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20220302 GOLF Tony Butler Golf Course 06The past couple of years have been difficult for many businesses. While not knowing if they were going to be opened or closed, it gave directors of golf, owners, golf pros and those who make decisions an opportunity to make some tweaks to their courses – minor to major.

Over the next few weeks, we would like you to try out a new course, or two or three, and then let us know about your favorites in our golf course survey. We would also like to solicit additional feedback for our wrap up story. And if you would, attach a short note to your ballot, telling us why you voted the way you did.
We would love to hear your thoughts, your stories, and any duffers anecdotes you would like to share.

Tony Butler Golf Course

Tony Butler will be a new Tony Butler in just a few months. The city of Harlingen will be closing down the golf course from April until possibly October for super-duper, major renovations. Among those improvements include redoing tee boxes, greens, and irrigation. In other words, when the course re-opens it will be like the unveiling of a new course.

This is a major project that will benefit the community, the golf course and, of course, golfers.

Tony Butler has already gone from having a little bit of everything to a little bit more of everything as the club reopened its executive golf course and now has 27 holes to await the golfer who checks in to possibly the most historic course in South Texas. From wide open fairways where you can swing away to some tight shots within a magnificent setting, this municipal is sure to challenge the golfer in many ways. Butler, a PGA champion from Ganado, Texas brought some of the greatest golfers to the Valley for tournaments during the Great Depression. He was known for his use of the 4-wood, which he would sometimes play entire rounds using only that club. We don't recommend you try that but if you're in the mood for a super challenge.

Address: 2640 Golf Course Dr., Harlingen

Phone: (956) 216-5970

Description: Par-71 municipal course

Website: tonybutlergc.com

Yardage: Blue — 6,320; White — 5,837; Red — 5,113; also have senior tees around 5,400

Amenities: Driving range, putting green, chipping green, snack bar

Winter Texan Specials: $28 for 18 with cart; $21 for 9; Rates drop to $20/15 after 3 p.m.

Tierra Santa Golf Club

20220302 GOLF Tierra Santa Golf Course HMiller 8616The new bar/grill will be opening later this month – and will have more food than before. That alone should be exciting enough to bring golfers in by the busload.
But there's more.

Once the grill opens, then the renovation of the clubhouse will begin, including a separate room for golfers to just relax.

There's even more.

No. 18 – probably the most well-known hole, and surely the most popular finishing hole in the Valley – will no longer be No. 18. The course is flipping its starting hole to where No. 10 was, meaning 18 will now be No. 9.

Good thing the new bar/grill is right there. Golfers can celebrate or commiserate No. 9 before they head to the new back nine.

It's going to be harder to believe that this is a public course and not a country club, because it is a public course with the ultimate country club feel.

And no matter if it's No. 9 or No. 18 or any hole in between, you will leave that hole either with a big grin on your face or scratching your head wondering... how?

Address: 1901 Club de Amistad, Weslaco

Phone: (956) 973-1811

Description: Par-72

Website: tierrasantaweslaco.com

Yardage: Red — 2,580; White — 3,012; Blue — 3,284; Black — 3,546

Amenities: Driving range, putting/chipping green, pro shop, restaurant

Winter Texan Specials: Winter Texans can purchase 10 round 20 or 30 rounds at discounted rates, and it comes with two free rounds; Winter Texans can call Ron Meyer (956) 249-0952 for rates and more information.

Stuart Place Country Club

20220302 GOLF Stuart Place 01The biggest change here is maybe one of the largest improvements for any course in South Texas as Stuart Place added Wendy Werley Bullock as the new golf pro. An LPGA Class A instructor who had made golf her passion since before high school is one of the best teaching pros in all of South Texas and considered among the best children’s instructors in the nation. She is a certified Master teacher for children. Any other changes to the course are just icing on the cake.

