Big Easy Ranch Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.4

Golf - Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 27
Columbus
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: August 25, 2018

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Big Easy Ranch Review

Review and Rating of The Big Easy Ranch Golf Course in Columbus, Texas

Big Easy Ranch Golf Course is a Chet Williams designed championship par 3 nine hole course just a few miles north of Columbus and 70 miles west of Houston.  The golf course was carved out some beautiful undulating terrain and it plays through strands of tall stately century-old oaks plus other hardwoods such as maple, post oak, and cedar: It winds around several ponds with water features and you'll encounter small creeks with several cascading waterfalls. Beautiful!

Not only is the course one of the most scenic we have played in Texas, but it's also home to well manicured and maintained fairways, sparkling white sand bunkers, and challenging green complexes in near perfect condition.  You're out in the country and playing on some of the 1300 acres of Big Easy Ranch which makes it quiet and peaceful - no homes, no traffic noise, no loud airplanes or sirens, and no dogs!  It's not surprising that Big Easy Ranch Golf Course made our list of the Best of the Best Courses in Texas and the Best Nine-Hole Courses in Texas.

Even though Big Easy Ranch Golf Course is an executive championship nine-hole golf course, it's no walk in the park and it'll challenge golfers of all skill levels.  Some of what makes this course both fun and challenging includes:

  • yardages from the tips that range from 135 to 253 yards - the average yardage is 174 yards - and you need to be precise to shoot par
  • water and creeks can come into play on 7 of the nine holes
  • the green complexes are challenging with little room for error
  • the bunkers do a superb job of guarding the bunkers 
  • there are several uphill and downhill shots
  • each hole is unique and a little different from the others

The well-bunkered greens at Big Easy Ranch Golf Course were designed in the tradition of classic courses such as Augusta National, Cypress Point, and Pebble Beach.  For a par 3 course, the greens seemed a little larger than most other par 3 courses.  But they are raised and undulating, with slope and ridges and tiers, and all are well guarded with one to four bunkers. When we played they were in excellent condition, held the ball well, were smooth and true, and ran at a good speed of around nine or so. 

The Big Easy Ranch Golf Course bunkers have soft and deep white sand, fairly steep faces, and they range in size and shape from small pot bunkers to some big monsters you'll want to avoid.  They were perfect when we played - well maintained and manicured.

The fairways are rolling and undulating and were also in near perfect condition when we played.  They are bordered by ponds, creeks, and native brush that's typical of the Texas coastal plains including post oak and yaupon.  Miss the fairway and you're in a playable but thick 1st cut - miss that and your most likely lost.

Some of the holes that we loved included:

  • #1 sets the stage for what you can expect during your round - it's the shortest hole at 135 yards but it has an elevated tee box, a pond to carry, a creek with cascading waterfalls on each side of the green that leads to the pond in front of a green that's oblong and sloping and guarded by a bunker on the left - what a beauty!
  • #2 is a challenging uphill 193 yard shot with a creek splitting the fairway which is tight on the left side and wider on the right but a tree in the middle of the fairway can cause trouble if your ball goes right - study this hole closely before you tee off - it's risky to go straight for the green
  • #8 is another fun hole which demands a 152-yard accurate shot to carry the lake, miss the front bunker and the two back bunkers, and land on an oblong left to right sloping green

In addition to a superb course, Big Easy Ranch is the "ultimate sporting experience" and it's home to upscale lodging, clay shooting, gourmet dining, superb service, hunting, and fishing plus lots of special events throughout the year.  Plus you can take a lesson from PGA legend Hal Sutton (winner of 14 PGA Tour titles including two TPC titles and Ryder Cup captain) at his Hal Sutton state of the art golf academy.  Read our review of Big Easy Ranch to learn more about why you need to visit the Ranch and consider becoming a member.  The course is private but playable if you stay in one of the casitas and take advantage of at least one other outdoor activity.  What are you waiting for, call and book a room and tee time!

Head Pro's Corner


 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 1,570
Blue 1,083
Gold 1,338

Course Information

Course Architect:
Chet Williams
Greens Type:
Mini Verde
Greens Condition
10.0
Greens Difficulty
8.5
Fairway Condition
10.0
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes, but a little hilly
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 26 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.4 out of 10
Beauty:
10.0
Difficulty:
8.7
Variety:
9.2
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
8.0
Condition:
10.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.7
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Initiation Fees: $10,001 to $25,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400

The range is one of the prettiest that I've seen - rolling terrain, bunkers, and trees. The Lodge is home to a bar and superb meals. Hal Sutton's Golf Academy has state of the art technology to improve your swing, club fitting equipment, and everything you need to look good during your round. Service is immpecable but cart service is not available.

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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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