Los Rios Country Club is a public course that was designed in 1974 by Texas golf legend Don January. Los Rios has had some challenges in the past, but in 2008 a private investor bought the course and has made some needed changes to improve course conditions and the overall golf experience. And they seem very committed to a plan to make Los Rios both more fun as well as more challenging.
Los Rios is a fairly traditional layout with mostly straight live oak lined fairways, some of which are side by side, and most of which are wide and forgiving with a playable rough. You'll find water from a meandering creek plus eight ponds that can come into play, which forces you to hit it straight and manage your club selection to avoid getting wet. This is generally a "what you see is what you get" eighteen with a couple deep ravines cut by the creek that you need to keep a sharp eye out for.
Los Rios is relatively short at 6472, the bunkers are pretty flat, and the greens range from small to average size. You'll find a couple uphill greens and downhill drives and some slight dog legs, but other than that its a straight forward layout where if you can keep the ball in play you can score well. Los Rios has some great par three's where club selection and pin point accuracy are critical on the five fun and challenging par 3s, most of which are surrounded by water - if you're short, long, right or left, you've got a problem.
When we played in January the course was dormant but the fairways and rough were in good shape and well maintained and the greens were great. Most of the greens seem small to about size and have some minor slope and a couple had undulation - speed was about average. The flat-faced bunkers need some work and management told us that they are on the list to things to do and over the next year some of the bunkers will be removed and the remaining bunkers will all restored to new condition and properly maintained.
Compared to a couple years ago, the new owner has made some significant improvements and seems very committed to improving the playability and user experience of a round at Los Rios. If you're looking for a good round at a reasonable price where you have a chance to score well, give Los Rios a try.
Since our review is a little dated, Duke January, the Head Pro at Los Rios wanted to add the following comments:
10 months ago we rebuilt all of the Los Rios greens along with the practice greens. The old 328 Bermuda greens were replaced with the latest and greatest Mini Verdi Hybrid Bermuda.
We also built a new tee box on the island green #6 and now it truly plays as an island green. In addition, there has been extensive drainage work completed within the past two years.
Rates: $39.00 to $45.00
Service is friendly, food is ok, and the pro shop and practice facilities are adequate.
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.