Designed by famed course architects Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher, Sienna Plantation Golf Club's frequent elevation changes transform the flat landscape into rolling waves of green. These undulations are only the beginning of the challenges players face. On hole two, the narrow fairway and sand bunkers form a perfect storm of difficulty, forcing golfers to thread the needle or risk taking an unplanned trip to the beach. Elsewhere, flowing creeks wind around holes 16 and 17, where the promise of a rewarding score tempts players to take precise shots close to the water's edge. Live oaks and mature cedar elms along the fairways provide both scenic views of nature's beauty and ample shade for treating caddies to a picnic lunch.
Course at a Glance:
A 7,100-yarder with a par of 72, the course at Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club represents the design vision of famed PGA Tour champion Greg Norman, nicknamed “The Shark” for his tendency to chew a course's grass before deciding to play it. Norman’s own turf company supplied the hybrid Bermudagrass tees, fairways, and rough for the course, while Floradwarf constitutes the gently undulating and generously rewarding putting surfaces. This greenery is surrounded by native prairie grasses, wetlands, and wildflowers as well as a majestic hardwood forest.
Before tackling the course, players can bring their game up to speed at the club’s Player Development Center. The same GN-1 turf featured out on the course covers the tee areas at the driving range as well as the pitching greens and practice fairway. And all areas are stocked with towels and fresh water for drinking or dumping on your instructor when your swing finally clicks.
When course architect Roy Case designed the 36 holes that would become Wildcat Golf Club, he drew inspiration from two distinct styles by laying traditional Scottish links-style holes over the undulating Texas Hill Country topography. Players encounter lots of tall grasses but few trees as they eventually reach 100-foot elevations, where they?ll catch glimpses of Houston?s skyline, Reliant Stadium, and the Galleria. The Club is divided into two 18-hole courses?the Highlands Course and the Lakes Course?each blanketed in TifSport Bermuda grass fairways and TifEagle Bermuda putting surfaces so smooth that golfers have reported reaching into the cup and pulling out a single red rose instead of their golf ball.
Though situated next to one another, each course bears its own unique set of challenges. Deep ravines and strategically placed bunkers befuddle players on the Highlands Course, while the Lakes Course lives up to its name with water as its defining characteristic. A series of lakes comes into play on seven holes, nowhere more dramatically than on the twelfth hole, a unique par 5 configuration whose tee box, two fairway sections, and green are separated by intersecting water hazards, which double as watering holes for thirsty golf carts.
Highland Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,954 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 138 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Lakes Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,016 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 135 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Nine Yahoo! Locals give Bear Creek Golf World a three star average, and three Google Mappers give it two and a half stars. While some GolfLink reviewers mention that the Challenger and President's courses may be a bit easy for experienced golfers, many agree that they are great courses for beginners.
Situated northwest of Houston, the Houston National Golf Club and Strategic National Grass Reserve pocks itself with 27 holes, playable, like Voltron, in three possible combinations. Designed by legendary hole artists Von Hagge, Smelek, Baril, and McConaughey, the rolling green is punctuated by varied hazards and distractions like ponds, sand traps, and virtual gazelles. Both beginners and professionals can find something to challenge their walking and bad-shot-excuse-making skills. Houston National's GPS-equipped carts automatically keep the game's score and track your position in case you get lost amidst the unending flatness.
Glenbrook Park Golf Course’s narrow fairways stretch across 6,700 yards of relatively flat terrain undulating with vibrant tree lines for a challenging, par 72 layout. Running in a straight line through the course, a 180-yard ravine stands in players’ way on six holes, placing confident swings and 9-irons unafraid of heights at a premium. Though not an overwhelmingly long course, the layout counters with narrow fairways and small- to medium-sized greens that are difficult to hit from any distance. Glenbrook’s par five ninth hole—the hardest rated on the course—amply illustrates the course’s manifold difficulties, as players must bisect a narrow, tree-hedged fairway, lay up to the edge of the ravine, and send their third shots somersaulting over the chasm and into a bashful green hiding behind a treacherous bunker and trust issues.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,700 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.5 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 130 from the farthest tees * Three tee options