Review of High Meadow Ranch Golf Club
When you take a right into High Meadow Ranch, on your way to the pro shop you pass some humongous beautiful homes on one to three acres of perfectly manicured lawns and you start to sense that you may be in for a fantastic experience if High Meadow Ranch Golf Club is half as nice as all the multi million dollar homes you just passed. And you won’t be disappointed. The course is very well manicured, lush and green, in near perfect condition, and the layout is fantastic. High Meadow Ranch meanders through large stands of native pine trees, towering oaks, dense hardwoods, and natural ravines. The course was voted "Best New Course" by Golf Courses of Texas Magazine, Golf Digest ranked it "23rd best in Texas," and was ranked #1 public course in Houston for 2005.
High Meadows Ranch breaks the course into 3 6 hole sections. The score card is also in 3 sections which was very confusing for this old man – my score on what I thought was nine holes looked great until I realized we had only played 6! Same thing happened after adding the two 6 hole totals - I should have quit then and I would have had a great round - albeit only 12 holes. The first six is the Forrest Loop which meanders through a forest of majestic oaks and towering pines and across several natural ravines. The next 6 is the Pine Barren Loop which plays across the upper ridge lines with large fairway landing zones, sweeping greens, and native grass waste areas on what was once land mined for iron ore. And the final six (Signature Loop) offers a combination of elevation changes, deep woods and native areas. The first 6 holes are fun and very pretty, the next six are a little more challenging, and the last 6 are very good and a fantastic finishing hole.
In general, the fairways are generous and in most cases you can pull the driver out and let it rip. Even if you miss the fairway, the rough was cut thin and very playable. Some holes require you to think before you blast away, for example, number 4 (appropriately named Spit Personality) is a split fairway with what appears to be a safer right side - not true if you error right into the creek and waste error between the fairways or spay it left or long into the trees. The right side is tree lined and comes to a narrower slot about where your drive wants to land, leaving you little room for error and if it's not a near perfect drive, you may not be able to see the green or could be in the trees on the right or waste area on the left. I had no clue which side to take, but finally decided on the left and proceeded to smash it right dead center into the creek and waste area splitting the fairway!
The Bermuda fairways are in excellent condition and most have a spattering of absolutely beautiful huge homes – don’t worry, they are set back quite a ways off the fairway and are very well protected by all the trees in front of them, so it would be hard to do any damage except compress the grass with your lost ball or knock some of the bark off the tall pines, or stun one of the residents birds, squirrels, or deer.
The greens were aerated on the day we played and as such we had to putt through some punched holes and sand, but we were shocked at how true, smooth, and fast they were after having just been aerated. They must be fantastic and lighting fast under normal conditions. Green size varied from humoungous to pretty small or narrow and oblong. And most greens had a lot of slope and some undulation – a couple were like a roller coaster ride – and all were very well protected. Number 8 for example, is a beautiful par 4 488 yard dog left with a pond down most of the right side and the green is oblong with the pond along the whole front side and a couple traps protecting the left and back. The bunkers are everywhere and of various shapes and sizes and all are in the process of being redone with soft white sand.
If the scenic beauty, the lush well manicured fairways, or the challenging greens, don’t make you want to come back, then wanting to play #18 one more time, most likely will get you to return over and over again to play this great course. Number 18 is one of the best finishing holes in Texas - it's a par 4 ranging from 284 to 441 yards that requires you to carry a creek off the tee box (pretty easy), stay in the rolling and sloping fairway (tends to slope to the middle, thank God), and come to a precise landing for a good approach to an oblong downhill green protected by a creek in front and a hill up the backside. Not that hard to par, fun to look at, and a joy to play.
Bottom line, High Meadow Ranch Golf Club is worth the price and a must play.
Rates: $45.00 to $75.00
Well stocked pro shop, good practice area and putting green, and nice clubhouse. We had head that service wasn't that good and on our visit we found it to be ok, not great.
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.