McAllen Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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McAllen Country Club Review

Review of McAllen Country Club

McAllen Country Club started as a private nine hole course in the early ‘20s and in 1946 the original course became McAllen Country Club and Jay Riviera was hired to add an additional 9 holes in 1968.  Today McAllen Country Club has a reputation as one of the finest golf courses in South Texas. 

McAllen Country Club remains a private club that can best be described, like most older courses, as a very traditional and straightforward Parkland style golf course with straight, flat, and rather tight tree lined fairways and small greens.  The course is short, with 4 tee boxes and yardages ranging from 5164 to 6454 yards but plays a little longer thanks to wind and elevation changes on the back nine.  

McAllen Country Club is “what-you-see is what-you-get” but puts a high premium on accuracy off the tee as well as on the approach.  All of the fairways are a little tight thanks to lots of stately sprawling trees and a few strategically placed fairway bunkers and the greens are very small and some are well guarded with one or two bunkers.  Once you hit the green, you best hope your putter is hot – the greens have plenty of slope and undulation.  Survive the tight fairways and challenging greens and you’ll have an enjoyable and relaxing round.

Some of what we liked about McAllen Country Club includes:

  • Course conditions from the tee boxes to the cup are very good
  • Pace of play is excellent – although the forecast was for rain, we only saw three other golfers on the course and tee times are seldom required
  • Play smart and you’ll have a very good round with a low score
  • The course is well maintained and manicured
  • You’ll find a couple risk reward shots, some forced carries over water off the tee and to the green, and a couple holes where you may be able to drive the green
  • The soft sand bunkers and great greens and a joy to play

The Tif Sport fairways are flat and mostly straight ahead to the green.  All of the McAllen Country Club fairways are tree lined and most are back and forth and side by side – meaning if you really spray your shot you’ll be in the adjoining fairway.  When we played in January, the fairways were in excellent condition as was the rough, which varied from playable to a tad thick.  Some of the fairways on the back slope down and back up what we were told is a three story elevation change – requiring you to club up or down appropriately. 

The Mini-Verde greens were also in excellent condition, a variety of shapes, and most are very small.  And all have plenty of slope and undulation, in fact around the perimeter of the greens is like a roller coaster.  When we played they were running around an 11 and were fast and true and held the ball very well. 

Like the rest of the course, the bunkers were in great condition with soft, thick, fluffy side that was a joy to hit out of.  Some bunkers are steep faced and others have a lip of 8 inches or so, meaning don’t expect to roll in and out. 

Bottom line – McAllen Country Club isn’t real memorable or unique but it’s fun to play, very fair with excellent conditions, and affords a rare opportunity to have an enjoyable and relaxing round.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 5,946 69.1 118
White 5,628 67.4 115
Gold 6,454 71.9 122
Red 5,164 70.8 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jay Riviera
Greens Type:
Mini Verde
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 24 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

The pro shop is well stocked with all the basics, the practice facilities are good, restaurant serves some a good variety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the club amenities are excellent. The staff and members seem friendly and helpful. The rest stops have restrooms as well as ice, drink, and snack machines plus cold towels – a nice touch on a hot summer day.



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.