The Rawls Course at Texas Tech Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.4

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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The Rawls Course at Texas Tech Review

Reveiw and Rating of The Rawls Course in Lubbock Texas

In 2003 Texas alum Jerry Rawls donated $8 to have Tom Doak create a golf course that would be an amenity to Texas Tech University.  opened 2003 exas Tech alum Jerry Rawls donated $8 million to create a golf course that would be an amenity to the university.   attracting visiting alumni and faculty to interact with students in a low-key setting.  The dead-flat site required significant earthworks – more than our previous ten projects put together - in order to breathe life into the fairways and greens while hiding some of the surrounding development from view.

Dock must have moved hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of sand and dirt from a very flat desert to sculpt the tall berm around the perimeter of the entire golf course hiding it from the road and to create to rolling and heavily contoured fairways, berms and valleys, and the raised green complexes.   He truly created a unique and fantastic desert links style course that is well deserving of all of the awards and accolades, some of which include:

  • Number 49 in the Dallas Morning News List of the Best Courses in Texas
  • Golfweek's #2 Best Course That You Can Play in Texas and #2 University Golf Course in America for 2013
  • Golf Digest's #2 New Affordable Public Golf Course in the US
  • #1 in Texas by
  • Texas Outside’s List of the Best Public Courses in Texas

The Rawls Course has 4 sets of tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5493 to 7349 and a rating of 116 to 139 – the strong winds can make the course play much tougher and so.  Which means it’s key to pick the right set of tee boxes and not bite off more than you can chew.  The front nine is shorter and a little easier and the back is home to some outstanding holes.

Some of the reasons why we love this course and why it’s one of the best in Texas include:

  • The course is very well maintained and manicured – you won’t find a blade of grass out of place
  • It’s long and challenging but very fair with wide fairways and bail out areas
  • The green complexes are outstanding – soft heavily contoured huge greens that hold the ball well, run true, are well guarded, and put a premium on your approach shot
  • Each hole is a little different from the previous hole and most will throw something at you to test your course management skills
  • The conditions from the tee box to the cup are near perfect
  • The staff, cart lady, and even the maintenance crew are friendly and outgoin
  • The pace of play is excellent – every hole had someone on it but we were done in a little over three and a half hours
  • The facilities are first class and well done
  • The rates are reasonable for such a quality course

And there are lots of holes that are both challenging and fun, some of which we really liked include:

  • #2 is a 521 yard par 5 with a blind tee shot uphill and around a cluster of three big bunkers to a wide fairway that turns right past two huge nasty bunkers plus berms along the right side and a natural area along the left leading to a 36 yard deep green with 2 left side bunkers and a ridge cutting across the green
  • #8 is a 479 yard par 4 with huge wide open fairway with a bunker on the right side but the green is set off to the left side and perched on a small hill with 3 huge bunkers guarding the left front of the green – a very tough approach shot
  • #12 is fun – a 416 yard par 4 with a slightly elevated tee box and a forced carry over a natural area from the tips to a very wide landing zone then left through a fairway pinched by tall mounds with bunkers to the green – depending on your drive you may have to try and fly the mound with two bunkers on the edge of the desert to get to the green in two
  • #18 is an outstanding 356 yard par 4 that you need to play twice to determine the strategy off the tee box as well as on the second shot – depending on your drive, long well placed driver  may put you in a position to go for the green but it’s all carry over the lake or you may take a shorter but safer shot with an easy carry over the lake to a large fairway – either way the approach shot need to be deadly accurate to avoid the lake on the right side of the green, a large left and right front bunker, plus two huge bunkers on the left side of the green and a natural area off the back of the green

The fairways at The Rawls Course are huge off the tee box and generally speaking wide all the way to the green, but you’ve got to content with strong winds, tall berms, and natural areas that will make it hard to find your golf ball if you miss the fairway and rough.  The fairways are heavily contoured and some are like a miniature roller coaster ride.  You’ll encounter some slight uphill as well as downhill shots and lots of berms and nasty bunkers.  When we played the rough was manageable but in some spots very thick and difficult.  The rough and fairways were both in near perfect condition – the fairways felt like lush carpet with a very thick soft pad under it, a joy to hit from. 

The greens range from small 25 yard to 48 yards deep (they average 8000 square feet) – some seem so large they could have their own zip code and if you’re at the other end from the pin you are most likely in for a roller coaster double breaking putt!  The greens are a variety of shapes, a few are raised, most are well guarded putting a premium on your approach shot, and all have some combination of slope, run off, ridges, contour, or tiers.  But they soft and hold the ball well, run true if you can read the breaks, and roll at a good speed of 9 to 10.

The bunkers at The Rawls Course are something else and you need to deploy some course management to do what it takes to avoid them.  Most are huge and multi-fingered and very steep and deep.  The sand is very soft and thick and a joy to hit from – as long as you can clear the steep face.  They are very well maintained.  Most have some very dense and thick grass around them that may stop you from going in but it still makes for a tough shot. 

Just because you have to content with heavily contoured fairways, nasty bunkers, wind, challenging green complexes, don’t let that stop you from playing The Rawls Course at Texas Tech – the conditions are excellent, the service and facilities are great, and the course is fair and a blast to play. 


49 in the Dallas Morning News Best Courses in Texas

levation - 3,200 feet above sea level
Grade - Elevation change up to 30 feet
Berms - Surrounding entire course, 10 and 15 feet above playing surface
Greens - Dominance plus bent grass
Rough - grasses, jackpot, blue gramma, bahia
Water Hazards - one central 4.5 acre, man-made lake
Fairways - 115 to 125 acres of fairway

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,825 72.4 129
White 6,270 70.3 126
Gold 7,349 75.3 139
Red 5,493 67.2 116

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Doak
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 96 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$42.00 to $65.00

Service is very good from the pro shop to the starter to the cart girl and even the maintenance crew. The pro shop is well stocked and the practice facilities are very good. There is a full bar and a grill with burgers and more.



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.