Played Eagle Nest Wednesday afternoon.
My last play here was two years ago after new mini-verde greens were installed. At that time the course was not in good shape. From what I recall the greens were slow & bumpy, and the fairways had a number of bare patches.
Well, yesterday I was pleasantly surprised at the improvement of the course. The greens were actually very good. Speed was definitely better than medium but probably just shy of medium-fast. No problem getting uphill putts to the hole. Putts rolled true and turf quality was healthy. The greens may not be quite to the level of a Legends Heathland for example, but they are pretty darn close, and they are definitely miles ahead some of the other Gene Hamm / Russell Breeden courses (Azalea Sands, Beachwood, Cypress Bay, Possum Trot, Burning Ridge) that Eagle Nest used to be compared to.
Fairways were good. I had no issues playing the ball down and I didn’t observe any significant bare patches or weeds. Tee boxes were also good, but perhaps just a tad long & maybe in need of a haircut. Also there were a couple tee boxes on the back nine that were shaded which had thin turf but no big deal. Probably the only week point of the course were the bunkers. They could have used a nice grooming which would also have improved the aesthetics. Given there were only a few golfers on the course there was no beverage cart, understandably. However, clubhouse staff was very friendly and I was able to buzz around in about 2:40 (slowed down on the back nine in the heat).
I actually enjoyed Eagle Nest. Overall it’s in good shape, and I don’t even have to put a qualifier on that (ie., “for a budget course”). Much better shape than 2 years ago. The layout is fairly ordinary, although there are some challenging holes on the back nine which is tighter and has more undulations in the greens vs. the front side. The bunkers are kind of boring, very flat. However the land is pretty nice. There are only a few holes with homes along the fairway. The rest of the property is pretty secluded with mature trees. If you haven’t played Eagle Nest or haven’t played there in 20+ years or are looking to save some $$, I’d say now is a good time to try before they start the overseed process in the Fall. I have no issue returning, especially if I can play in under 3 hours again.