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:
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:
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!
Rates: $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!
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.