Howling Trails Golf Course - Holes 10 to 18 Review

Texas Outside Rating: 6.7

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
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Howling Trails Golf Course - Holes 10 to 18 Review

Review and Rating of Howling Trails Holes 10 to 18 in Mission, Texas

Howling Trails, which was previously known as Martin Valley, is home to 27 holes named 1 to 9, 10 to 18, and 19 to 27.  Each of the nines are very similar - flat terrain, side by side holes, and below average conditions - but the rates are only $20 per nine which includes a cart.  Here is a link to our review of 1 thru 9 and 19 thru 27.

In 2016, several holes were re-routed to make room for a new waterpark.  The waterpark also got most of the funds which had a significant impact on conditions at Howling Trails.  However, some dollars are freeing up in 2018 which will be used for new irrigation and other improvements. 

Howling Trails 10 to 18 is a par 36 with 3 tee boxes and yardages ranging from 2521 to 3172 - short by today's standards.  This nine also has 3 par 3s, 3 par 5s, and 3 par 4s.  The course is very traditional and straight-forward with the pin in view from most of the tee boxes, not a lot of trouble to contend with (2 bunkers and 4 water holes), and ample tree-lined fairways - which means if you're playing ok you should have a low scoring and relaxing round.  Except for the wind which can cause some big problems. 

A couple of the holes that we liked included:

  • #16 is a 511-yard par 5 and the #1 handicap hole thanks to a slight dog-leg right, a pond on the left at 150 yards out that stretches to a raised back to front sloping small oval green
  • #17 was fun - a slight dog-leg left 495-yard par 5

The greens at Howling Hills 10 to 18 were in pretty good shape - dormant but over-seeded with winter rye.  They range in size from average to small, have little to no undulation but some minor slope, they hold the ball well, and run true.  They are a little slow. 

The fairways are flat and very firm (lots of extra roll you need to plan for), generally ample, and lined by a few trees.  Other fairways line at least one side or both sides of each of the fairways - the good news is if you spray the ball you'll most likely have an easy recovery shot from the other fairway.  Due to funding, lots of play, dormant conditions, a freeze, a drought, and irrigation problems the fairways were in pretty poor condition with lots of bare and dirt spots.  The conditions on the other two nines seemed a little better. 

Bottom Line - not the best of conditions but the rates are low and the course is very playable for all skill levels - you should have a good fun round.

Head Pro's Corner


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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,172 72.2 114
White 2,887 69.4 110
Red 2,521 71.1 111

Course Information

Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Very easy
Course Map
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 2 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$15.00 to $20.00

The Pro Shop has shirts only but they can order any gear you want. The practice facilites are ok and the grill has reasonable prices for sandwiches to burgers.



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.