Texas Outside's Review and Rating of Quicksand Golf Course in San Angelo
Quicksand Golf Club in San Angelo is a fun but demanding 18 hole course that plays on 320 acres of what we would call typical west Texas terrain – relatively flat desert terrain with small trees, desert brush, cactus, and sand. The course is a combination of a desert course (with forced carries, natural sand areas, cactus that will stick you, snakes, and sage brush) and a links style course. Quicksand Golf Club is very appropriately named after its 71 steep, deep, and huge treacherous bunkers that seem to attract and swallow your golf ball. I have plenty of first-hand experience with the bunkers, I must have found at least half of them and taken a lot of the sand home with me in my hair, shoes, socks, and pockets!
The 71 sand and 15 to 20 grass bunkers clearly define Quicksand Golf Club and make it a very demanding course that requires excellent course management and strategic thinking, precise and accurate tee as well approach shots, and excellent skills to try to get out of the bunkers. The bunkers pinch the landing zones and protect the greens.
To score well you'll need to pick the right set of tee boxes (five to choose from with yardages of 5023 to 7171 yards), consider leaving the big dog in the bag on some holes, and be precise on the approach shots. But don't let all of that discourage you from playing this outstanding layout it's fair, fun, and an outstanding value.
Speaking of fun, there are some outstanding holes, for example:
- #3 requires an accurate drive tee shot from a slightly raised tee box to nail the fairway and avoid the long bunker and lake on the left side which has a finger into about the middle of the fairway – you need an accurate approach shot from a roller coaster fairway to miss the huge greenside bunker and the lake of the left and some trees on the right side of the green
- #5 is 357-yard par 4 with one of the largest bunker's I seen and from the tee box most of it is hidden and reachable on your drive a precise shot to the odd shaped green
- #7 is a 621-yard par 5 that is the #1 handicap hole and it's a fun and challenging bear to play – a narrow rolling slightly uphill fairway twists and turns through 14 treacherous multi-fingered bunkers leading to a raised green guarded by 2 more bunkers
- #13 offers a great risk-reward shot off the tee box and #14 is an interesting 187-yard par 3 that from the tips you can't see the green thanks to the natural area you need to carry
- #16, 17, and 18 are three fun and challenging holes with a demanding approach on 16 thanks to a lake and 5 bunkers, a forced carry over the lake on the par 3 209 yard #17, and accuracy from tee to green on #18 because of the lake and bunker pinching the landing zone and a fairway that dogs left around the lake to the green
The fairways at Quicksand Golf Club range from wide open to a little tight and it's nature, no homes, dogs, or hecklers. Many of the fairways are heavily contoured (they must have created the contour from the dirt in all the deep bunkers) which creates some uneven lies. The roughs are large but if you miss them you're wet or in the desert where you don't want to have an encounter with those sharp cactus needles. The roughs are dense grass and the ball tended to sit on top making for a very playable lie. When we played the fairways were in very good condition and a little firm giving us lots of extra roll.
I don't think the greens could have been in much better condition. The greens range from average size to huge and they were a little bumpy and slow thanks to a recent plugging. Normally they run very true and around a 10 to 11. The slope and contour is minor and in most cases very manageable, but watch out, there are a few subtle breaks. Most of the greens are raised and very well guarded putting a premium on accurate approach shots.
The bunkers are everywhere, so make sure you practice your sand shots before you head out. They range in size from small pot bunkers to some huge treacherous monsters the size of Rhode Island and they are all different shapes from oval to long with up lots of fingers, to Mickey Mouse ears, to heart-shaped, to a 4 leaf clover with one extra leaf, to one with a grass island and a tree in the middle of the bunker! Most of them are deep and steep-faced but the good news is they are firm and the ball will hit the face and roll back toward the center of the bunker giving you a much better shot. The sand is thin and hard to get under and it's gritty.
Bottom line – what a pleasant surprise with very good conditions; some fun, fair and demanding holes; and an excellent value – a must play if you're anywhere near San Angelo.
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The pro shop has all the basics, the range and practice area are adequate, but I didn't see a practice bunker! The grill is outstanding - one of the best burgers I've had, it's thick, huge, juicy, and loaded. The chicken tortilla soup was also excellent. The staff is very friendly as are all of the locals and players we met.