The Lodge Resort Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.1

Golf - Private Course · 9 Holes · Par 34
Cloudcroft, New Mexico
· Stay & Play

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The Lodge Resort Golf Course Review

Review and rating of The Lodge Resort Golf Course in Cloudcroft

What a unique and fun mountain golf course with an outstanding layout and some interesting history.  The Lodge Resort Golf Course  was built in 1899 just 12 years after the first golf course in the United States introduced the game in the US. The course was later rebuilt in the early 1900s in what was a cabbage patch in Chautauqua Canyon. The nine holes played back and forth down the two ends of the wishbone canyon - which turned out to be a little dangerous as the course became more popular. In 1950, the course was renovated to make play in a circle instead of having to play back and forth down the same fairways.

At 9000 feet, The Lodge Resort Golf Course is one of the highest in the United States and the elevation sure didn't help my shots go and further like it should have nor did it help with my slice into the trees.  What makes this course a little different and more fun than most nine hole courses is that it takes the old Scottish tradition of playing from different tees on each round and playing to a different flag on the green.  The four sets of tee boxes and the two different pin placements on the greens make playing each nine very different, fairways are the same but the approach shots and the putting is very different for each nine.  The first hole, which is also the 10th hole, is the only one on the course with two greens and a pin on each green. 

Here is some of what I think makes it worth your time to play The Lodge Resort Golf Course:

  • the scenery is beautiful with a wide variety of towering trees, colorful wild flowers, mountain peaks, clear blue skis, peace and quiet, and mountain hillsides dotted with log cabins
  • you'll need some shot making and course management skills to manage the tight fairways, a blind shot, a dog leg, and dramatic elevation changes and tp avoid the water and bunkers
  • the conditions are near perfect, the service is very friendly, the rates are reasonable, and the food and margaritas are excellent at Rebeccas at The Lodge
  • the stay & play package is very good
  • there are some really fun holes and thanks to the position of the tee boxes and flag, each nine is a little different
  • the course gives you an opportunity to turn in a very good score and maybe even drive the green on a couple par 4s

Some of the holes that we really liked included:

  • #1 is a 250 yard par 4 with a drop of 150' down to a green with a pond on the back and a moat with goldfish and lots of golf balls surrounding the most of the front and right side - the brave of heart can go for the green off the tee 
  • #5 is a 318 yard par 4 with an uphill blind shot that then has a dramatic drop down to the green - it's not that hard with a good tee shot to have your drive end up on the green for a potential eagle - club selection on this hole is critical
  • #7 is the only par 5 and it's the #1 handicap with a fairway that dogs right around a pond at about 155 yards out and a green with a bunker on the left side
  • #9 is only 241 yards but its straight up a hill to a green with a raised front preventing a bump and run

When we played in August the fairways were in fantastic condition but a little thick preventing a lot of expected roll.  Most of the fairways are tight and tree lined - if you can't hit it straight, best leave the big dog in the bag or the squirrels are the only ones that will find your ball in the forest.  I did get to hear my ball ricocheting off several trees. 

The greens range from small postage stamps (15 by 24) to about average and they are a variety of shapes - ovals to oblong.  Most have some minor to severe slope and a couple have a ridge or plateau.  The pin placement for each nine is very different and the course puts a premium on putting.  When we played the greens were in excellent condition, held the ball well, and ran a little slow but very true. 

There are only 4 bunkers at The Lodge Resort Golf Course and it's hard to believe but I missed them all - a first for me!  The sand is a little gritty, heavy, and not real thick.  The bunker lips are short and all of the bunkers are relatively small. 

Bottom line - a must play course that is a lot of fun!  We played the course as part of a fun vacation to Cloudcroft, Ruidoso, and Santa Fe - click on this link to read about the rest of the New Mexico vacation and other courses we played. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 2,471 63.0 97
Blue 2,283
White 2,036
Gold 2,387 65.0 103

Course Information

Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Very hilly
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 5 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

The pro shop is pretty well stocked with everything you might need including rental clubs. Snacks and dogs and cold drinks are available at the pro shop. There is a putting green and a driving net to use to warm up.



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.