Twists and Turns
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Texas Twist's contribution to the Trey Ranch/Selah Ranch quartet of courses offers probably the best diversity of the four 18s. Hole distances are wide ranging and evenly distributed, with everything from deuceables to challenging par 3s to the signature John Houck par 4s and 5s emphasizing placement and risk versus reward. Mandos, a lake, and creekbeds all come into play, and woodedness is exceptionally varied, covering the gamut from open bombs to heavily wooded tunnel shots and all manner in between. Shot variety is abundant. Elevation isn't significant, but plays a minor role here and there to further spice things up. All told there's something for everyone here, and this diversity is masterfully integrated and orchestrated.
Texas Twist plays more intimate and less grandiose than Selah Lakeside, and more technical than either Creekside or Trey Deuce, mostly due to the stretch of wooded holes from 7 to 15. These feature fair but challenging lines, tight windows, strategy-inducing landing zones and multiple lanes, and some punishing rough. Precision is tested here, but fairly so. It's a great mix of distances and pars that provides a clinic of wooded disc golf amounting to one of my favorite stretches of holes I've ever played. True bliss, with some picturesque moments, such as 9's creekside basket and 10's wooded lane off the tee.
Two tees per hole accommodate a variety of skill levels while keeping it interesting and challenging. Concrete tees are fantastic: level, huge, and well-signed.
Favorite holes: 10, a gorgeous, daunting tunnel shot that exits the woods ~300' out before cutting left and playing across a field to a nestled basket; 13, a deuceable multi-lane par 3 requiring tight FH or BH hyzers to make a run at the basket; 14, a gonzo multistager in tight conditions that is a true test of control. 18 deserves honorable mention as a thorny closer.
Cons: While the variety here is really something, the holes outside of the woods for the most part don't measure up to those in the wooded stretch. Some of this is a product of the course being in its infancy: 17, for instance, is presently quite open, but has some saplings that will notably enhance the technicality in a few years' time. Elsewhere there are a few too-well-trod Houckisms: yet another pin placed at a pond's edge, for instance, feels a bit stale to me, as does the cumulative effect of several open bombs and/or obstacle-free approaches to the basket. These latter cons aren't about design so much as land limitations, but that doesn't change the disparity between them and the sublime golf to be found in the woods. Such holes are largely what keep Texas Twist from being a perfect 5 for me.
When I played here in April 2014, the upkeep was very poor, with knee high grass throughout. It made searching for drivers on the longer more open holes a real drag. Others' reviews suggest that the grooming has improved, which would be a great plus.
The course is a hike, both for being long and for often requiring first timers to scout ahead. I'll bet it's brutal in the summer, even with the shade.
Other Thoughts: I would rank the Selah/Trey courses thus, from best to "worst": Lakeside, Texas Twist, Creekside, Trey Deuce. If TT's full 18 was on the level of the wooded holes that tickled my fancy, it'd likely be ahead of Lakeside and atop my favorite courses of all time. Even as it stands, it's a fantastic, memorable course that pairs well with Trey Deuce with its increased technicality.
$10 for a day of disc golfing on fantastic courses is a steal in my book.
Owner and namesake Trey is a helluva nice guy. Come give him your money and play his courses!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Texas Twist is definitely the tougher of the two Trey Texas courses. It is located just south of the saloon and the owners can point you where to go. Almost every hole has two tee pads. The longer of the tees being the most played for events and casual trips to the course. The first 6 holes are more open and require a well placed 2nd shot to score well. Hole 3 is really the only hole on the course where you could lose a disc without being able to retrieve it. There is a small pond on hole 5 but shouldn't come into play. Hole 6 is the longest hole on the course and plays across a large field. There are two groups of trees in the fairway that could interfere with your second/third shot if you land behind them and a small cluster of trees near the green that require an accurate throw to the pin. If the wind is blowing hard this hole instantly becomes one to two strokes more difficult. Holes 7-15 are all played through the wooded section of the property and are what set this course apart from almost every other course out there.
The fairways on the wooded holes are well defined, however the areas off of the fairways have been cleaned out of thorny vines but kept mostly untouched. This means that if you end up off of the fairway you may only be left with the option to pitch back out and try again. Holes 7 & 8 don't require much distance but you have to hit your line or you could end up in the small creek or deep in the woods. HOles 9 and 10 are my favorites. On hole 9 you can either attempt to lay up off of the tee to just short of the creek and then throw a long hyzer into the green; or play a turnover shot through a tight gap over the creek in order to get out to the right as far as possible and leave a shorter approach shot. The pin is nestled right above the creek and near an OB fence line. Hole 10 requires a 300'+ shot down a tight fairway to lay up before the creek or a 350+ shot to make it out into the field. Your next shot must make it through two large trees and over another small creek. If your first shot was long enough and you have the arm, you can reach the green on your second shot. But this does play as one of the hardest par 5's I've ever encountered. Holes 11 is another tight fairway par 4. There are some more 2able holes in hole 12, 13, and 15. Holes 16 - 18 play back out into the open, which is a relief after the previous 9.
Permanent signage is now in place for the holes. The map of the course is necessary the first time out, but it's not that difficult to find your way around. The owners have continued to clean the fairways of stumps and other problems. Bridges are in place to cross the creek when necessary and the course is regularly mowed.
Cons: There are only a few cons that I could find with this course. I don't feel that they are a product of bad design, but rather the setting that the course is in.
The facilities are very limited. This course is set out in the country on farm land so that is to be expected. The saloon has restroom facilities so I recommend using them before setting out on this course.
