MONTGOMERY: To say that Texas Golf panel members were impressed with Bluejack National would be an understatement.
There was never a doubt that Tiger Woods’ first U.S. design would be the best new course in Texas for 2017. What was unexpected was that it would debut in The Dallas Morning News’ Texas Golf rankings at No. 3, right behind stalwarts Whispering Pines and Dallas National. Thirty-six of the 90 Texas Golf panel members rated Bluejack National.
Except for Colonial being the No. 1 course in the first rankings in 1989, only Dallas National, which debuted at No. 2 in 2004, has ever entered the rankings at as high a level.
The course in Montgomery had its grand opening on April 25, 2016. It is 50 miles north northwest of downtown Houston, but there is a lingering sensation of being at Augusta National a thousand miles away in Georgia.
The Zeon Zoysia fairways are wide, the 49 bunkers are filled with brilliant Premier White sand and the course measures 7,552 yards from the Tiger tees. (Augusta National is 7,435 yards.) There is no rough, but native areas well off the fairways have been known to swallow up a golf ball or two.
“My vision for the golf course was to use the spectacular setting of pines and mature oaks on the gently rolling topography to create a dramatic and memorable course,” Woods said by email. “I wanted to create a course with a range of options that encourages players to consider a variety of shots.”
Though the fairways are generous, strategy is required.
“As members play more and more, the strategic aspects of the course, the correct angles and the options around the greens become more and more apparent and interesting,” Bluejack National president Casey Paulson said by email. “And while the course is challenging, especially from our Tiger tees, people are having fun on the course and want to share the experience.
“That was, and continues to be, our collective goal. I think that’s because very few golf balls are lost, the course is playable for everyone, and rounds are as fast as players want to play.”
Said Woods, “The biggest compliment that I can receive as a designer is someone finishing their round and being excited about playing the golf course again. That’s happening at Bluejack.”