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The Hidden Gems of our Mid Valley Golf Courses

20220319 Tierra Santa Golf Course ALB 0009 wbA “Hidden Gem” is something that isn't well known or popular but has something special or unique about it that inspires positive feelings. The term is often used for travel destinations and restaurants, but people also use it to describe books, movies, games, podcasts, and more.

We’ll be honest with you, as the popularity of golf has returned to a growth stage since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become harder and harder to find hidden gems on the golf course. Now, they’re precious gems.

This is the last week of our three-part series covering these hidden gems in the Valley. These hidden gems are recommended by the golf pros, or regulars, at the golf courses.

Hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, unexpected surprises — like finding an extra $20 that was forgotten in the pocket of a pair of pants — can have a profound positive effect on one’s day.

Read more: The Hidden Gems of our Mid Valley Golf Courses

The Hidden Gems of our Lower Valley Golf Courses

20170124 Long Island Village Golf Course Jennie McBride webA “Hidden Gem” is something that isn't well known or popular but has something special or unique about it that inspires positive feelings. The term is often used for travel destinations and restaurants, but people also use it to describe books, movies, games, podcasts, and more.

We’ll be honest with you, as the popularity of golf has returned to a growth stage since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become harder and harder to find hidden gems on the golf course. Now, they’re precious gems.

Read more: The Hidden Gems of our Lower Valley Golf Courses

The Hidden Gems of our Upper Valley Golf Courses

20191104 Palm View Golf Course HMiller 9618 Champion Lakes webA “Hidden Gem” is something that isn't well known or popular but has something special or unique about it that inspires positive feelings. The term is often used for travel destinations and restaurants, but people also use it to describe books, movies, games, podcasts, and more.

We’ll be honest with you, as the popularity of golf has returned to a growth stage since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become harder and harder to find hidden gems on the golf course. Now, they’re precious gems.

This year, we will be running a three-part series introducing these gems in three categories – lower, middle, and upper Valley. These hidden gems are recommended by the golf pros, or regulars, at the golf courses.

Hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, unexpected surprises — like finding an extra $20 that was forgotten in the pocket of a pair of pants — can have a profound positive effect on one’s day.

Similarly, golf courses have some gems of their own. Sure, they have their “signature holes,” usually the most difficult, most scenic, or most unique (most of the times all three) hole on the course. But hidden away are those other holes that bring a smile to a golfer’s face (sometimes dread).

Read more: The Hidden Gems of our Upper Valley Golf Courses

Victoria Palms Restaurant: “They’re always glad you came”

We found ourselves pulling up to Victoria Palms Restaurant early Thursday morning and were the first to arrive. Friendly greetings and a hearty “Welcome!” from Dave as he put the final touches on his omelet station made the spacious ballroom feel much cozier and welcoming.

As we considered the menu, the regular crowd shuffled in with staff greeting each by name. One stood out as she walked by with barely a word. Greeted just as warmly she was informed that her coffee was at her table -- her gratitude evident as she made a beeline for her seat. The whole scene evoked memories of “Cheers”.

Many of those coming in enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and ordered the special. I opted to indulge and ordered Dave’s Special; a two-egg omelet with choice of three ingredients, served with a half waffle with choice of strawberry or pineapple topping and whipped cream; adding hash browns, bacon, and orange juice.
Over the years we have enjoyed more than a few of Dave’s omelets and every time we come away knowing that you’ll be hard pressed to find better.

You can enjoy a bargain on a great meal with weekly breakfast and lunch specials, and the entire menu features delicious food at great prices. Breakfast specials are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the lunch specials are served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Victoria Palms Restaurant at N. Victoria Rd and I-2 in Donna is open 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Julia Lane Cooper Music

20230110 213936 webGenres: Pop, Rock, Country, Music Variety, Themed Parties

If you’re looking for a high-energy performance of songs from the 1950’s to today, you’ve found your entertainer! She sings, she dances, she tells jokes… Julia Lane Cooper does it all!

Read more: Julia Lane Cooper Music

Taco Palenque: Aromas and flavors abound

20231024 TOV Taco Palenque 5 webAt almost any Taco Palenque you visit, you are greeted by the wonderful smells of great Mexican food before you even walk through their doors. This visit was no different.

My daughter and I recently visited the Mission location. I commented on how good it smelled as we walked to the front doors. It was quite busy during the lunch hour rush, but we were pleasantly surprised at how fast it was to order. We were even more pleasantly surprised when it didn’t take long for our food to get to our table.

