Blackhawk Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Blackhawk Golf Club Review

Review of Blackhawk Golf Club - Pflugerville, TX

Charles Howard and three time US Women's Open champion Hollis Stacey designed a fairly traditional and straightforward links style course (without the normal huge fairway mounds found on most links courses) in Pflugerville that opened in 1990.  In 2011 OnCourse Strategies, who has a portfolio of courses in Texas, bought Blackhawk and started making significant changes to improve the course conditions and playability.  Some of the changes included: redoing all of the irrigation; re-sodding over 12 acres; removing and redoing some of the bunkers; major work on the tee boxes (they had no grass at all in 2011); improved the turf grass coverage from 25% to 95%, and replaced 4 bridges. 

With 4 sets of tee boxes and yardages ranging from 5507 to 7072 you need to make sure you pick the right tee box and don't bite off more than you can chew.  The course can be demanding thanks to:

  • it plays longer than the yardage on the card due to the wind and some minor elevation changes
  • the 46 bunkers are strategically placed in the fairways and particularly around the greens
  • water can come into play on 13 holes
  • you'll need to be proficient in a variety of clubs

Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving off the tee box but you need to manage the wind direction and speed (it's usually blowing pretty good) which can change your club selection and the way you'll have to play the course. The 11 ponds and the creeks that cross the fairways on four holes can add several stokes to your round if you tend to spray the ball or not play strategically to avoid the water. 

Most of the holes on the front nine are pretty straightforward and you can see the pin from the tee box, but you may not see the creek or the bunkers guarding the greens.  This is a nine where you can turn in a good score if you play smart and manage the wind.  Some of the holes we liked on this nine include:

  • #2 is a 504 yard par 5 with a creek cutting across the front of the green which is set off to the left side of the fairway
  • #5 is a 199 yard par three that demands an accurate shot to avoid the pond on the left and the 3 bunkers surrounding the green
  • #9 is a blast and the #1 handicap - a slight downhill tee shot that needs to avoid the water on the left and the bunker and pond on the right and then a shot across the creek to a slight dog leg right green

We liked the back nine at Blackhawk Golf Club a lot more than the front - it has a little more variety and character, the greens seemed a little more challenging, club selection and course management are needed, and there are some great holes like:

  • #13 is a 533 yard par 5 dog leg left with a very challenging approach shot - a pond on each side of the fairway leading to a green that's guarded by a left and right side bunker
  • #17 is a fun hole - a 551 yard par 5 that takes a sharp turn right at a pond (long drives will get wet) than a slight uphill climb to a green with two big bunkers guarding the front - off the tee you'll have an excellent risk reward shot to significantly shorten the hole if you think you can avoid a mound with a couple trees and stay out of someone's backyard
  • you'll want to play 17 again and 18 is just as good - a long 430 yard par 4 with a sharp dog leg right with water on both sides of the fairway where it turns right to the green - your drive needs to be very accurate, if you're long you're wet or if you spray it right you're in trouble

Most of the fairways are wide open off the tee and ample the rest of the way to the pin.  Homes line one side of most of the fairways and if you spray it, you're in a yard with some kids or dogs!  When we played in November 2017 the fairways were very rough with lots of bare spots and mixture of grass, dirt, and weeds.

The greens at Blackhawk Golf Club were a variety of shapes and most were about average size - on the back nine there were a couple monster sized greens - and all but one are well guarded by one to three bunkers.  They were in pretty good shape, held the ball well, ran very true, and were a bit slow.  Most of the greens have minor slope but are easy to read.  Putting wasn't an issue for us.

The bunkers were about average size with lips ranging from a few inches to a couple feet.  The sand varied from soft and deep to thin, hard, and gritty.  Some of the bunkers needed some TLC.

Bottom line - a good quality links course that gives you an opportunity to have fun and a low scoring round at a very reasonable price.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,608 71.2 122
White 6,185 68.6 120
Gold 7,072 74.5 125
Red 5,507 71.0 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
Charles Howard & Hollis Stacey
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Fairly easy
Course Map
Beware of water on 13 holes and the 46 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$15.00 to $42.00

Service is good, the pro shop has the basics, and the range and putting green are adequate. The grill serves a variety of food.



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.