This is a course where “everybody knows your name.” Well, at least it has a feel like that – from the time you decide what color tees you're going to hit from (a big deal since there is a 700-yard difference) until the time you return to the comfort of the small, but relaxing clubhouse. The course isn't super difficult, but it still has its challenges, and you can't just plan on wedges and putters, but you could probably still have fun with only that on this pretty course.

Address: 155 Highland Drive, Harlingen

Phone: (956) 428-2000

Description: 9-hole Par-36

Website: Facebook – Stuart Place Golf

Yardage: Blue — 2,646; White — 2,205; Yellow — 2,057; Red — 1,944

Amenities: Bar with snacks, practice putting area

Winter Texan Specials: $18 for 9 holes with cart; $27 for 18 holes with cart

Harlingen Country Club

A beauty of a layout with a mixture of challenges, Harlingen Country Club is the shot-maker's course. Sure, there are holes where you can grip it and rip it but the subtle elevation changes, the twists, and turns along with the well-placed hazards makes this the perfect golf-thinkers course. It's like playing chess, just with golf clubs instead of pawns, rooks, knights...

Address: 5500 El Camino Real, Harlingen

Phone: (956) 412-4100

Description: Par-72

Website: harlingencc.com

Yardage: Red — 5,035; White — 5,664; Blue — 6,261; Black — 6,541

Amenities: Putting green, chipping green, driving range, bar and restaurant

Winter Texan Specials: Call for information

Sunshine Country Club Estates

Enjoy a relaxing day at the modern, world class golf course. You’ll appreciate a truly distinct experience on the course, reflecting the classic beauty and refinement of Harlingen. The wonderfully kept surroundings of this course make for a truly wonderful golfing experience. This is also the home of the Good Neighbor Golf Tournament, an annual three-day event followed by a banquet in March.

Address: 1957 W. Michigan Dr., Harlingen

Phone: (956) 425-1420

Description: Par-27, 9-hole course

Website: sunshinecountryclub.com

Yardage: All tees — 1,033

Amenities: Visit the website

Cottonwood Creek Country Club

Address: 1001 S. Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen

Phone: (956) 428-0766

Description: 9-Hole, Par 3 Course

Website: cottonwoodcreekcountryclub.com

Village Executive Golf Course

20220302 GOLF Village Executive HMiller 8682For a pleasant change of pace, this par-3 course is perfect for a quick round of enjoyable golf. Want to work on your short irons and approaches, this is the place to come. The course is mostly open without too many hazards – of course the South Texas wind is a natural hazard. But don't get caught off guard, there is water that comes into play and a few big trees that would be more than happy to steer your shot off course. Affordable is nice, but a couple holes make the scenery here even nicer.

Address: 3300 S. International Blvd., Weslaco

Phone: (956) 968-6516

Description: 9-hole, 1,563-yard public course

Website: Village Executive Golf on Facebook

Yardage: All tees — 1,563

Amenities: Clubhouse

Winter Texan Specials: $10 per day; $2 each time to play after that for the day

Treasure Hills Golf Club

20220302 GOLF Treasure Hills Golf Course HMillerThere haven't been a lot of recent changes at Treasure Hills, that's because new ownership made life-saving changes years ago. A golf course that at one time was on the verge of shutting down multiple times has a new and beautiful life, and golfers should be thankful. Scenic views, magnificent trees and serene lakes make this course beautiful. And the layout makes it challenging and always a fun course to play. Many holes are wide open, some bottle neck so you play risk versus reward here if you don't plan a couple shots ahead. Slight elevation changes may also throw the golfer off, or at least for the golfers to think more about which club to pull out of the bag.

Address: 3009 N. Augusta National Dr., Harlingen

Phone: (956) 425-1700

Description: Par-72

Golf Manager: Roger Bhakta

Yardage: Red — 4,749; Gold — 5,361; White — 6,360; Blue — 6,788

Amenities: Pro shop, snacks, concessions, beer, sandwiches; driving range, putting green

Winter Texan Specials: Special membership – individual for month $450 plus tax; couples $572 plus tax. Both include cart.