At the south end of beautiful Lake Bridgeport is a fun track that was named by Golf Digest one of the best golf courses to play in the country in 2008 - 2009. The Club at Runaway Bay has 18 holes with a great layout that leverages the natural rolling terrain and offers several panoramic views of Lake Bridgeport.
If you've got a fade and a draw that you can control, then you'll love this course - 15 of 18 holes are doglegs either left or right! In addition to managing the doglegs, most of which require a good shot off the tee box to make the turn, you'll need some good club selection to handle the wind and elevation changes off the tee box as well as the shots to numerous uphill or downhill greens. The doglegs also give you some risk reward opportunities to try and fly the trees to shorten the dogleg and give you a shorter 2nd shot. For example,
The fairways are ample and the first cut is wide and playable - after that you'll be under some trees (easy to chip back to the fairway) or OB in some yard. When we played in October, the fairways were dry and brown in spots and the rough was a little rough.
The bent grass greens were in pretty rough condition with lots of damaged spots that were sanded. In fact, three of the greens were under repair and temporary greens were set up. The greens are about average size and lots of different shapes. The back greens seemed to be tougher with more severe slope and undulation plus some tiers, spines, and ridges. In November, we got an email saying the greens were back and there were no temporary greens.
The greens were very soft, allowing us to stop the ball on a dime - unusual for Texas greens! They seemed very true and could have been cut a little thinner. The bent grass greens were running about average speed (9 to 10) and seemed to be easy to read. We talked to a guy who regularly plays The Club at Runaway Bay and he told us that the greens were normally in very good condition - he would rate the a 9 compared to a 6 on the day we played.
The bunkers were small to average size, with thick and somewhat gritty sand. A number of them were steep faced and you need to do what you can to stay out of them.
The Club at Runaway is an excellent layout, with scenic vistas, some fun and challenging holes, an excellent pace of play, and a very good value. This is a track where you can turn in a good score if you can manage the wind, elevation changes, and dog legs. The course needs some TLC, water, and fertilizer to make it a must play.
Rates: $27.00 to $45.00
Service is ok, the grill serves some good food, the pro shop has all the basics, and the range and putting green are good. Pace of play is normally excellent. No cart service was available on the Sunday that we played.
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.