Review of La Torretta Golf Course
New owners, Margaritaville, will be closing La Torretta in May for renovations and improvements. Plans are to reopen in 2020!
The golf course at La Torretta Resort & Spa, which sits on the edge of Lake Conroe about an hour north of Houston, is one of the many outstanding amenities of the Resort that you can enjoy during a stay at the Resort. This course was previously Del Lago Resort Golf Course and the conditions had deteriorated significantly prior to La Torretta purchasing the resort. As a part of a major resort renovation, Jeffery Blume was hired to redo and improve the golf course. Some of the improvements included: changing a brutal par 4 into a more enjoyable par 5 with a great risk reward opportunity, adding 150 yards to the total yardage, repositioning some of the greens, and in general bringing the course up to modern standards plus improving the visual presentation, maintainability, and playability.
La Torretta Golf Course meanders through the hardwoods, beside some of the La Torretta Golf Villas, and past some residential homes. The fairways are lined on both sides with tall pines and most of the fairways are fairly tight requiring accuracy off the tee box unless you enjoy playing in the shade of the pine trees (not a bad idea on a hot summer Texas day) and under the pine straw beds in the rough. If you do find the trees, the good news is that in most cases you'll find your ball and be able to run it back out to the fairway. In addition to being a little narrow, the fairways are gently rolling with some contour and slope, have strategically placed fairway bunkers, and enough water to gain your attention.
The front nine is very fun and a little tougher than the back thanks to some huge bunkers, dog legs, water, well guarded greens, fairway mounds, and grass hollows. For example:
The back nine is more scenic, not quite as tight, and has three fun par 3's and a fantastic signature hole with a cascading waterfall. On this nine you'll also find some forced carries, dog legs, and elevated greens and tee boxes. #18 is a memorable finishing hole - a slight downhill dog leg right, with a risk reward tee shot, and a very tough approach shot to an elevated green with a huge oblong bunker and water on the right side.
The La Torretta Golf Course greens are huge with subtle breaks thanks to both slope and undulation. When we've played, they ranged from fast (10 to 11 on the Stimpmeter) to average (around 8 to 9) and were very hard to hold - bump and run is the best strategy to land close to the pin.
The bunkers have soft thick white sand and range in size from small pot bunkers to huge, long beaches! Speaking of dry, cart service is only available on the weekends, but coolers are available.
The fairways range from tight to tighter - keep the big dog in the bag if you tend to spray the ball. They were in pretty good condition the last time we played - like most courses in a hot Texas summer they had some brown spots and were firm giving you some good roll.
Bottom line, this is a fun track with a good layout that will test your skills - make sure you warm up on the putting green and the range and pick the right set of tee boxes the first time you play. La Torretta Resort & Spa is fantastic and they have some very attractive stay and play packages with golf villas or rooms at the resort. To learn more about the resort read our Review of La Torretta Resort & Spa.
Rates: $29.00 to $69.00
Service was friendly but slow when we played over Memorial Day weekend, which is one of the busiest weekends for them. Pace of play is excellent, the pro shop has all the basics, the range and putting green are adequate, and the food is good but limited.
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.