Maxwell Golf Course is owned and operated by the City of Abilene and the course does its best to leverage the natural terrain to try and deliver an interesting and fun round of golf. Which means the fairways are perfectly flat with a pockets of trees lining them and there aren't a lot of memorable or unique holes. Maxwell Golf Course was built in the 30’s and like most older courses, it’s short by today’s standards (6129 yards from the tips), very traditional with no tricks, and gives you an opportunity to turn in a good score.
The fairways are flat and a number of them are side by side, which sometimes give you a good opportunity to recover and stuff it on the green if the fairway doglegs and if you can fly the trees. To keep you on your game, you’ll encounter 9 dog legs, one fairway that horseshoe around a creek, and one boomerang shaped hole. One some of the dog legs, you’ll be presented with a good risk reward opportunity if you think you can fly the trees – and if you make it, you’ll be a chip shot away from, or maybe even on the green. For example, #3 is a 349 yard par 4 that dog legs left and gives you a shot at hitting the green if you can fly the trees.
We thought the fairways were a little tight and in a number of cases you needed to be accurate off the tee box if you wanted to be on in regulation. And most of the holes are short; so long hitters really need to manage club selection. Wind can also make Maxwell Golf Course a little tougher than you expect.
Where you need to deploy your “A” game is on stuffing it on the green and getting the ball in the cup in less than 3 stokes. When we played in late January, the greens were running about a 12 or more – they normally run fast but around a 10 or so. Most of the greens are average size but the majority of them have severe slope (typically back to front) and some have slope and undulation, making it even more difficult to control your putts. A lot of the greens are elevated and since it’s hard to get the ball to hold, a bump and run strategy seemed to work ok. Practice putting before you head out!
When we played in January, the greens and fairways were dormant but the greens were in very good condition and pretty true if you could judge the speed. The fairways were dry and a little rough (maybe a 7 out of 10) and the rough was pretty rough – a combo of grass, dirt, and gravel. The good news is that the dry flat conditions give you a lot of roll and extra yardage.
There are only 8 bunkers and all of them line one side of the green. They range in size, have a small lip and they weren’t in very good condition – thin, hard, gritty sand and some grass popping through the sand.
A stream lines some of the holes and if you spray the ball, you’ll be gone. A small pond can also come into play on a couple holes and look closely at the scorecard to find a couple hidden small dry creek beds that cross the fairway near the green.
Bottom line – Maxwell Golf Course is affordable, can be challenging thanks to narrow fairways, wind, and challenging greens.
Rates: $25.00 to $35.00
The pro shop has the basics but the food is limited to some microwave items and hot dogs. There is a driving range and putting green. Service is friendly. The facilities are dated, but who cares, you’re here for the love of golf. Pace of play can be a little slow - the course stays pretty busy.
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.