Review of Canongate at Magnolia Creek - England Golf Course
Canongate at Magnolia Creek in League City is home to three 9 hole courses that were designed by Thomas E Clark and are about as similar and authentic as you can get to St. Andrews, North Berwick, and Royal County Down. Each of the three nines - England, Scotland, and Ireland - are truly unique to Texas and they capture the best of the British Isles. Even the flag poles are wooden like you'll find across the pond. The Magnolia Creek Courses are characterized by dramatic mounding, deep entrenched bunkers, spacious rolling contoured fairways, native grasses, challenging green complexes, and at times, strong winds.
Canongate at Magnolia Creek is a private club and part of a portfolio of 4 other excellent Canongate Golf Club courses in Texas - read our review of Lake Windcrest, Oaks, Panther Trails, Magnolia Creek's Scotland Course (we haven't played the Ireland nine yet), and South Shore Harbour's Shore Course, also one nine of three nines. All courses are private and available for play at a reasonable monthly and one time initiation fee. Or you can play the courses as part of a stay and play package at two different resorts - read our review of Woodlands Resort Stay & Play and South Shore Harbour Stay & Play Package to learn more.
Magnolia Creek's England Course is outstanding and a real joy to play - if you like links style courses this is as good as it gets! Excellent conditions, unique and fun holes each of which is different, dramatic mounding, roller coaster fairways, lots of bunkers, and very challenging green complexes.
Some of our favorite holes on the England Nine included:
When we played Canongate at Magnolia Creek's England Course it was just starting to go dormant but the fairways were in very good condition. They are firm and range from ample to tight and somewhat flat to mini roller coasters. All have lots of strategically placed bunkers and tall tough mounds that you want to avoid. The rough is ample and ranges from playable to pretty thick.
The greens were also in excellent shape and ranged from small to about average and all have some slope which ranges from manageable to a steep roll back down to the fairway or rough. The fringe is wide and puttable. The England Course Greens were running at a great speed of around 11, were very true, and some of the tiers and breaks can cause three putts. All the greens are well guarded, most are raised, and bump and runs work well if you can run around or through the bunkers.
The bunkers seem to be everywhere, but most of them are easy to avoid if you play smart and can hit the ball fairly straight. Most are oval pot type bunkers with some steep faces. The sand is excellent - soft, thick, and fluffy.
Bottom line - one of the best, if not the best, links courses in Texas and a must play if you're in the Houston area.
Slope and rating are based on playing the England and Scotland nines.
The service is good, the pro shop is well stocked, and the 22 acre practice facilities are excellent. The grill has a wide variety of choices and a pint of Irish ale waiting for you after your round.
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.