Hogan Golf Course is owned and operated by the City of Midland and is home to two 18 hole courses. The Quail Course opened in 1959 and it is a fairly traditional layout with tree lined fairways. Roadrunner opened in 1999 and is a links style track with Bermuda grass tee boxes and fairways plus bent grass greens. Compared to Quail, Roadrunner:
- is longer from the two back tees by 280 yards, but shorter by 300 yards from the forward tees
- has a slope and rating of 113 and 72 versus 110 and 71 for Quail from the tips
- has 15 bunkers whereas Quail has 5
- will test your skills to avoid the water on 5 holes compared to 2 holes with water that can come into play on Quail
As such Roadrunner is considered the harder of the two courses from the back tees and a little easier for the ladies from the forward tees. We played and enjoyed Quail in late March 2011 and as you can tell from the pictures it was still in transition from being dormant in the winter.
Quail is a very traditional 18 holes that was designed by Charles Campbell in 1959. This is a track that provides a relaxing and enjoyable round with an opportunity to turn in a good score. The front nine of the Quail Course at Hogan Park is the shorter of the two nines and it has two par 3s, five par 4s, one par 5, and one hole that plays as a par four or five. From the tips, this nine is a little short at 3275 yards and a very long at 2865 yards from the forward tees.
The Quail front nine is fairly trouble free with flat fairways, but what makes this nine both fun and challenging is:
- the fairways are a little tight and if you miss them you're under or blocked by trees or in the desert if you really sprayed it
- #4 has a small hidden oblong lake across the front of the green which will swallow your golf balls if you hit a worm burner or a short shot on the approach
- three green side bunkers on two holes
- six dog legs that if you're short off the tee box or on the wrong side of the dog leg, you won't have a clear approach shot to the green
We liked the back nine of Hogan Park's Quail Course a little better. It has most of the above (water on one hole, one hole with two green side bunkers, and seven dog legs) plus:
- it is a tad longer from all the tee boxes
- seems to have a little more character
- offers some great risk reward opportunities to try and fly the trees off the tee box to shorten the hole and give you a birdie opportunity
- a couple holes have a gentle uphill or downhill fairway
- and the greens seemed a little harder to hit and hold – which could have been just my problem
Speaking of the greens, they range from small to average size, most are elevated, and oval in shape – all of which puts a premium on your approach shots which will be stopped by the uphill front if you're short or roll off if you can't put a little spin on the ball or come in high. Once you're on the green you'll find most of them are relatively flat and easy to read but there are several that have some combination of slope, tiers, or undulation. The ball ran true and at a consistent speed when we played. However, the greens had just been aerated and were a little choppy and bumpy and were still in transition, therefore, they weren't in the best shape but were still very playable. We would guess that during the season they would be around an 8 to 8.5 which was also confirmed by a couple of locals who have played at Hogan for over 25 years!
We thought the fairways were a tad narrow and all of them are tree lined and most are perfectly flat. The trees can present problems by blocking your shot to the green or requiring a high flying shot to clear them or a worm burner to get back to the fairway. There is plenty of room to get back to the fairway and potentially save par if you do land under the trees.
The rough is playable and wide but if you miss that you're in the desert and natural area and most likely gone. As I learned from first hand experience, if you spot your ball in the thorny bushes be carefully getting it – the thorns are sharp and very protective of the ball you just gave them. My right arm looks like a pin cushion and my white golf towel is now red from all the blood!
It's not hard to avoid the 5 bunkers – however, I couldn't do it – and if you do land in them the lips are manageable but the sand is gritty and heavy.
Bottom line – a real value, particularly at twilight rates and a track worth playing that is fair and relaxing as well as one that gives you an opportunity to turn in a great score.
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Service is ok, the Pro Shop has all the basics, and there is a range and putting green for you to warm up on. The grill serves some good food - burgers, sandwiches, Phillies, and more.