Review of Sammons Golf Links
Originally built in the 1920’s, Sammons Golf Links has been redesigned and renovated a number of couple times, the most recent being in 2011. Prior to the last renovation, the course was in pretty rough condition and some of the greens were unplayable. New management and a some significant redesign and rerouting in 2011 have resulted in very good conditions and a commitment to continuous improvements. Some of the 2011 changes included: new Emerald Bermuda grass greens; rerouting some holes so both nines return to the clubhouse, a new very demanding par 5, and some of the best par 3's in this part of Central Texas.
What makes Sammons Golf Links well worth playing are very affordable rates, pretty good conditions, some fun holes, demanding par 3s, and two very different nines. At first glance, this short (4727 to 6562 yard) par 70 course appears to be a walk in the park but beware, it requires some shot making as well as course management skills to score well. But you best not bite off more than you can chew because you’ll encounter:
Sammons Golf Links front nine favors accuracy and strategy over distance thanks to some very tight fairways and challenging approach shots, creeks that cross the fairways, trees that pinch the fairway or block shots not perfectly placed, and bunkers that guard the greens. The front is fair but demanding and you may want to leave the big dog in the bag on several holes. Plus you’ll find some uphill climbs coupled with wind that will require you to club up. Every hole on the front is a little different from the previous hole.
The back nine at Sammons Golf Links is a little easier – the fairways are more open and forgiving, it doesn’t throw quite as much at you, and in some cases you can let-it-rip and possibly nail the green. You’ll still need to manage the water, some elevation changes, a risk reward opportunity, a 197 yard par thee that’s all carry to the green, and greens that are odd shaped and have more slope and undulation than the front.
When we played in February, the fairways and rough were dormant but in pretty good shape but very firm which meant lots of extra roll, which in some cases resulted in a wet or out of bounds ball! The fairways at Sammons Golf Links range from flat to gently rolling, from wide open to very tight, and from straight ahead to twists and turns to get to the green. There are a couple surprising elevation changes you'll need to managage. The rough was cut thin and very playable but there were several bare or dirt spots.
The greens at Sammons Golf Links are about average size and range from what appears to be relatively flat, but with subtle breaks, to some greens on the back that have a tier and some slope and undulation. When we played they were a tad bumpy and very slow – we were told that a recent fertilization was washed away and resulted in the greens not being in as good condition as they normally would be.
Of the 16 bunkers, all but two are guarding the greens. Most were smaller than average, with lips that ranged from not bad to fairly steep and deep. The sand varied from thin and firm to a little crunchy. Unlike the ponds and creeks, we didn’t seem to have any problem avoiding the bunkers.
Sammons Golf Links is well worth playing and it’s home to some very fun holes, a few of our favorites included:
Bottom line, we were pleasantly surprised at the variety, affordable rates, and fun but demanding holes – well worth playing.
Rates: $18.00 to $33.00
Service is good, the pro shop is well stocked, the grill has everything from breakfast burritos to Philly cheese steak sandwiches to salads, and the range and putting green 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!
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.