James Connally Golf Course, located on the north east side of Waco, was designed by Ralph Plummer and built in the 1960's. Over the years the course has changed hands a number of times and in 2010 was currently owned and operated by Texas State Technical College.
The terrain is mostly flat on the front and has some elevation changes and ups and downs on the back nine. James Connally Golf Course is in the country and plays through the trees with no homes anywhere in sight. It's close to the airport which means you'll encounter some jets approaching or talking off.
The front nine of James Connally Golf Course is a pretty straight forward layout and on most of the holes you can see the pin and what you're up against – which isn't much. The score card shows water on 3 of the holes but it really only comes into play on #7 which is a 184 yard par 3 with a carry over a small pond near the tee boxes.
There are seven bunkers on the front nine, two fairly sharp dog legs that require a little bit of accuracy off the tee box, and two minor dog leg right holes. This is a warm up nine and you should be able to turn in a pretty good round if you can stay fairly close to the fairway.
The back nine is a lot better and much more fun. It's got some ups and downs, water on 5 of 9 holes, 8 bunkers, a couple blind shots, and one dog leg left. And it has a couple fun and somewhat challenging holes like:
#10 which is a 490 yard par 5 with a couple bunkers on the left side of the fairway that can come into play, a slight dog leg right to an uphill green with a creek across the front
#14 has a blind uphill shot then a downhill shot to a green guarded by two bunkers
#15 requires a precise drive to carry a pond and stuff it on the green 205 yards out
#18 may get you to want to come back to play this nine again – a 412 yard par 4 downhill and then back uphill over a creek to an elevated green
Speaking of the greens, when we played in early November 2010, they were in very bad condition and in fact had a lot of damaged areas. They were bumpy and somewhat fast, about average size, and had some minor to severe slope.
The fairways were ample to a tad tight and if you spray the ball you're under some trees but should should be able to find your ball and chip back to or up the fairway. The condition of the fairways was also not very good – they needed water, weed killer, ant spray, and lots of fertilizer. The good news you could always tell where your ball is headed by the puff of dust where your ball took it's first bounce.
The bunkers also need some work and maintenance. The sand is gritty, hard, and thin.
Real golfers might equate playing James Connally Golf Course to "pasture golf." It's not quite that bad, but the conditions are very rough – but, a round of golf won't cost you a fortune.
The facilities are dated, the cart path needs lots of work and is a really bumpy ride, and the pro shop has little to no gear for sale - a few brands of new golf balls. Food service is limited to crackers, chips, and candy bars. There is a driving range and a putting green which also wasn't in good condition. No cart service is available.