You pay for and order your food at the counter, but they bring the food to your table. They have a salsa buffet with condiments and several types of salsas. They also have an area where you can get your own tortilla chips.

On this visit we decided to get the Parrillada for two – A fajita plate with corn or flour tortillas, choice of meat (fajita, chicken, sirloin, al pastor, or mixed chicken and fajita), rice, lettuce with guacamole, and refried beans. We chose the mix, and it didn’t disappoint.

Both meats were very tender. The refried beans are nice and creamy, and the rice is full of flavor. The tortillas tasted very fresh – fresh enough I could have just eaten one by itself.

The wait staff was very attentive and took notice when we were done, trying to decide what we were going to take home. The gentleman asked if we wanted to take everything, to which we said yes. He was very diligent in bringing the containers we needed to make sure the leftovers traveled well.

It’s a place I will visit again. Having regularly visited other locations for breakfast tacos, I now know I will be going back to try more of their lunch and dinner options.

See their ad on this page for a location near you.

Stuart Place Country Club: Everybody knows it’s name

Stuart Place 03 PRINTMaybe at one point in someone’s recent memory, Stuart Place Country Club in Harlingen was probably considered “Little Stuart.”

Now, it’s a golf giant. Underdog, or diamond in the rough, be gone. The secret is out and well-known.

Golfers, and probably several non-golfers, declared that the 9-hole course was their favorite course across the Valley during the Winter Texan Times annual Favorite Winter Texan Golf Course contest.

The par-36 course plays approximately 2,600 yards, is walkable and has enough challenges to give golfers at any level some risk and reward opportunities.

Read more: Stuart Place Country Club: Everybody knows it’s name

Upper Valley contains some of the Valley’s oldest courses

Ebony Hills IMG 8235 webIt’s starting to feel like spring, and for us, that means golf – even if you can play it nearly year-round in the South Texas climate. Each spring we ask our readers to vote for their favorite golf courses. The Valley has many courses to choose from, and Winter Texans seem to try to catch them all while visiting the Valley.

This year, we wanted to delve into the history of our Valley golf courses. We hope you enjoy this bit of history and learning about the courses you visit and love. For the next three weeks we will feature a different part of the Valley. This week we will feature the Lower Valley golf courses.

You have until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, to vote for your favorite golf course in each Valley region, and your overall favorite. If you have any words to share about your favorite, or what you like about the Valley golf courses, be sure to email us at news@wintertexantimes.com. You can find the ballot in this issue, or online at www.wintertexantimes.com.

Read more: Upper Valley contains some of the Valley’s oldest courses

Rio Grande Valley golf courses steeped in rich history

20180208 Tony Butler Golf Course 06 webIt’s starting to feel like spring, and for us, that means golf – even if you can play it nearly year-round in the South Texas climate. Each spring we ask our readers to vote for their favorite gold courses. The Valley has many courses to choose from, and Winter Texans seem to try to catch them all while visiting the Valley.

This year, we wanted to delve into the history of our Valley golf courses. We hope you enjoy this bit of history and learning about the courses you visit and love. For the next three weeks we will feature a different part of the Valley. This week we will feature the Mid Valley golf courses.

Read more: Rio Grande Valley golf courses steeped in rich history

Rio Grande Valley golf courses steeped in rich history

20191020 Rancho Viejo Golf Course HMiller 8428 webIt’s almost spring, and for us, that means golf – even if you can play it nearly year round in the South Texas climate. Each spring we ask our readers to vote for their favorite gold courses. The Valley has many courses to choose from, and Winter Texans seem to try to catch them all while visiting the Valley.

This year, we wanted to delve into the history of our Valley golf courses. We hope you enjoy this bit of history and learning about the courses you visit and love. For the next three weeks we will feature a different part of the Valley. This week we will feature the Lower Valley gold courses.

Valley International Country Club

Golf in the Rio Grande Valley has a long tradition, tracing back to the mid-1840s when it is reported that soldiers from Fort Brown introduced the sport to what was then known as Brownsville Country Club – now named Valley International Country Club.

Over the years, the sport grew and the names to graze VICC included not just the best from the Valley, such as Al Escalante and Tony Butler, but also Jimmy Demaret and Hall-of-Famer Ben Hogan.

In the 1930s, the city and VICC hosted a driving contest. “It was an era when Brownsville was coming up in the golfing world. The game was so popular that the city had its own practice driving range located across the street from “The Terrace,” a miniature golf course on the main street of the city, West Elizabeth,” wrote Rene Torres in the Port Isabel Press.

Read more: Rio Grande Valley golf courses steeped in rich history

Taste of the Valley
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Wintertainters™

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