The Mission Inn Resort & Club had existed with a mere 18 holes for more than 70 years before ownership decided to make the investment in another option for guests. Although the El Campéon route remains the most popular at the club, the Las Colinas 18 will provide a challenge of its own.
Gary Koch realized that he faced a mighty task in trying to create a course with similar teeth to Campéon, and he certainly did his best. Stretching more than 7,200 yards from its back tees, Las Colinas is the longest of the 18-hole routes at Mission Inn.
Although Campéon may offer more opportunity for the golfer to lose a ball in the water, Las Colinas offers almost as much chance to lose a ball in the trees, which guard many of the fairways. Although, to be fair, there are ponds aplenty on the Las Colinas side, the signature hole — “Alligator Alley” — does not feature any water. Instead, it’s the most forested area on the property. Measuring just 492 yards from the back tees, players must still consider the risk of hitting a bomb, due to the arboreal spectators lining the fairway here.
Mission Inn's El Campeon is famous for its teeth and the Mission Inn property is known for its rare old Florida feel, but Las Colinas is a miss. We played 72 at the resort in a group of 24 over 3 days in fall 2019, including 36 at Las Colinas. Las Colinas winds in and out of a residential development surrounding the resort without the vertical roll of the El Campeon side of the property. There is a prefab Swilken bridge, or something, to close out the front 9. Conditioning would draw some remarks about the greenskeeping at a private club, but people wouldn't quit the club.
The course is at its best in the 3 hole stretch from 13 to 15 on the back 9 as its bursts from tighter neighborhood corridors into an open rolling field, carrying trouble on the 13th tee uphill to a 3 shot Par 5 into elevated an green. The 14th plays back down and to left around a tight dogleg that demands a choice between layup and hero line; the pushed or straight drive is punished. The 15th offers an interesting shot reminiscent of Harbour Town's par 3s as a mossy live oak bends over the line from tee to the right side of the green; the green complex is bathed in shadows in a small grove in the woods. The bailout must be well struck to cover the pine straw and bushes left of the green, bracketed by trees. The 16th then swings back back into houses on a dogleg right with water catching straight drives through the fairway.
If you have played residential development golf, particularly in the southern United States, you have played Las Colinas.
This little sister is more than enough! Makes for a great 36 hole day.
Las Colinas was added to Mission Inn in the early 1990s. Most consider it the easier of the two courses and I concur, but at over 7200 yards from the tips and water on 15 holes it is a good challenge The first hole is welcoming. A what you see is what you get par 4. The 2nd is a mcgilla. A 200+ yard par 3 over water with 4 bunkers behind the green, amazingly this is the number 18 handicap hole! The par 4 4th is demanding, tight fairway, ob left and prime Floida swampland right. The 4th hole requires a crisp approach shot as the green is long, narrow, double tiered and protected by a swale on the right and bunkers on the left. I loved the par five 5th (yes, I birdied), a slight dogleg right, I would suggest favoring the left side off the tee to give you the best angle on your second shot. Pick your wedge distance carefully, there is water in front and this green has 3 tiers. The par 4 7th is a birdie oppty, however long hitters beware of the pond on that left that is about 130 yards out. The 8th is a long par 4. The fairway hourglasses in the landing zone and about 100 yards out. Don’t splash it right.
The 10th is a slight dogleg right with OB down the right side. This hole has a plethora of fairway bunkers on both sides. The 11th is obligatory Florida par 3 with carry over water. Back to back par 5s, 12 & 13. The 12th is quite short but also quite tight. The right side off the tee wil give you the best green light oppty. This is another fairway lined with bunkers. The 13th is a tough hole and the number one handicap. I would recommend favoring the right side off the tee. I can only envision a few getting home in two, so pick your favorite wedge yardage. No rest for the weary, 14 is even tougher. At 497 yards it is longer than the par 5 12th. A big dogleg left, to really have a shot at the green in two you must cut the corner over the swamp, but don’t’ get too greedy. The 15th is a 236 yard par 3 from the tips with the smallest green on the course. The 16th and 17th are long par 4s and are rated the 17th and 15th easiest. I don’t get it, The 16th is 420 with water left and the 17th is 417 and your approach from just about anywhere in the fairway ust carry water. Regardless, 17 is a pretty hole. In an unusual configuration, 18 is the third par 5 on the backside. The fairway is bisected by gunch about 250 yards out, so big hitters be wary. The rest of us just have to be wary to hit our second shots over it! A good finishing hole. Heck, the last 7 holes are top notch.
If you wan to avoid the insanity of Disneyworld head to Howey in the Hills