Timber Creek Golf Club - Pines Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
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Timber Creek Golf Club - Pines Course Review

Timber Creek Golf Club is home to 27 holes of very good golf that takes advantage of the 316 acres of tall stately East Texas pines and towering oaks and includes 13 bridges that cross a meandering creek that can present some challenges, rock outcroppings, and plenty of sculpturing that was created by moving one million cubic yards of dirt. 

The course was designed by Jay Riviere and first opened for play in 2001 and is currently considered to be one of the top 10 courses in the Houston area.   Part of Jay's genius in designing each of the nines is that from the tee box, you'll know where you want to hit it and where you don't - no guessing but you need to execute on each shot to score well.

Jay seemed to design each nine to fit a different skill level - from the novice to the shot makers.  Each nine has it's own unique personality and characteristics:

  • The Pines, as the name implies, plays through some stately east Texas pines and is considered the easiest of the nines with wider more forgiving fairways
  • Creekside is the shortest of the nines - 2172 to 3135 yards - and considered the middle of the road course from a playability perspective and it has water on 8 holes, some dog legs, and 28 bunkers
  • Timber Trails is the longest - 2479 to 3575 yards- and toughest of the nines with lots of forced carries, dog legs, tighter fairways, and 27 challenging bunkers - read our review of Timber Trails

Common to all three nines are very good conditions, huge greens, tree lined fairways (no homes, barking dogs, or screaming kiddos), lots of water hazards, challenging bunkers, a fantastic clubhouse, good practice facilities, and excellent friendly service.

The Pines is considered the easiest of the nines with the widest fairways but the first hole gives you a false sense of security - a huge wide open fairway with a links feel and an easy carry over a small creek to a dog right green and 4 bunkers on the way - a great opportunity for par or better.  Then you turn into the tall pines and the fairways get a little tighter but still very wide and generous.   

There are 4 sets of tee boxes and the yardages are short by todays standards at 2601 to 3418 yards.  All of the fairways are generous and the first cut is ample - but miss that and you're under the trees.  The good news is that under the trees is well manicured grass and pine needles giving you an opportunity to easily chip back to the fairway.

You'll encounter water on 5 holes, 35 bunkers, some mounding along the edges of the fairways, and 6 dog legs you'll need to manage, but if you can it the ball fairly straight you'll have a fun relaxing round of golf and a good score. 

When we played in May the fairways were in very good condition despite the dry drought conditions around the Houston area.  Because they were so dry, you need to manage the extra roll that you'll get on each shot, which can be considerable.  At times I felt like I could win the long drive (or roll) contest.  Most of the fairways are gently contoured with some manageable mounds on each side. 

The greens were in very good condition except for some spots that suffered some damage during the winter and needed patching.  They run slow (around a 7) and are easy to read thanks to gentle slope and little to no undulation.  Most are slightly elevated and well guarded with bunkers - #9 has four bunkers protecting the front.

Speaking of the bunkers, do whatever you can to avoid them.  They are all shapes and sizes from small pot bunkers to some monsters and the sand is gritty, thin, and hard.  The good news is the lips are shallow and you may get lucky and bounce out or have an easy chip out. 

Bottom line - not a lot of character or unique holes but a very nice layout for a good warm-up round, with good conditions, reasonable rates, and an opportunity to turn in a good score.  The slope and rating are based on playing the Pines and Timber Creek together.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,075 70.3 125
White 2,865 67.9 118
Gold 3,418 73.4 135
Red 2,601 69.1 118

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jay Riviere
Greens Type:
Tif Dwarf
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Course Map
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 35 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$47.00 to $62.00

The Timber Creek clubhouse is fantastic - good locker rooms, well stocked pro shop, a bar, and very good food (the Philly is excellent) in the grill. The practice facilities are great and the service is excellent.



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.