Cleburne Golf Links Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Website · Locate This Course

Img_7256 Img_7259 Img_7284

Cleburne Golf Links Review

The old Cleburne Municipal Golf Course was recently completely redesigned and redone and opened in July 2009. Cleburne may be home to the only true Scottish links course in the metroplex - its got a real links feel, plays along the water, has lots of native grass, and is usually very windy - reminds one of the links courses in Ireland. The course was designed by John Colligan, a local who has also designed Mansfield National and Squaw Valley - another couple great courses.

John's philosophy is that "golf should be enjoyed, not endured" - cheers to that philosophy. He made that happen at Cleburne Golf Links - with 5 sets of tee boxes (one of which is a juniors at 2695 yards), scratch golfers will get all they want at 7068 yards with longer carries off the box and the rest of us can choose a tee box that fits our skill levels. We found the Cleburne Golf Links to be pretty easy and we had a good enjoyable round - the fairways are forgiving, the rough is wide and playable, there are no bunkers to contend with, and the greens are fast but true. The wind helped on the front and was manageable on the back. You have a view of Lake Pat Cleburne from every hole and a lot of the holes play along the water, but it only causes problems on 4 holes. Six holes are doglegs and the rest are mostly what-you-see is what-you-get - pretty open and straight. Bottom line, this is a course where you can relax, not get beat up, and have a an opportunity to score very well.

There are some fun holes, like the 585 yard par 5 number 5 which has a fairway split by trees and rough - the left side approach is safer but narrow and the right is riskier but shorter. The green is huge because it is a shared green with #12 - go for the front flag. Number 8 is a picturesque 160 yard par three. #4 gives you a good risk reward opportunity - the more confidence you have in your drive, the more you can try to bite off and carry over the water and native areas to shorten this fun 320 yard par 4. #11 is another good hole - 564 yards that plays shorter if you can hug the left side or you can risk the right side narrow approach as the water cuts in splitting the fairway leading to the green.


When we played in August, two months after the course opened, we were pleasantly surprised with the course maturity and very good conditions of the greens, rough, and fairways. The City of Cleburne can be proud - they have done this course right - the clubhouse is first class, the staff is professional and very friendly, the food is tasty and reasonably priced, the deck is excellent with scenic views, and the practice facilities are good. All in all, a very enjoyable round of golf.


When we played, Cleburne Golf Links had not yet been rated, so the slope and rating are not available. Residents of Cleburne have a lower published rate, making this course a very good value.

Img_7270 Img_7274 Img_7304

Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,068 0.0 0
Blue 6,140
White 5,399
Gold 6,667
Red 2,695

Course Information

Course Architect:
John Colligan
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Course Map
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$32.00 to $50.00

Good, friendly service.



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. 


About Texas Outside

Texas Outside has been alive & well since 1996 - that's ancient by today's internet standards! Texas Outside was originally developed by Lone Star Internet which is an Austin based web development company with an excellent reputation & client base. In March of 2006, we purchased Texas Outside & made a commitment to add new, exciting, & informative content on Texas outdoor activities & fun things to see & do.

Read More >>>

Contact Us

Please feel free to send us your suggestions.

Suggestions or Comments: