Review of Luna Vista Golf Course Review – Dallas
Luna Vista Golf Course, owned and operated by the City of Dallas and formally known as LB Houston Golf Course, underwent a $3.5 million renovation by John Colligan and reopened in October 2012. Some of what the renovation included was: new irrigation; moving lots of dirt to create new contouring in the fairways; enlarged 3 lakes and removed some water carries; new landscaping with magnolias, sweet gum, maples, and other varieties of trees along with ornamental grasses; new tee boxes: substantial changes to the greens to add elevation, mounding, and new white sand bunkers; completely changed a couple holes and added about 150 yards; enhanced the practice facility with an indoor teaching center, putting green, driving range, and short game area with bunkers; and redid the clubhouse, grill, and pro shop including a new outdoor patio overlooking the practice area.
The goal was to make the new Luna Vista more player friendly by eliminating some of the water carries, improve the conditions, enhance the green complexes, and provide for a variety of shots.
Wow, what an improvement and all of the goals were exceeded! We had played LB Houston in 2006 and rated it a 5 – flat, boring, and poor conditions. We loved the new Luna Vista – it's in good shape which will only improve as the fairways, rough, and greens mature; the new green complexes are very challenging; perfect sand bunkers that you want to avoid; contoured fairways; demanding but fair; and some good holes.
Some of the holes we liked include:
- #2 is a 510 yard par 5 (#2 handicap hole) with a long tight fairway with a creek on the left and lots of trees on the right – to par this baby you best do whatever it takes to stay in the fairway
- #8 is a pretty 180 yard par 3 with a lake on the right and a very challenging green complexe with two deep right side bunkers and a contoured sloping green
- #9 is a 530 yard par 5 with a wide landing zone but if you spray the ball you're wet or in the trees and squirrels and the approach to the green is demanding with two front nasty big bunkers, lots of mounding, and some challenging contour on the green
- #11 was our favorite – a 501 yard par 5 that has a slight dog left around a lake and then turns right back to the green – the second shot is an excellent risk reward shot for a long carry over the lake for a potential birdie or a conservative shot to the left side that needs to avoid the two fairway bunkers for an easier shot to the green
- #17 is the #1 handicap hole – a 570 yard par 5 with a creek on the left and other on the right side that pinch the fairway about where your drive wants to land and you can’t see them from the tee box
When we played Luna Vista Golf Course in May, the fairways were still maturing but in very good condition. All of the fairways are tree lined (no homes, barking dogs, or hecklers sitting on their back porch) and range from very tight to let-er-rip but don’t miss. Most of the fairways have some minor contour that has been added during the renovation to add character and create some uneven lies. You will also encounter some mounds and slope that can do some things to your shot that you don’t want done – like bounce left or right or roll into the rough, water, or trees.
There are only 16 new bunkers, most of which guard the greens, and they seemed fairly easy to avoid. If you do hit them, the sand is perfect (soft and thick) but they are steep and deep – do what you can to avoid them!
The green complexes are fantastic (depending on your point of view, you may hate how hard they are) and really define Luna Vista. All of the mini verde greens are huge, a variety of shapes, and have plenty of slope, undulation, and contour. They are raised which means that bump and runs are tough and there is a good probability that your shots may roll back down the fringe to the fairway. Plus they are guarded by steep and deep bunkers and plenty of mounding that will impact the flight of your ball! When we played they were in very good condition, a little firm, and a tad slow because they were cut thick to help them mature. To make it even more challenging, when we played there were some very tough pin placements. Luna Vista puts a premium on approach shots, knowing the greens, and accurate putting if you want to score well. Make sure you spend some time in the practice area and on the putting green before you head out.
Bottom line – the renovation has turned this into a course you need to add to your list to play, the conditions are good and should get better with age, the complexes are demanding but fun, and there are some memorable holes – plus the rates are very reasonable for such a good course.
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Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked with everything you need, the practice facilities are excellent, and the grill serves some good food at reasonable prices.