Rayburn Country has 3 nines, each of which was designed by someone different. The Green Course was designed in 1979 by Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin and it is the most challenging of the three 9s. Von Hagge and Devlin also designed Lufkin’s Crown Colony Country Club course which is consistently rated in the top 5 best courses in Texas. The Green Course is not your typical resort course which is usually wide straight fairways with little to no variety and designed so you can score well and will come back again – if you’re expecting that, go to Florida.
Rayburn Country’s Green Course is one of the most challenging, unique, and fun courses we have played in Texas. The first hole will give you an idea of what you’re in for – it’s a short dog leg left 373 yard hole from the tips requiring a precise drive to the landing zone and then an iron shot to an elevated green. Oh, and on the way down to the landing zone, it is a multi-terraced fairway (try to override your temptation to zoom down the terraced fairway which feels like you’re on a roller coaster) and then back up a steep hill to a narrow plateau green protected by a couple bunkers – miss short and you roll back down the hill, miss left and you’re in the bunker, and if you miss deep you have a very challenging chip to a sloping green! What a fun hole. And the other 8 holes offer similar challenges, variety, and fun.
This course demands strategic shot making and a lot of forethought. Placement off the tee is critical, so you may want to leave the driver in your bag. We loved this nine but if you want to have an easy round, then play the Gold or Blue nine. The terrain on the Green Course is mostly up and down, narrow, well treed, and scenic. Each hole is different and unique and has it’s own personality.
The fairways are in very good condition and it takes a couple rounds to really figure out how to manage them. The greens are very small, with some slope that makes them hard to read, and most are plateau requiring a precise approach shot. When we played the greens were in transition from summer to winter, but once they make the transition they should be in very good condition and a little fast.
Here’s some good news for you, there are only 11 bunkers (9 of which protect that small green) and although the card shows water on 7 holes, it only presents a challenge on two holes. One golfing magazine ranked 2 of the holes on the Green course in the “Top 10 Toughest Holes in Texas”. Get out of your comfort zone and play this nine – forget about your score and enjoy the challenge, variety, and unique personality of this 9.
The below rating and slope are based on playing the Green and Gold course together.