Review and Rating of Great Hills Country Club in Austin
Great Hills Country Club is a private, non-profit member-owned club and is one of those hidden gems that you ask "where have you been all my life?" Wow, what a fantastic layout with excellent conditions, unexpected elevation changes, great greens, and lots of memorable holes - all of which is coupled with good service.
Great Hills Country Club was designed by Don January and opened for play in the late 1970s. The course blends into and leverages the rolling hills, a creek, and scenic vistas as it traverses up and down the Austin hills dotted with some huge beautiful homes. Some of what we think makes Great Hills well worth the initiation and monthly fees includes:
When we played in January, the course was in excellent condition. The greens at Great Hills Country Club were near perfect and the Club claims that they are "the best Champion Grass greens in Texas." They were smooth and ran at a good speed of around ten (normal speed throughout the year is 10 to 11, held the ball well, and ran true, if you could read some of the subtle breaks. The are a variety of shapes and sizes (ranging from 3,500 to 6,500 square feet) and have lots of slope, undulation, and contour. Plus the greens have some tiers, several are raised, all are guarded by one to three bunkers, and a few require huge uphill shots (add one to two club lengths) to reach them - we added a lot of strokes because we didn't know the greens well enough!
The fairways at Great Hills Country Club were also in very good condition and during the summer I would imagine they are close to near perfect. The fairways range from tight to wide open and the rough is wide and playable. All of the fairways have slope and contour that you need to manage. Miss the rough and you're in the hills, under the trees, in the creek, or in the back yard of a beautiful huge home.
The bunkers are about average, with thick soft sand, and lips that range from small to challenging. They are strategically placed in the fairway and guard all sides of the greens.
Some of the holes that we really liked included:
Bottom Line - a fantastic private course with lots of variety, scenic vistas, huge elevation changes, and excellent conditions
Initiation Fees: Under $10,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600
Service is very good. The practice facilities are more than adequate. The Country Club is home to a restaurant, tennis courts, fitness center, and swimming pool. The website has a great tour of the holes. In 2015 40 plus tee boxes will be re-leveled and enlarged.
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.