Review and Rating of Wildcat Golf Club Highlands Course
Just south of downtown Houston are two fantastic 18 hole courses at Wildcat Golf Club, The Lakes and The Highlands. Each of the courses has it's own unique personality and characteristics but common to both is that they were designed by Scottish architect Roy Case
The Lakes Course has acres of seemingly countless lakes, dramatic elevation changes that can't be rivaled by any other course in Houston, water on 8 holes, stunning views, and some fantastic and unique holes. Read our review of The Lakes Course at Wildcat Golf Club.
The Highlands Course is a little harder (a half stroke or so) than The Lakes and it has a unique feel - at times it feels a Hill Country Course with rolling fairways and stunning views and on other holes it has a links feel with wind, natural areas, and open treeless fairways. The Highlands Course will test your game and course management skills thanks to lots of forced carries, elevation changes, blind shots, wind, dog legs and strategically placed bunkers. And the panoramic views of the surrounding country, the downtown Houston skyline, the upscale Galleria shopping area, and Reliant Stadium, which is Houston's sport complex, are stunning.
The course itself is also stunning with the views as well as the lush green fairways, contrasting sand bunkers, and the natural areas with a wide variety of vegetation. All of the fairways are lined with natural areas and almost every hole has a forced carry off the tee or on one of the other shots to the green - I contributed several of my golf balls to the natural areas. The forced carries will make this course very challenging for short hitters or women.
Wildcat's Highlands Course has some fun, demanding, and unusual holes, for example:
When we played in October 2012, the fairways were in very good condition and the rough was thick and challenging - miss the rough and you're lost in a natural area. The fairways are rolling, sloping, and contoured and there are lots of uphill as well as downhill shots.
The Highlands Course greens were also in very good condition - fast, smooth, and true. They ranged in size from small to about average, most are guarded, some are raised, and all have some slope and contour.
The bunkers varied in size and shape from small oval pot bunkers to some real monsters. The fairway bunkers had very firm gritty sand and the greenside bunkers varied from soft and fluffy to thin and firm.
Bottom line - if you're in Houston, Wildcat Golf Club is a must play and make sure you play both courses.
Rates: $57.00 to $78.00
Service is ok, but the cart lady didn't show up that often. The proc shop is well stocked, the locker rooms are first class, and the practice facilities and Matt Swanson School of Golf is good. The grill serves some excellent food!
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.