The past couple of years have been difficult for many businesses. While not knowing if they were going to be opened or closed, it gave directors of golf, owners, golf pros and those who make decisions an opportunity to make some tweaks to their courses – minor to major.
Over the next few weeks, we would like you to try out a new course, or two or three, and then let us know about your favorites in our golf course survey. We would also like to solicit additional feedback for our wrap up story. And if you would, attach a short note to your ballot, telling us why you voted the way you did.
We would love to hear your thoughts, your stories, and any duffers anecdotes you would like to share.
Tony Butler Golf Course
Tony Butler will be a new Tony Butler in just a few months. The city of Harlingen will be closing down the golf course from April until possibly October for super-duper, major renovations. Among those improvements include redoing tee boxes, greens, and irrigation. In other words, when the course re-opens it will be like the unveiling of a new course.
This is a major project that will benefit the community, the golf course and, of course, golfers.
Tony Butler has already gone from having a little bit of everything to a little bit more of everything as the club reopened its executive golf course and now has 27 holes to await the golfer who checks in to possibly the most historic course in South Texas. From wide open fairways where you can swing away to some tight shots within a magnificent setting, this municipal is sure to challenge the golfer in many ways. Butler, a PGA champion from Ganado, Texas brought some of the greatest golfers to the Valley for tournaments during the Great Depression. He was known for his use of the 4-wood, which he would sometimes play entire rounds using only that club. We don't recommend you try that but if you're in the mood for a super challenge.
Address: 2640 Golf Course Dr., Harlingen
Phone: (956) 216-5970
Description: Par-71 municipal course
Yardage: Blue — 6,320; White — 5,837; Red — 5,113; also have senior tees around 5,400
Amenities: Driving range, putting green, chipping green, snack bar
Winter Texan Specials: $28 for 18 with cart; $21 for 9; Rates drop to $20/15 after 3 p.m.
Tierra Santa Golf Club
The new bar/grill will be opening later this month – and will have more food than before. That alone should be exciting enough to bring golfers in by the busload.
But there's more.
Once the grill opens, then the renovation of the clubhouse will begin, including a separate room for golfers to just relax.
There's even more.
No. 18 – probably the most well-known hole, and surely the most popular finishing hole in the Valley – will no longer be No. 18. The course is flipping its starting hole to where No. 10 was, meaning 18 will now be No. 9.
Good thing the new bar/grill is right there. Golfers can celebrate or commiserate No. 9 before they head to the new back nine.
It's going to be harder to believe that this is a public course and not a country club, because it is a public course with the ultimate country club feel.
And no matter if it's No. 9 or No. 18 or any hole in between, you will leave that hole either with a big grin on your face or scratching your head wondering... how?
Address: 1901 Club de Amistad, Weslaco
Phone: (956) 973-1811
Yardage: Red — 2,580; White — 3,012; Blue — 3,284; Black — 3,546
Amenities: Driving range, putting/chipping green, pro shop, restaurant
Winter Texan Specials: Winter Texans can purchase 10 round 20 or 30 rounds at discounted rates, and it comes with two free rounds; Winter Texans can call Ron Meyer (956) 249-0952 for rates and more information.
Stuart Place Country Club
The biggest change here is maybe one of the largest improvements for any course in South Texas as Stuart Place added Wendy Werley Bullock as the new golf pro. An LPGA Class A instructor who had made golf her passion since before high school is one of the best teaching pros in all of South Texas and considered among the best children’s instructors in the nation. She is a certified Master teacher for children. Any other changes to the course are just icing on the cake.
This is a course where “everybody knows your name.” Well, at least it has a feel like that – from the time you decide what color tees you're going to hit from (a big deal since there is a 700-yard difference) until the time you return to the comfort of the small, but relaxing clubhouse. The course isn't super difficult, but it still has its challenges, and you can't just plan on wedges and putters, but you could probably still have fun with only that on this pretty course.
Address: 155 Highland Drive, Harlingen
Phone: (956) 428-2000
Description: 9-hole Par-36
Website: Facebook – Stuart Place Golf
Yardage: Blue — 2,646; White — 2,205; Yellow — 2,057; Red — 1,944
Amenities: Bar with snacks, practice putting area
Winter Texan Specials: $18 for 9 holes with cart; $27 for 18 holes with cart
Harlingen Country Club
A beauty of a layout with a mixture of challenges, Harlingen Country Club is the shot-maker's course. Sure, there are holes where you can grip it and rip it but the subtle elevation changes, the twists, and turns along with the well-placed hazards makes this the perfect golf-thinkers course. It's like playing chess, just with golf clubs instead of pawns, rooks, knights...
Address: 5500 El Camino Real, Harlingen
Phone: (956) 412-4100
Yardage: Red — 5,035; White — 5,664; Blue — 6,261; Black — 6,541
Amenities: Putting green, chipping green, driving range, bar and restaurant
Winter Texan Specials: Call for information
Sunshine Country Club Estates
Enjoy a relaxing day at the modern, world class golf course. You’ll appreciate a truly distinct experience on the course, reflecting the classic beauty and refinement of Harlingen. The wonderfully kept surroundings of this course make for a truly wonderful golfing experience. This is also the home of the Good Neighbor Golf Tournament, an annual three-day event followed by a banquet in March.
Address: 1957 W. Michigan Dr., Harlingen
Phone: (956) 425-1420
Description: Par-27, 9-hole course
Yardage: All tees — 1,033
Amenities: Visit the website
Cottonwood Creek Country Club
Address: 1001 S. Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen
Phone: (956) 428-0766
Description: 9-Hole, Par 3 Course
Village Executive Golf Course
For a pleasant change of pace, this par-3 course is perfect for a quick round of enjoyable golf. Want to work on your short irons and approaches, this is the place to come. The course is mostly open without too many hazards – of course the South Texas wind is a natural hazard. But don't get caught off guard, there is water that comes into play and a few big trees that would be more than happy to steer your shot off course. Affordable is nice, but a couple holes make the scenery here even nicer.
Address: 3300 S. International Blvd., Weslaco
Phone: (956) 968-6516
Description: 9-hole, 1,563-yard public course
Website: Village Executive Golf on Facebook
Yardage: All tees — 1,563
Winter Texan Specials: $10 per day; $2 each time to play after that for the day
Treasure Hills Golf Club
There haven't been a lot of recent changes at Treasure Hills, that's because new ownership made life-saving changes years ago. A golf course that at one time was on the verge of shutting down multiple times has a new and beautiful life, and golfers should be thankful. Scenic views, magnificent trees and serene lakes make this course beautiful. And the layout makes it challenging and always a fun course to play. Many holes are wide open, some bottle neck so you play risk versus reward here if you don't plan a couple shots ahead. Slight elevation changes may also throw the golfer off, or at least for the golfers to think more about which club to pull out of the bag.
Address: 3009 N. Augusta National Dr., Harlingen
Phone: (956) 425-1700
Golf Manager: Roger Bhakta
Yardage: Red — 4,749; Gold — 5,361; White — 6,360; Blue — 6,788
Amenities: Pro shop, snacks, concessions, beer, sandwiches; driving range, putting green
Winter Texan Specials: Special membership – individual for month $450 plus tax; couples $572 plus tax. Both include cart.