Grand Lake Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.9

Golf - Semi Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Montgomery
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Grand Lake Golf Club Review

Review & Rating of Grand Lakes Golf Club in Montgomery, Texas

Grand Lake Golf Course is one of those courses that you walk off and say "where have you been all my golfing life - I'm glad I finally found you!" Gary Player designed the original nine holes and the course opened in 2003 as a private club. Another nine holes were designed by Jeff Blume opened in 2007.  In September 2009, improvements were made to the greens (new TIF Eagle) along with some other changes and Grand Lake opened for public play!

What a fantastic layout through some very unique and unusual Texas terrain. At times we couldn't believe we were in Texas - we thought we were in Florida as we duffed our way through the swaying palm trees, pines, natural areas, and wetland marshes. The first seven holes wind through the trees and it's unbelievably serene, quiet, and peaceful. At seven, the terrain changes and opens up as you play past some huge multi-acred estate homes, marshland, and woods.

Each nine is very different in part because of two different designers and significant differences in the terrain.  The Gary Player designed holes include what is now holes 7 through 15 and Blume designed holes holes 1 through 6 and 16 through 18.  The greens on the Player holes are smaller and Blume nine requires more target golf.

The front nine is 200 to 300 yards longer from each of the 5 sites of tee boxes (2786 to 3729 yards), has 32 bunkers, water on 6 holes, and it's a par 37 with 3 par 5s.  Some of the holes that we really liked on the front nine included:

  • #3 is a fun 383-yard dogleg left - it's easy to overrun the fairway and end up lost in the trees, so play your shot left and over the mounds and then you'll have an easy downhill shot over a creek to a green with a big bunker on the back left side
  • #8 is a challenging 162-yard par 3 island green with little room for error
  • #9 is a fun 525-yard par 5 with a slight dogleg left and then a sharp left over a creek to the green 

The back nine seems a little easier (par 35), a little more open, and in not quite as good condition as the front.   Some of our favorite holes on this nine are:

  • #11 is a 474-yard par 4 with a slightly elevated tee box, a natural area to carry off the tee box, a gully and natural area that will catch your ball 100 yeards in the green which is guarded by large left and right bunkers
  • #18 is fun - a 408-yard 90-degree dogleg right and downhill across a creek to a green guarded by 4 bunkers - a great risk-reward shot off the tee box if you think you can miss a huge and carry some trees to significantly shorten the hole

The fairways were not in the best condition (a mix of grass, weeds, and a few bare spots) and they range from tight and tree-lined to wide-open landing zones.  All the fairways are heavily contoured and rolling with mounds, valleys, and several forced carries over natural areas and creeks. The fairways were firm and dry, which means lots of extra roll.  The rough is thin and playable, but if you miss it and the fairway, kiss your ball goodbye, take a penalty stroke, and carry on.

The greens were in fair condition, a  wide variety of shapes and sizes, and most are raised and guarded by bunkers, mounds, and/or swales.  Most of the greens were easy to read and they ran true but a little slow - around an 8 or so.

The bunkers on front nine had good sand (soft and a tad thin) and steep faces.  They ranged in size from some small pot bunkers to some huge nasty monsters.  The bunkers on the back were not in very good condition and several were overgrown with weeds and grass because they are being converted to grass bunkers or swales.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,202 75.2 142
Blue 6,505 71.9 136
White 6,079 69.9 124
Gold 6,842 73.0 139
Red 5,350 72.0 128

Course Information

Course Architect:
Gary Player/Jeff Blume
Greens Type:
Tif Eagle
Greens Condition
7.8
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
7.0
Bunker Condition
7.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
No
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 45 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.9 out of 10
Beauty:
8.8
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
9.5
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
7.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
8.7
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$46.00 to $46.00

The pro shop is in a shed and as such, there is no food or golf gear and accessories. There is no range or putting green. The staff is very friendly and outgoing.

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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. 

 

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.

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