Brownsville Golf and Recreation Center Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.9

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 70
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Brownsville Golf and Recreation Center Review

Brownsville Golf Center Review and Rating

Brownsville Golf Center opened for play in the 1970's and in 1999 the City of Brownsville took over the management and operation of the course.  According to some members that we talked to, the condition of the course deteriorated but over the last couple years (2015 and 2016) the course conditions have improved 200%!  And the staff seems commited to continued improvements. 

The front nine of Brownsville Golf Center is a par 34 with three par 3s, a par 5, and 5 par 4s.  This nine is short at 2306 to 2765 yards with three tee boxes.  But it's no walk in the park - the greens are raised, there is water on all nine holes, the 10 grass bunkers can be troublesome, the fairways are a little tight, and approach shots need to be precise.  And the wind can cause lots of trouble.   We liked:

  • #3 is a 450 yard par 4 with a tough tee shot from the tips (water to carry and trees left and right pinch the fairway forcing you to fly them or tread the narrow slot between them) and there is water down the entire left side of the fairway
  • #4 has water down the entire left side of this 340 yard par 4 plus a tough approach thanks to water cutting into the left side of the fairway in front of the green and a couple trees that can block you shot to the green if you come in low and left

The back nine at Brownsvill Golf Center is a par 36, longer at 2785 to 3379 yards, has water on all nine holes, the fairways are wider, and the greens seemed a littler harder.  On this side our favorite holes included:

  • #16 is a challenging 403 yard par 4 (#2 handicap) with a tight fairway off the tee box thanks to out of bounds on the left and water on the right along the first half of the fairway, a dog leg left, and a tough approach to a raised green with water on the left and right side
  • #18 is a fun finishing hole with water where the ends and dog legs left and it's 601 yards long with more water close to the green on the right

When we played in January 2017 the fairways were ok with several bare spots.  The grass is thin and firm providing extra roll.  Most of the fairways at Brownsville Golf Center are tight to ample.  The rough was cut playable and also had several bare/dirt spots. Most of the fairways are lined by homes on one side and the backyards can come into play.

The greens were in pretty good shape - a coupls had some minor damage but nothing that would impact putting.  They are about average size, a variety of shapes, and most are raised.  You'll encounter some some and minor undulation.  The held the ball well, ran true, and were running around 9 when we played. 

There are no sand bunkers - hurray!  But there are several grass bunkers, most of them around the greens.  The grass is  a little thicker than the rough and lips range from 6 inches to 2 feet or so. 

Bottom line - well worth playing if you're in Brownsville - the rates are unbelievable, the conditions are getting better, and there are some fun and challenging holes.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,144 69.9 123
White 5,652 67.3 116
Red 5,091 70.3 122

Course Information

Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Flat and easy
Beware of water on 18 holes and the sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$15.00 to $20.00

The pro shop has a very limited supply of golf equipment. The practice facilities are ok. The staff is great!



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.