The Woodlands Country Club of Houston features 63 holes of golf. The most celebrated route is the Tournament Course, but the Player course — designed by The Black Knight — is quite the fallback plan for members. Player added his self-titled course 15 years after Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin laid out the original 18.
Although it relies less upon open water as a hazard than the Tournament course does, Player features a number of creeks that provide the most noteworthy hazard during a round. Player himself uses both as the centerpiece of a short par four, however.
The green at No. 4 may be out of reach for most non-PGA players at 340 yards, however those who aim for the left band of fairway will receive a much better angle in than those who play to the right of the creek that divides the hole. At No. 17, players must carry a pond off the left and guide their tee shot into a skinny, vertically-aligned green if they hope to take an eagle putt.
The course measures more than 7,100 yards from the back tees.
The Woodlands has many fine golf options. The Player course is the most recent addition. The first hole is a welcoming par four that leans a bit to the right. Favor the left off the tee, but be wary of the fairway bunker left that is well over 50 yards long. As a hooker, this bunker got me early. The 2nd is a par five and it ate me up. Reachable by the big boys, but not if you hook it into one of the most ginormous fairway bunkers I have ever had the misfortune to be in. It is well over 100 yards long. The hole has half a dozen cross bunkers starting at about 230 out. Going bunker to bunker rarely leads to positive outcomes. The good news is I did avoid the greenside bunkers. The 3rd hole is a good scoring hole. Trees right and it bends left with OB left. The only real trouble is front right bunker. The 4th is also a good birdie oppty. The hole bends right and there is a creek running down the entire right side. Decent drive leaves you with a flip wedge. The first par three is long with a C shaped bunker front right. The 6th is the longest par four on the front and it bends left. The fairway bunker left should not come into play best line off the tee is to aim at the right fairway bunkers. I do not know why the par five 7th is the number one handicap. Yes, there are trees right and OB left. Ideal drive is just left of the fairway pot bunker which will set up a green light go for it shot. Pars a re earned on the 232 yard par three 8th. I swallowed my ego and hit driver. The straightaway long 9th is a much tougher hole than the 7th. Water right the entire way. Favor the left side off the tee and the green has three greenside bunkers.
The back starts with a beast, 484 yard par four. The green is straight ahead , but the fairway is left and a creek runs right of the fairway before going across about 150 yards out. You need to hit two really good shots to have a chance at par. The 11th is a gimme par three, the shortest and easiest hole on the course. The 12th is the longest hole on the course and bends left. Favor the right side off the tee and a creek does run across the hole in front of the green. The 13th is a birdie hole leans right but there is a creek, drainage ditch. Mosquito breeding area, whatever you want to call it right. Plenty of landing room in the fairway to set up an attack iron. The last par three is mid-length and easily forgettable, unless you ace it. (which I did not). The 15th is tree lined both sides and bends left. Find the fairway and the hole is straight forward. The 16th is the last par five and slings hard right. Yardage says you could get home in two, but I do not see it. There is another very long fairway bunker on the inside elbow. Play it as a three shotter, favor the left and you should have a chance at birdie. The 17th is a fun hole. The shortest par four with a water hazard left and moguls. The green is long and thin with three bunkers left and one right. Consider laying up to your favorite yardage. The 18th is basically the opposite hand of 9.
Good not great and beats a sharp stick in the eye.