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 Grand Lake opened in 2003 as a private club. The back nine, designed by Jeff Bloom opened in 2007. The good news is that some improvements to the greens (new TIF Eagle) and some other changes were made in September 2009 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 you play around some huge multi-acred estate homes, marsh land, and woods.
The fairways were in good condition and most were heavily contoured and rolling with mounds, valleys, and spines. A lot of the holes have a links feel to them - open and forgiving fairways, natural areas on both sides, and littered with palm or other trees and vegetation. The rough is playable, but if you miss it and the fairway, kiss your ball goodbye, take a penalty stroke, and carry on.
The greens were in very good condition, about average size, a bit hard to hold, pretty fast, and most had some slope. We did find them easy to read and very true. Putting didn't seem to be the challenge on Grand Lake!
With 5 sets of tee boxes, the yardage varies from 5350 to 7202 and the slope ranges from 128 to 142 - this course is no walk in the park and you might want to move up one tee box the first time you play it. It will throw a lot of stuff at you that makes Grand Lake very fun, interested, and challenging to play. Each hole is different and unique and has its own set of challenges. You'll find dog legs, an island green, marshes, ponds, creeks, mounds/berms, strategically placed hazards with soft thick sand, ravines and natural areas to carry, and more to keep you on your game. Course management and shot making are needed to score well here. But don't let the challenges at Grand Lake discourage you from playing this fantastic course.
Some examples of what makes Grand Lakes both fun and challenging include: #9 a 525 yard par five leading to a narrow cashew shaped green that is well protected with natural areas, bunkers, and a creek and challenging you to go for it on your second shot; #3, the number one handicap is a short but challenging par 4 383 yard dog leg left that requires a precise drive to nail the landing zone and then an uphill shot to a very well protected green; and #11 is a real beaut - from an elevated tee box you get a good look at what you're up against which includes two ravines/creeks to carry, trees along the right side, three left side bunkers, and a well protected green. We loved this course and wanted to keep playing, even though it was dark! Can't wait to get back and play it again.
Rates: $45.00 to $25.00
The pro shop is in a temporary shed and as such there is no food or golf gear and accessories. We played on a Sunday and there wasn't a cart lady, nor is there a practice range or putting green. All of these are in the planning process. But you don't c
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.