Pagosa Springs Golf Club - Pinon Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.4

Golf - Public Course · 27 Holes · Par 36
Pagosa Springs, CO

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Pagosa Springs Golf Club - Pinon Course Review

Review of Pagosa Springs Golf Club – Pinon Course

Pagosa Springs Golf Club is home to three nine hole courses that are framed by towering Pagosa Pines, some clear lakes, beautiful mountain homes, and the stunning San Juan Mountains.  Each of the nines has its own unique personality and characteristics:

  • Meadows is the longest at 3734 from the tips and it’s a links style course that has water on 7 of the 9 holes and several intimidating forced carries over the water – bring a life jacket or at least a long ball retriever
  • Pinon is the middle of the roader in terms of length and difficulty and it’s got wide forgiving fairways, some elevation changes, and good greens
  • Ponderosa plays up and down through the towering ponderosa pines and is the shortest of the three and the only par 35

We didn’t have time to play the Meadow Course but here is a link to our review of the Ponderosa Course

In June 2013, Pagosa Springs Golf Club was in receivership, being managed by Tri Star a premier golf management company, and was going through a transition waiting for new owners.  In addition, Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico were suffering through a third year of drought and no rain, which has had a significant impact on the course conditions.  In addition, the snowpack was light this year which also impacts the conditions.  And even worse, in mid-2013 the water pump for the Pinon Course broke!  What a streak of bad luck – pray for rain!

The Pinon Course is home to a little bit of everything – you’ll encounter some elevation changes, water on a couple holes, some dog legs left and right, six bunkers, some uphill as well as downhill shots, and some demanding putting surfaces.  It’s relatively short at 2769 to 3419 yards and it’s the middle of the road course in terms of difficulty. 

Some of the holes that we enjoyed included:

  • #2 is the #1 handicap hole and it’s a challenging uphill 415 yard par 4 with one of the most challenging greens on the course
  • Both of the par 3’s are fun – one has a fairly easy carry over a small ravine and the other is a 216 yard intimidating carry over a pond to the green
  • #5 is great – a 328 yard hole with a dramatically elevated tee box and a sharp dog leg right – leave the big dog in the bag or you may overdrive the fairway and end up on the highway – the brave might try to fly the trees on the right to go for the green but it’s very risky
  • #7 is a long 435 yard par four with a sharp dog leg left with a small creek crossing the fairway about 100 yards out, a large pond on the left side if you really spray the ball off the tee, and a tricky green that slopes right to left

When we played in June, the light snowpack, limited to no rain, and the broken water pump had severely impacted the fairway conditions – there were lots of dandelions, several damaged areas, as well as cracked and bare spots.  The fairways are still very playable and don’t let this stop you from playing the course.  We talked to several people who told us that normally the conditions are very good. 

The fairways are ample and generous from tee to green, they range from flat to gently rolling, and there are several that run either uphill or downhill.

The greens on the Pinon Nine at Pagosa Springs range in size and shape with most being on the large side.  All have some slope and contour that require some very careful study before you putt.  They were in very good condition when we played, ran true, held the ball well, and ran at a good speed of between 9 to 10. 

There are only six bunkers on the Pinon Nine and they seemed easy to avoid.  But they are not pleasant when you do land in them - the sand was gritty and thin when we played. 

Slope and rating are based on playing the Pinon and Ponderosa Nine.

Read all about this fun trip to Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico where this is one of the courses we played.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,419 69.5 115
White 3,260 67.5 113
Red 2,769 68.2 123

Course Information

Course Architect:
Johnny Bulla
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 6 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$39.00 to $86.00

The pro shop has a limited supply of the basic gear, the outside grill at the turn has good burgers/dogs/sandwiches, and the range is adequate. Service is ok.



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.