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A Taste Of The Private Club Life

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 08:14

a_taste_of_the_private_club_lifeRaveneaux Sneek Peek Outing, April 11, 2011.

The Monday after the Masters, nearly 40 Houston-area golfers gathered at Raveneaux Country Club for a sneak peek at the private club experience. None of the golfers were Raveneaux members, but because they bought certificates through TexasGolfOn.com, they all were treated like they were.

Before we teed off at 9 a.m., the group hit range balls and practiced on the silky-smooth putting green. The chatter was about Tiger Woods’ front-nine dramatics at Augusta National and Rory McIlroy’s back-nine meltdown. Everyone was in the mood for great golf, and that’s exactly what we experienced.

Raveneaux head professional Thomas Brinson had his staff available to look at swings and give tips before we got going. That was a bonus and certainly appreciated. Almost none of the players in the outing had played the unique, Robert von Hagge tree-lined course. We found out quickly that shot-shaping and keeping your ball in the fairway was paramount to making pars and birdies.

A brief rain shower passed through about 45 minutes into the round. After it was over, the air cooled, the sun came out and gave us brilliant weather for the rest of the day. Unfortunately for my group, the rain came as we teed off on the picturesque, par-3 fourth hole. From the back tees, it’s 176 yards, but we played it at 167 yards.

Either way, it’s an all-way carry to a peninsula green supported by a wooden bulkhead. Dave Schroedle, our group’s A-player, made an easy par as the rain came down. The rest of us—Lonnie Williams, Steve “Gibby” Gibson and Massoud Tabrizi—took bogeys and ran for cover under a nearby bridge.

The rain passed as quickly as it came, and it was a glorious day. Raveneaux members, as we learned, are spoiled with some of the purest, best-conditioned greens you’ll find anywhere in Texas. Even though it’s located in the Champions area in north Houston, the course is surprisingly secluded. The majority of the holes are free from homes, and the houses that are on the course are all set back as to be unobtrusive.

The tricky, fun course requires much thought, as there are few straight holes. All of the par 3s are at the same time challenging and interesting.

If our group was any indication, everyone at the Raveneaux outing had a fantastic time. No one had more fun than Lonnie, our resident sand-bagger. He said on the first tee, “Don’t write anything about my golf game!”

Then Lonnie went out and parred the first two holes, narrowly missing a birdie on No. 1. He and Gibby seemed to have their own private game going on, and it mostly consisted of good-natured trash-talking and long-drive contests on every hole.

After we putted on out No. 18—one member of our group birdied the 509-yard par 5—the Raveneaux staff had a scrumptious, chicken-and-steak fajita buffet ready for us in the beautiful, upstairs dining room. Raveneaux has a beautiful clubhouse and a young, friendly staff.

The golf course, however, was the star of the show. It’s a classic, old school parkland track that will test every club in your bag, as well as your course management skills. It’s a course that the public normally never gets to play, but the special offer through TexasGolfOn.com made it possible for this group.

Stay tuned for the next “sneak peek outing” at Raveneaux and for many other similar special golfing opportunities.


Chasing Birdies Blog

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