascading rock waterfall filling a pond in front of a significantly elevated green

Speaking of the greens most are raised and well-guarded putting a premium on your approach shot. They are all large, a variety of shapes, and have some subtle to not so subtle slope.  When we played they were in very good condition, held the ball very well, and they ran true and at a good speed of around 9 or so. 

The North Course at The Club at Sonterra fairways were also in great condition.  They leverage the gently rolling terrain and they are firm providing lots of extra roll.  They are wide and generous off the tee box but get somewhat tighter on the second shot.  The rough was wide and playable and in pretty good condition with a few bare spots.  Miss both the fairway and rough and you could be lost in the trees and brush or in a back yard.

The bunkers are all shapes and sizes from some small pot like bunkers to some long skinny bunkers.  Most of the bunkers are guarding the greens and easy to find.  The faces range from a foot or so to some steep and deep monsters.  The sand is ok, not great - a little heavy and very thin. 

Bottom line - a good quality course in very good condition.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,070 74.7 137
Gold 6,601 72.3 132
Blue 6,156 70.0 125
White 5,435 66.4 119
Red 4,897 70.3 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.5
Fairway Condition
8.7
Bunker Condition
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 72 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Beauty:
8.7
Difficulty:
9.2
Variety:
8.7
Fun to Play:
9.2
Value:
9.0
Condition:
8.6
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
8.8
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: Under $10,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600

Service is ok, the proshop is very well stocked with everything you need to look good and play well. the 19th hole serves some good food. The practice facilities are 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. 

 

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