Treasure Hills Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Treasure Hills Golf Club Review

Review and Rating of Treasure Hills Golf Course in Harlingen

Treasure Hills Golf Club, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., is a championship course with a fantastic layout and some very interesting holes.  This is a course that is somewhat challenging thanks to water on 9 holes, 35 bunkers (plus several challenging grass/waste bunkers), doglegs, and a couple tight fairways – but it’s fair and forgiving and suitable for all levels of play.  Play smart and you’ll have a very enjoyable and relaxing round and an opportunity to turn in a good score – all at an extremely reasonable rate.

Up until two years ago Treasure Hills was up for sale and as you might expect, the conditions had suffered from neglect and a lack of funds.  In 2016 a couple local avid golfers purchased the course and are making some major improvements – specifically to the irrigation system to put more strategically placed water on the fairways.  The new owners are committed to continued improvements and want to make sure that you have a fun and enjoyable round on a quality golf course

Both nines are excellent but we liked the front nine a little better – can’t put a finger on why but the front seems a little more interesting and playable.  This nine of Treasure Hills leverages the existing terrain with some gentle ups and downs, tree and brush lined fairways, and some water that can come into play.  The front has no homes or barking dogs which makes it peaceful and quiet except for my golf ball ricocheting off the trees.  Some of the holes we really liked included:

  • #1 sets the stage for the back nine – a raised tee box and a slight downhill shot to a narrow tree lined landing zone (thanks to a couple trees pinching the fairway) then a slight uphill shot to the green with three bunkers guarding it
  • #4 is  450 yard par 4 (number 1 handicap) with water along three quarters of the left side of the fairway, a dog leg right that off the tee box may temp you to try and fly the trees to cut the dogleg and shorten the hole, and a green with left and right side bunkers
  • #9 is fun – a 410 yard par 4 with a slightly raised tee box, a fairly tight fairway, and a challenging shot to a green tucked way off to the right side and guarded by a huge long  bunker that covers most of the front and right side of the green and then another large bunker on back side

The back nine at Treasure Hills may be a little more challenging thanks to water on 5 holes, 18 bunkers plus several waste/grass bunkers, the back yards of homes lining both sides of the fairway with back yards that can come into play if you spray the ball, tough approach shots to challenging putting surfaces, and a couple tight fairways.  Our favorite holes on this nine included:

  • #11 is a 540 yard par 5 that requires some safe play to avoid a lake that goes from beside the tee box to 219 yards from the green and there is a tree in the middle of the fairway that you need to avoid
  • #14 is fun – a carry over a pond off the tee box and a slight uphill shot past  3 waste bunkers and then a shot over a pond to a green with no room for error in front – consider laying up on your second shot
  • #18 requires you to fly the trees off the tee box or tread the needle and avoid the trees in order to hit a tight fairway that takes a sharp turn right to the green

The fairways at Treasure Hill were in decent condition considering the weather, drought, and previous conditions.  Several of the holes had plenty of bare spots with no grass.  The fairways are firm, thin, and flat to gently rolling with some minor contour and some ups and downs – you’ll need to manage the extra roll.  The wind can blow pretty hard and require you to club up or down and you need to consider how far the wind will  push you left or righ.  Trees and some brush line the front nine and big beautiful homes line both sides of most of the fairways on the back nine.  The back nine fairways seemed to be in a little better condition.

The greens at Treasure Hills were in very good condition and ran at a reasonable speed of around 8 or so.  They are soft and held the ball well, some are elevated prohibiting a bump and run, and they range in size from small to about average size.  You’ll find some tiers, some slope, and some minor contour – but they are true and fairly easy to read.

The bunkers all of which guard the greens at Treasure Hills were in good shape with crunchy to heavy sand – needed in the Valley to prevent the wind from blowing all the sand to Arizona.  The fairway bunkers are being converted to waste/grass bunkers and some have some pretty steep faces.  Several of the greenside bunkers are gently sloping up to the fringe making it possible to roll out or have an easier chip out, others have a 5” to 3’ face.  

My only complaint is that the carts paths need a lot of work and the course allows fivesomes which in our case we got behind two fivesomes and the pace of play was excrusiatingly slow!

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,424 72.2 129
White 5,422 67.1 113
Gold 6,960 74.7 134
Red 4,870 71.3 123

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert Trent Jones
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 9 holes and the 35 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$20.00 to $30.00

The owner we met was really friendly and wanted to make sure we had a great round. The pro shop has clothing and a few clubs but they can order anything you want. Practice facilities are adequate. There was no cart service when we played on a Thursday. There are pre-made sandwiches, snacks, and drinks available.



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.