Review of Llano River Golf Course in Llano
Llano River Golf Course is one of those sleepers and a pleasant surprise - a real bargain, some fun and challenging holes, scenic, and enjoyable to play. The course is suitable for all levels of play - long hitters will find it short but troublesome because it's tight, juniors and new players with find it fun, it's fair for the ladies, and average players might be able to turn in a good score.
The City of Llano owns and runs the course which opened as a nine-hole course in the '30s. The back nine was added in 1996. The front nine is fantastic - it's fun; challenging thanks to elevation changes, tight fairways, dog legs, and trees blocking some shots; each hole is a little different; there is lots of variety; and it's scenic with the trees and Llano River as a backdrop. The terrain on the front nine is rolling hills and this nine takes maximum advantage of the terrain giving you some scenic views of the hill country and the Llano River and several uphill as well as downhill shots as well as ravines and valleys to cross. Some of the holes we liked on the front nine at Llano River Golf Club included:
The back nine is very traditional with nothing really unusual or exciting. The holes are straight and "what you see is what you get." Most of the holes are side-by-side so keep an eye out for fellow golfers who think taking your fairway may be a better approach to the green - seems that I am typically one of those guys but it's because I spray the ball! The back is a little longer than the front but still short at 2294 to 3198 yards but plays easier because of no elevation changes and if you survive the first three holes and can hit the ball straight, you're likely to have a very good round on this nine.
A couple of holes that we liked on the back included:
When we played in May the fairways were ok but had some bare and a mixture of grasses and weeds Trees line all of the fairways and they range from sparse and easy to chip back to the fairway to thick and dense ball eaters. Some of the fairways are pretty tight and you might want to keep the big dog in the bag. The rough can be pretty rough and a mixture of grass and dirt and weeds - when we played it was thick and challenging.
The bunkers were washed away in the significant flood in October 2018 and they are now swales and grass bunkers.
The greens at Llano River Golf Club are going to cause you some challenges. They range from small to about average and they are a variety of interesting shapes - pin placement can be a killer thanks to slope, contour, and undulation! A lot of the greens on the back are elevated and because of the size may be hard to hold. They were running at a good speed and ran true if you can read the breaks. The greens were in pretty good condition - most of the greens had some damage around the perimeter but nothing that impacts your putting.
Bottom line - well worth playing and a good value and family friendly.
Rates: $33.00 to $33.00
Service is very friendly, the pro shop sells golf balls, soft drinks, and snacks only. The entire facility is very dated and in need of some upgrading. There is a putting green and a driving range.
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.