Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer


Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.


  • 4.0 stars from 5

    The Golf Club At Redlands Mesa

    "Great views, plenty of challenge"

    The only reason I didn't give this golf course five stars is that it's not walkable. Otherwise, it's a course anyone visiting Colorado should check out. With one great view after another of the canyons and red mesas, there are picture taking opportunities on every tee. Additionally, the holes are well thought-out and the variety is endless. This is certainly one of the best public courses in Colorado. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa - Shepherd's Rock

    "Another winner at Nemacolin"

    First off, I wanted to give Shepher'd Rock five stars. The only thing preventing that for me was some of the distances between greens and tees. Otherwise, the holes very interesting, fairways generous and pretty playable for the most part. I do think higher handicappers will have trouble here, though, because of all the uneven lies you get, even in the fairway. Some more flat spots would have made it a little more playable, but that's a minor complaint. Also, I'm not sure I like Shepherd's Rock as much as Mystic Rock, the course that hosted the Lumber 84 Classic on the PGA Tour. But it's not far behind. The views at Shepherd's Rock are amazing and perhaps even more dramatic than Mystic. If I could, I would give it 4 1/2 stars, but it's not an option. Would love to play it again in a year to re-evaluate. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Big Easy Ranch - Championship Golf Course

    "Certainly one of the top par 3s in the country"

    When Big Easy owner Billy Brown decided to build a par 3 golf course at his Big Easy Ranch outdoor paradise, he naturally wanted the very best. So he hired Chet Williams, who designed The Needler short course at Whispering Pines, which is the no.. 1 ranked course in Texas according to the Dallas Morning News. Brown wasn't disappointed and neither was I when I played it. Though it's a par 3 course, it's real golf in every imaginable way. Every hole is different and one is basically a replica of the 12th at Augusta. Beautiful waterfalls, brooks and ponds highlight perfect turf conditions throughout. It's also very flexible, which makes it perfect for teaching the game from the Hal Sutton Golf Academy. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Pole Creek Golf Club

    "One of Colorado's best"

    I had high expectations before playing this course (we played the Ridge and the Ranch nines), and I wasn't disappointed. Great views, terrific layout and lots of interesting holes throughout were the norm here. Conditions were also exceptional. There are several elevated tees where you can see for miles, including the ninth hole on the Ridge Course, a downhill par 5 with a drop of a few hundred feet where you can see 50 miles in every direction. The Ridge Nine, by the way, is the newest, so those greens are a bit on the firm side. You just have to adjust where you hit the ball because approaches will take a hop... Facility offers Golf Bikes, by the way, as an option. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Golf Granby Ranch

    "Nice collection of holes"

    Like many of these courses in the ski areas of Colorado, the views are magnificent. And Granby Ranch has plenty of those, plus some really good holes. No complaints there, because this course is a blast to play. My only complaint is the routing with some long distances between a few holes, including what seems like a mile on a dirt cart path to get out to the 10th. But once you get to these holes, the drive is well worth it. The 10th, for example, is a par 5 with the tee shot over water. Also, the greens will certainly grab your interest. On the back nine there were some questionable pin placements (near impossible putts), but we're chalking that up, perhaps, to someone just having a bad day. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - Mystic Rock Course

    "Pennsylvania's top public course? Could be"

    I had high expectations going playing this former host course of the PGA Tour's 84 Lumber Classic and I wasn't disappointed. Every hole is interesting, the views are great and conditions, especially the greens, are impeccable. While it's difficult, though, Pete Dye doesn't kill you on this one., There are places you can miss. Key is to play it from the right tees, though. You don't want to be coming in with long clubs all day. Still, the fairways are certainly generous enough. The key to scoring is having a good short game and flatstick, more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Grand Elk Ranch and Club

    "Beautiful views, a few tricky holes"

    There's no shortage of mountain views or the Continental Divide on this challenging and fun course at 8,000 feet. For those of us not used to playing in this altitude, making the adjustments to new yardages is half the battle, but it sure is good for the ego. The course is pretty much straightforward until you get to a few holes on the back nine, where the yardage book is necessary off the tee. Growth from the wetlands has created a few blind shots, but once you find the fairway, it's pretty straightforward. As always, Tripp Davis did a nice job (with Craig Stadler's input) on the design of the course, which has a great variety of holes. more »