Palm View Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Palm View Golf Course Review

Palm View open 18 holes for play in the 70's, added 9 more in the 80's, and then Charles Howard redesigned the course back to 18 holes.  Owned and operated by the City of McAllen, Palm View Golf Course is a real surprise and a joy to play.  Millions of cubic feet of dirt and sand had to be carved out of this normally flat terrain to create 14 lakes, surprising elevation changes, mounds and berms, and rolling contoured fairways with trees, lots of palms, and no homes. 

Palm View Golf Course has three sets of tee boxes and is short from each one with yardages ranging from 4816 to 6771 yards from the tips.  The slope and rating will also give you a clue that this is a course that gives you an opportunity to turn in a very good score, if you can keep the ball in play.  Which may be difficult with water on 16 of 18 holes. 

The front nine of Palm View is a blast to play and it has a number of fun, interesting, and somewhat challenging layout.  #1 sets the stage and gives you a little taste of some of what you'll find on the next eight holes - its a 530 yard par 5 with a narrow fairway with water all along the right side to a sharp dog leg left green with trees guarding the left side approach and offering a good risk reward shot to try and fly them to stuff it on the green for a birdie or maybe an eagle.  Each of the rest of the holes is a little different than the others and they have a little bit of everything that will test you game - dog legs, water, berms, tough approaches, elevated greens and tee boxes, some challenging greens, contoured and gently rolling fairways, and five bunkers. 

The back is fun and a lot easier with more traditional holes.  You can typically see the pin and what you're up against from the tee box and plan your strategy accordingly.  There are some interesting holes, for example:

  • #10 is short at 358 yards but has a tough approach to the green thanks to a lake around the dog leg right
  • #11 has a split fairway and it's not easy to decide which one offers the easier approach
  • #18 is a fun 528 yard dog leg left finishing hole with a tree and huge bunker protecting the green on the left and two smaller bunkers on the right side of the green

The 419 Bermuda fairways at Palm View Golf Club range from ample to narrow and are flanked by mounds and somewhat thick, but playable Common Bermuda roughs.  We played in January 2011 and the fairways were starting to go dormant.  The fairways were in about average condition for this time of year - a 7 out of 10.

The greens range in size from average to very large.  Some are elevated and most have a gentle slope.  A couple holes have two tiers and some undulation.  They were in good condition, ran very true, held well, and about average speed - putting wasn't a problem for us.  

Their are only 13 bunkers but some of them are huge, in fact, one of them has two palm trees growing in it!  The lips can be tough and the sand is thick but a little gritty.  

Not only is this a fun course but it's also a heck of a deal at $41 in January 2011!  Well worth going out of your way to play in you're in the Rio Grande Valley and be prepared to turn in a good score if you can stay dry.  Because of all that, the course stays pretty busy on the weekends and pace of play can be a little slow.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,771 71.5 119
White 5,779 68.0 111
Red 4,816 67.8 107

Course Information

Course Architect:
Charles Howard
Greens Type:
Tiff Dwarf Bermuda
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Course Map
Beware of water on 16 holes and the 13 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$26.00 to $41.00

Service is very good and outgoing and friendly. The grill is excellent with a wide variety of affordable choices. The pro shop is well stocked and the practice range and putting green are good - in fact, the range has 11 target greens for you to try and nail.



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.