Review and Rating of The Bandit in New Braunfels
Voted "8th Best Golf Course in Texas" by Golf Week Magazine, The Bandit is a fun, challenging, and scenic course at a reasonable price and one of our favorite courses in Texas – it made our list of the Best Public Courses in Texas.
The Bandit is one of those courses that the first time you play it, you'll find the layout very challenging and demanding thanks to:
- Long Creek and Lake McQueeney which come into play on 13 holes
- strategically placed bunkers
- significant elevation changes
- risk-reward opportunities as well as forced carries
- lots of slope and contour plus mounding, trees, and swales in the fairways
- very challenging green complexes that put a premium on your approach shots
The Bandit is demanding but it's fair and each hole is different from the others – giving the course lots of character and personality. And the second time you play The Bandit, you should find it a little easier. The marshall will most likely advise you to move up a set of tee boxes the first time you play the course – it plays up to 500 yards longer than the scorecard.
Each of the holes is named and the names represent what you can expect, for example:
- Blind Date – a 421-yard par 4 with an ample fairway but a blind shot to a downhill green
- Too Much Too Soon – #2 is a long 241-yard par 3 requiring an accurate shot off the tee box to avoid the bunker on the left front of the green
- Lake Breeze – a beautiful 185 par 3 that requires a carry across the lake – a breeze behind you helps but if you're driving into the wind, you best club up if you don't want to go swimming
- Long Creek – #18 is a fantastic 552 yard par 5 finishing hole where Long Creek runs from the tee box to the front of the green and splits the fairway and forces you to make a tough decision – risk a long carry across the creek to a tight landing zone and then an easy approach shot or take a safer but longer approach with a shorter carry to the green – a very memorable hole
- R.I.P. – a great downhill shot on a 417-yard dogleg left with a lot going on once you get off the elevated tee box – fairway and greenside bunkers, a sloping fairway with a creek cutting across it, and a tough putting surface
The front nine is pretty and most holes require good club selection and course management. Water on 5 holes, natural hazards, and rolling hills add challenge and make this a very fun nine. The Bandit's back nine is outstanding and includes: rolling hills, dramatic elevation changes, some very challenging holes, blind shots, water on 8 holes, and doglegs – they just don't get much better than this nine.
The Bandit also has a great stay and play package. The Lodges at The Bandit has 2 and 3 bedroom nicely appointed and fully equipped condos that overlook the 10th fairway available for a stay and play. Read our review of The Lodges at The Bandit to learn more.
We have played The Bandit several times and it has always been in near perfect condition. The fairways are always in good condition with a rough that is playable. You'll encounter a lot of slope and undulation and ups and downs in the fairways that you need to manage – the mounds can kick you back into the fairway but the fairway slope can take your ball places it doesn't want to go!
The greens are medium to large (32 to 45 deep) and have lots of slope and contour plus tiers and undulation. Most are raised and all are guarded. When we played the greens were running around 9 to 10. The Bandit puts a premium on approach shots and holding the green on the approach shot can be tough and miss the green and you've got a challenging shot back to the pin.
The bunkers range from small deep and steep pot bunkers to some big monsters. Some of the bunkers had been redone with soft light and deep white sand – a joy to hit out of. Some had gritty and thin sand with plans for replacement.
This is a great course and well deserving of its ranking as one of the best in Texas. The Bandit lives up to its motto of "Exceptional Golf" and a "Remarkable Value." This is a must-play.
The Bandit also has a great Stay & Play package with 2 and 3 bedroom condos that overlook the 10th fairway. Read about our Stay & Play at The Bandit to learn more.
Check out this video about The Bandit.
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Service is very good and friendly, the pro shop is very well stocked, and the grill serves a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and more. The practice facility is good.