A tee time at Houston National Golf Club just northwest of Houston provides a unique experience and excellent value. You re sure to enjoy watching your shots ride the contours of the firm, constantly moving turf on this course that has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest in the Houston area. Conveniently located off of Highway 290, some 15 miles from the city, this popular facility anchors an upscale residential community. Houston National Golf Club featured 27 holes when it debuted in 2001, but in 2010, after a change in ownership resuscitated the struggling club, the playing field became an 18-hole championship layout comprised of the North and West nines from the original design by von Hagge, Smelik, and Baril. From the tips, Houston National Golf Club is a 7,337-yard behemoth, though three other sets of markers make the playing field manageable for all skill levels. Routed amidst lots of houses, Houston National Golf Club sports a links-style look and character that is quite out of character with almost every other golf course in Houston. The layout, which rambles over rolling terrain that is almost entirely devoid of trees, is wide open and fully exposed to the wind. As you would expect in Texas, the wind is often formidable. Holes that head into the wind on this long layout are especially tough, though thankfully, the firm turf provides lots of run out that helps mitigate some of that length. Scanning the links, you won t see many flat areas. Houston National Golf Club s fairways are full of movement that may conjure visions of Scotland. Much of the movement is in the form of moguls and extensive mounding, trademark design features in the work of the late Robert von Hagge, the lead designer here. There s lots of trouble to find at Houston National Golf Club. Water comes into play on five holes, and you must execute forced carry shots. In true links fashion, plenty of pot bunkers and traditional bunkers dot the fairways and the areas around the greens. Be sure to steer clear of the deep ones. More than anything, though, the elevated greens, one of the strong suits of the club, ramp up the challenge. Because the putting surfaces are elevated, they are hard to hit and hold, especially in the wind. They also tend to be quite fast. Practice facilities include a lighted driving range and chipping and putting areas. The clubhouse features a well-stocked pro shop and the Back Deck Bar and Grille where you can enjoy comfort food and golf course views. Houston National Golf Club may be a long and tough course, but its intriguing grounds and links-style character make for a unique and fun challenge. Make a tee time to give it a try.