Quail Valley Golf Course sits on over 400 acres within the upscale Quail Valley residential community and was built in 1970 and opened as a private club with two 18 hole courses, El Dorado and La Quinta. In 2008, the city of Missouri City acquired both courses and hired Jeff Blume to redesign the El Dorado course. Jeff added more bunkers, rebuilt the tee boxes and greens, and reshaped and added water hazards. The end result is a fantastic track that has a lot of character and is fun and challenging to play. In fact, Avid Golfer rated Quail Valley’s El Dorado Course #2 in the “Top Value Priced ($50 and under)” category in 2010 and the reviewers gave the redesign a very big thumbs-up.
Quail Valley’s La Quinta Course is the easier of the two courses with much friendlier flatter fairways with the pin typically visible from the tee box, less water, and half the number of bunkers of the El Dorado Course. We loved El Dorado and found it visually pleasing with some unique and very interesting, as well as challenging, holes.
El Dorado is characterized by well guarded and challenging green complexes which put a premium on your ability to hit and hold the greens – miss them and par will be difficult. For example, a large number of the greens are elevated with significant slope leading to trouble which in a number of cases is water. In fact, nine of the 18 greens have water in front, back, or along the side of the green – in a couple cases the greens are like islands.
In addition, the greens are well guarded by mounds and berms and bunkers of all shapes and sizes (some of which are huge) plus some grass bunkers that are fairly steep and deep. To score well, you best practice your short game before you head out for a round on El Dorado Golf Course.
At 6931 yards and a rating of 74.3 and slope of 140 from the tips, El Dorado is no walk in the park. Part of what makes it challenging are the green complexes but you’ll also find dog legs, creeks or ponds on 13 holes, forced carries, risk reward opportunities, 68 bunkers, and some narrow fairways. Pick the right set of tee boxes and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew and you’ll love this 18. There are some great holes, for example:
- #1, a 526 yard par 5, sets the stage for your round with a creek and big drop off all along the left side, a fairly narrow fairway with 3 bunkers, an out of bounds on the right side, and two lakes protecting the front and back of the green – and this is the #15 handicap hole
- #4 is a forced carry over a lake plus 7 bunkers on the way to and around the green
- #5 has an elevated green with severe slope to the water which surrounds three quarters of the left side and back of the green – plus there are three bunkers guarding the approach on the right side
- #15 offers some risk reward shots over a large lake with a water fountain as the fairway makes a sharp right turn around the lake
- #16 has water near the tee box and a minefield of 8 bunkers awaiting your tee shot on this treacherous 403 yard par 4
- #17 is a beauty and fun to play – a 399 yard par four demanding accuracy off the tee box to avoid the large lake along the entire fairway and then a carry across the lake to a green fronted by water plus a bunker to catch the long shots
Quail Valley’s El Dorado Course is new and the greens and fairways are still maturing, and as such there are still some rough spots and both are firm. However, we still thought that the greens and fairways were in excellent condition. Most of the fairways are a tad narrow, well contoured, and the first cut is wide and playable, but after that you’re under the trees or in the back yard of a huge beautiful home. A couple of outstanding holes play along a busy road which is a little distracting.
The greens are average to large in size, very well guarded, and most are elevated. They were in near perfect condition but firm because they are still maturing. They have minor slope and contour but run true and smooth – once you hit um, putting shouldn’t be a problem.
The bunkers were also in good shape with soft white sand but the sand isn’t real thick. Lips on the bunkers range from one to three feet – not real steep and deep. The bunkers range in size from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters!
Bottom line – this is an outstanding track that is fun to play and will test your game and reward the good shots but severely penalize the bad ones. For the conditions and layout, it is an excellent value.
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Service is friendly, the pro shop has the basics, the grill serves a variety of food, and the practice facilities are adequate. A new club house is planned for 2011.