Tour 18 - Houston Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Tour 18 - Houston Review

Review of Tour 18 in Houston

Imagine yourself playing some of the challenging holes that the legends of golf have played in major tournaments like the U.S. Open, The Masters, The Tour Championship and the PGA Championship. Tour 18, owned and managed by Palmer Golf Management, has replicated 18 of the best holes, some of which you may be familiar with from watching tournaments on the tube: #6 at Bay Hill, #3 at Pinehurst, Amens Corner at Augusta National (#11, #12, and #13), the infamous #17 island green at Sawgrass, Pebble Beach #14, and Doral #18. Each of the holes have a marker at the tee box with some history and you get to try and see how you play the hole compared to the pros. For example:

  • on Bay Hill's #6, a par 5 horseshoe around water to a small well protected green let's "you bite off as much as you can chew" and John Daly went for it a few too many times and once scored an 18 - I bogeyed it and felt great!
  • Augusta National's #12 is one of the toughest on the tour and Tom Wieskof, while leading the Masters in 1982 got a 13 - it's a short par 3 at 155 yards but you need to carry the water and avoid 3 bunkers protecting a small narrow oblong green - I beat Tom!
  • The ninth hole is a replica of Sawgrass's 17th island green - a short 140 yard par three known as the "easiest par 5 on the course" and during the 1992 Players Championship swallowed 64 balls - I added two more!
  • on the Disney #6, I landed in the left ear of the well known bunker shaped like Mickey Mouse
  • I now have an appreciation for the famous "church pew bunkers" on the 3rd hole at Oakmont Country Club - easy to hit, hard to get out of


If you follow golf, you'll love playing this course. It's fun to try and beat the champs and relive what you watched during the tournaments. When we played in August, the course was well manicured and landscaped and in very good condition. The fairways were in good shape and most were forgiving off the tee box. Some of the rough was cut thin and on some holes the rough was deep and tough. The bunkers had soft fluffy sand and all are strategically placed right where your ball wants to land. The greens seemed very small with mostly gentle slope, in very good condition, true, and a little slow.

Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,782 72.7 129
White 6,302 70.4 124
Red 5,380 71.3 129

Course Information

Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 78 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$59.00 to $119.00

Service is excellent, the pro shop is well stocked, and there is a good bar, and grill.


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.