McAllen Country Club started as a private nine hole course in the early ‘20s and in 1946 the original course became McAllen Country Club and Jay Riviera was hired to add an additional 9 holes in 1968. Today McAllen Country Club has a reputation as one of the finest golf courses in South Texas.
McAllen Country Club remains a private club that can best be described, like most older courses, as a very traditional and straightforward Parkland style golf course with straight, flat, and rather tight tree lined fairways and small greens. The course is short, with 4 tee boxes and yardages ranging from 5164 to 6454 yards but plays a little longer thanks to wind and elevation changes on the back nine.
McAllen Country Club is “what-you-see is what-you-get” but puts a high premium on accuracy off the tee as well as on the approach. All of the fairways are a little tight thanks to lots of stately sprawling trees and a few strategically placed fairway bunkers and the greens are very small and some are well guarded with one or two bunkers. Once you hit the green, you best hope your putter is hot – the greens have plenty of slope and undulation. Survive the tight fairways and challenging greens and you’ll have an enjoyable and relaxing round.
Some of what we liked about McAllen Country Club includes:
Course conditions from the tee boxes to the cup are very good
Pace of play is excellent – although the forecast was for rain, we only saw three other golfers on the course and tee times are seldom required
Play smart and you’ll have a very good round with a low score
The course is well maintained and manicured
You’ll find a couple risk reward shots, some forced carries over water off the tee and to the green, and a couple holes where you may be able to drive the green
The soft sand bunkers and great greens and a joy to play
The Tif Sport fairways are flat and mostly straight ahead to the green. All of the McAllen Country Club fairways are tree lined and most are back and forth and side by side – meaning if you really spray your shot you’ll be in the adjoining fairway. When we played in January, the fairways were in excellent condition as was the rough, which varied from playable to a tad thick. Some of the fairways on the back slope down and back up what we were told is a three story elevation change – requiring you to club up or down appropriately.
The Mini-Verde greens were also in excellent condition, a variety of shapes, and most are very small. And all have plenty of slope and undulation, in fact around the perimeter of the greens is like a roller coaster. When we played they were running around an 11 and were fast and true and held the ball very well.
Like the rest of the course, the bunkers were in great condition with soft, thick, fluffy side that was a joy to hit out of. Some bunkers are steep faced and others have a lip of 8 inches or so, meaning don’t expect to roll in and out.
Bottom line – McAllen Country Club isn’t real memorable or unique but it’s fun to play, very fair with excellent conditions, and affords a rare opportunity to have an enjoyable and relaxing round.
The pro shop is well stocked with all the basics, the practice facilities are good, restaurant serves some a good variety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the club amenities are excellent. The staff and members seem friendly and helpful. The rest stops have restrooms as well as ice, drink, and snack machines plus cold towels – a nice touch on a hot summer day.