Review of Grand Pines Golf Club at Bentwater
Sitting on 1400 acres between San Houston National Forest and over a mile of shoreline on beautiful Lake Conroe, Bentwater is a gated master planned community with lots of amenities (yacht club and marina, fitness center, tennis courts, country club and restaurant, and day spa) and 54 spectacular holes of golf.
Each of the three courses is a little different from the others and each has it's own unique personality:
Grand Pines is a stunning course on 182 acres surrounded by Sam Houston National Forest and it was designed by Jeff Blume to preserve the natural beauty of the area - which means there will never be any homes, yards, streets, or barking dogs - it's just you, nature, and lots of stuff to challenge your golf game.
Here are a few of the reasons why we love this course and why it made our list of the Best Private Courses in Texas:
Some of what you'll encounter during your round on Grand Pines includes: very challenging green complexes that require some precise approach shots; forced carries over water and natural areas; a 2 inch or more rough that is difficult to hit from; some uphill as well as downhill shots; strategically placed bunkers; some risk reward opportunities; plenty of contour, undulation, and mounding in the fairways creating some uneven lies; tight to wide-open landing zones; dense forest that will devour your golf ball if you spray it. Sounds challenging, and it is, but Grands is fair but does require some shot making and strategic play!
The layout is outstanding and there are some really fun holes, for example:
When we played Bentwater's Grand Pines in August, it was in excellent condition from tee box to the cup and meticulously maintained. The fairways were lush, plush, and soft and the rough was around 2'' and challenging but in very good condition.
The greens at Grand Pines are huge, fast at around 11, but fairly soft and true. Most are raised (making a bump and run very difficult) and well guarded with water, bunkers, slope, swales, or mounds - putting a premium on your approach shots. A few of the greens were still recovering from some minor winter damage around the fringe (like 95% of the courses in Texas) but the greens were still very playable.
The bunkers range from small pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters. Some are very step and deep and others have a thin lip that you might get lucky and bounce out of. The sand is soft and thick and a joy to hit from.
Bottom line - a fantastic layout that is fair but demanding, top notch service, and excellent conditions.
Initiation Fees: $40,001 to $55,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600
Service is excellent, the practice facilities are good, the pro shop has everything you need, and the clubhouse has a good restaurant.
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!
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.