NorthShore Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

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

Review of NorthShore Country Club Golf Course in Portland Texas

If you're anywhere near Portland you need to find some time to play NorthShore Country Club Golf Course - it's fun, very demanding but fair, scenic, and has two very unique nines,  The brochure states "this premier golf course in the Coastal Bend area is a championship links style course that features golfing along the shores of Corpus Christi Bay, reminiscent of the many famous ocean front golf courses in the United States."

The front nine is a very traditional links course with water on all nine holes, huge fairway bunkers, six dogs both left and right, heavily contoured fairways with berms and mounds, and some very unique, interesting, challenging, and fun holes, for example:

  • #1 has a contoured fairway that heads left than right over a depression and past two bunkers to a raised green
  • several holes have pinched landing zones (thanks to bunkers, mounds, water, or natural areas) that demand some precise shots
  • #7 is a 170 yard par 3 with water along the left from tee to green as well as water surrounding three quarters of the raised and countoured green
  • number 9 is a good example of a fun hole  - a 394 yard par 4 that horseshoes right offering a good risk reward shot off the tee box - but you better be accurate to carry the natural area, avoid the line of trees, and miss the huge fairway bunker; then you have a tough approach to a green protected by 4 bunkers.

The back nine at NorthShore Country Club is completely different from the front - it' still has a links feel but it's much tighter, has water on 8 holes, and has 4 holes that play along Corpus Christi Bay.  Every hole on this nine is very different from the proceeding hole and each hole has something that will test your game - narrow landing zones and carries off the tee box, very demanding approach shots to the greens, strategically placed bunkers, and several shots where you need to decide to lay up or take a risk and go for it.  The first three holes on the back are fantastic as they play alongside some beautiful homes on the right side of the fairway and Corpus Christi Bay and trees on the left and require some strategic shot making and accuracy over distance.

On #13, our jaw dropped as we stared at this beauty – from an elevated tee box you have a panoramic view of Corpus Christi Bay and downtown Corpus as you ponder which club you need to use to carry a deep ravine and inlet from the bay to a small downhill green 181 yards away that sits on the edge of the bay and is protected by the bay, the inlet, and a front and back bunker – a beautiful hole and very unique to Texas. And 14 and 15 are just as scenic plus they are fun and challenging with forced carries, narrow rolling fairways, bunkers, palm trees, natural grass areas, and ravines as they play along the Bay and below some huge beautiful homes sitting along a tall bluff overlooking the Corpus Christi Bay and downtown Corpus Christi.  As you play along these three holes with views of the bay, the beautiful homes, natural areas, and the swaying palm trees, you’ll start to think you’re in Hawaii or playing Pebble Beach - well, maybe not quite that beautiful, but you get the picture. Then 16 snaps you from fairyland and back to Texas reality as it returns to the normal flat Texas coastal terrain.

The greens at NorthShore Country Club were in good condition and ran a good speed of around 10 or, so.  They are a variety of shapes and sizes and have some gentle slope and minor undulation. Most of the greens are elevated which makes it very difficult to bump and run and your approach shot needs to bite and hold or you’ll roll back off the green.

The Northshore Country Club fairways weren’t in very good condition and had some weeds plus lots of brown and bare spots. The same was true of the rough.  The back nine seemed to be in much better condition.  The fairways range from tight to ample, are contoured and rolling, and have significant mounding. 

The good news is that a new superintendent is on board and since we last played he has made significant progress in improving the conditions which were in very rough conditions due to the drought, a lack of funds, and poor maintenance - all of which has now changed.

The bunkers are everywhere and range from small to some monsters.  They were in average condition with  thick sand.

Bottom line - if you can overlook the conditions, particularly on the front, this course is unique and a blast to play.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,297 71.1 134
White 5,774 67.7 125
Gold 6,805 73.6 140
Red 5,012 70.5 117

Course Information

Course Architect:
Bruce Devlin & von Hagge
Greens Type:
Mini Verde
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 16 holes and the 45 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$45.00 to $69.00

Service is good, the pro shop has the basics, and the clubhouse has a dining and a bar area. 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! 
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.