Thursday, June 21, 2018
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20170208 GOLF PHOTOS Howling TrailsRaul Gutierrez, complex administrator at Howling Trails Golf Course, located at 1910 Hole In One Dr. in Mission, is excited about what the future is bringing to the course. He has already watched a complete transformation of a golf course into a learning and recreational center.

He’s even happier about the fact that La Joya ISD is investing back into the course, formerly known as Martin Valley Ranch.

The course is surrounded by seven Winter Texan parks and has undergone some major construction on the outskirts of the property since the school district purchased it. Gutierrez said that the planning stage was focused highly on not disturbing the Winter Texans and their routines – especially when it came to the golf course. He said that the planning has worked and the Winter Texan community hasn’t missed a beat when in terms of their regular group outings or if they just want to randomly hit the course.

Howling Trails has lush Bermuda tees, fairways and greens, The facility boasts 27 holes with a par-72 on the first 18 holes and a par 36-on the back nine. The 18-hole course ranges from 6,175 yards from the tips to a nice, short 4,881 yards from the most front tees. The 9-hole course (holes 19-27) ranges from 3,003 yards to 3,459 from the blue tees.

The course has an abundance of Live Oak, Mesquite and Palm trees, as well as native plant and wildlife. The Howling Trails course is a fun yet challenging course - bunkers and water come into play on six holes.

The school board approved the purchase of the golf course in 2014 and set out plans to build a natatorium, tennis courts, a student learning assistance center, fields for science experiments and possibly a planetarium.

The learning assistance center is part of an overall plan to have a place in several areas where students can access computers and the Internet.

They also planned to extend the district’s golf program to include sixth-grade students. It wouldn’t be a new program, he said, just an expansion that wouldn’t cost much to kick off because each of the middle school campuses already have golf equipment.

The course already hosts high school tournaments for La Joya, La Joya Palmview and La Joya Juarez-Lincoln and will soon be hosting the district tournament.

Before that, however, there will be some more work done to improve the course, and every golfer will be happy to see.

“Now that the water park is done being built, we will start working on the irrigation and a driving range,” Gutierrez said. “We need the driving range for the high school tournaments but it will be something that everyone can use.”

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