There is also very little traffic at these courses relative to Selah Ranch and other courses. This means that it will take longer for the course fairways to wear in. In the meantime the owners are maintaining the property religiously. This is not a course in a city park which means there will be some hiking required as you make your way.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the most overall challenging courses I have ever played. I think that it was designed so that a big arm will help, but is not required to score well. Bring lots of water and bug spray with you. I always try to play this course as many times as I can when I'm here and it always makes me want to come back and try to improve my score.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Trey Texas Ranch is a special place, located off the beaten path on an enormous East Texas farm. Trey deserves special mention, as he was very hospitable and was happy to have us playing the courses. He seemed to love hosting these courses. The saloon is an interesting place with a lot of character. Definitely seems like a cool place to hang out before and after playing; though, other than Trey and the cows, it didn't seem like anyone was within 100 miles when we were there. This type of atmosphere - combined with two John Houck-designed courses - is sure to offer a tremendous day of golf.
Tee signs, tees, and baskets are all in great shape. The tees do a great job of displaying the different lines offered, while the tees are very large and comfortable. Two tee positions are present on most holes, often significantly changing the length of a hole and offering a different look.
Texas Twist is a long, grueling course that is masterfully designed. Like other Houck courses, it is full of long, multi-stage holes that emphasize hitting the necessary landing zones. However, there are also a few short but challenging par 3's, giving the course a nice variety. This course offers a complete round, with holes ranging from 240-954 feet and with 7 par 3's, 8 par 4's, and 3 par 5's.
Shots and holes of all types are presented here, as well as some pretty unique holes that give the course great character. Holes 1-6 play with some surprisingly nice elevation, generally heading downhill and take you around a pond. Holes 7-15 offer a tighter, more technical challenge in a section of woods. Finally, holes 16-18 bring you more into the open, heading back uphill toward the road. While the course is only listed as moderately wooded, it only has 3 or 4 holes that I would call open.
The stretch in the woods from 7-15 is one of the best designed and most enjoyable stretch of holes that I have ever played. I was amazed at the quality of holes found in this seemingly small section of woods. While they all played around the same area, this section of the course offered an incredible distribution of shots and hole types. A few played out of and back into the woods, some offering birdie runs, with others forcing you to hit the landing zones. A few interesting greens were thrown in here as well, with holes 9 and 15 having to me what resembled island-greens.
The course only lists hole 3 as being a water hole, but a creek runs near or through a majority of the holes in the woods. The creek offers some fun risk/reward play, whether it's snaking through holes 7 and 8 from tee to basket or sitting behind your putt on 9, 15, 17, and 18.
The course flows very well in terms of navigation and design. There are no long walks between holes and the next tees are easy to spot. The course flows in design as it offers a constantly changing blend of par, distance, and shot selection. I also never felt that I played two holes that were remotely similar.
Cons: - This course definitely has the feel of "adventure golf" which has its positives and negatives. No amenities near the course as far as water, bathrooms, benches, or trash cans. Once you start the course, you will be pretty far off from where you parked. Make sure you come here prepared.
-Holes 6 and 16 are pretty open and plain, so not every hole here is amazing. However, it looks like they have already started planting trees on these holes.
-It's great to read that the course is starting to be regularly mowed. When I played in the spring, the grass was high throughout. However, I did not count that against its rating and we still had a blast playing this course despite its poor condition. That's saying something.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite of the two courses on site. It is a little hard to find, look for a white sign on the right as the saloon comes into your view up toward the left. You can park on the side of the road. Walk through the gate, past the sheep and the cows, and down the hill toward the tree line. The first tee is on the right of the tree line.
There are very nice scorecards and course maps provided at the saloon. You have to sign a waiver and pay before starting your round, but I must add that the $10 is well worth it.
I am not just a Houck-fanboy or biased toward Texas courses. I say that because it seems that some people are looking at these courses with a critical eye and maybe that is because of disagreements about how high the Selah courses should be rated. My brother and I simply came into Trey Texas as city slickers not knowing we were in for, but we found our version of Curly's gold!
What a gem of a course Texas Twist is and it's certainly a unique, memorable experience. Go, give Trey Ranch a chance and see for yourself.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - dual tees
- concrete pads
- great maps/signage
- score cards provided in saloon
The second of two John Houck courses on this property (similar to Selah Ranch).
Twist is a longer course with a higher par than it's counterpart, but is no more or less challenging. While you will have more opportunities to really open up (hole 5 comes to mind) there are plenty of tunnel shots, dog legs, and OB creeks to appease.
Speaking of creeks, I do enjoy the fact that while you may consider them water hazards, discs are typically retrievable.
The hole of all holes on this course though, is the snake tree. I can't remember the number, but when you see it you'll know what I'm talking about.
Like Trey Deuce you'll need every shot in your bag of tricks to play this course.
Cons: A few stumps still remain, but I noticed they are all tagged for removal, so for the time being you just have to suck it up when your disc bounces off a stump instead of skipping towards the basket like you might have expected.
Also, occasionally the fairways are a little tall, but they never stay that way as the owners are diligent about shredding. Just be aware if it's been raining a lot and it's been too wet to take a tractor out.
Other Thoughts: $10 to play all day is more than worth it. Just give them a call and let them know you are coming to play and sign a waiver inside the saloon (the building you'll see as you pull up, you won't miss it... It's a saloon...)
Note: Took me a bit to find Twist. Leave right from the saloon and you'll see the gate with a sign on the left about 1/8 of a mile down.
The owners are awesome, have obviously put a lot of work into the course, and continue to do so grinding stumps out and such.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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