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.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    The Keswick Club

    "Pete Dye at his best"

    This may rank as one of my all-time favorite Pete Dye courses, and it certainly proves that not all Dye courses break you down physically and mentally. I didn't say it was easy, but it is very playable, especially if you tackle the right tees. I played it one day a tee up and the next day from the tips and there was a nine-stroke difference. Regardless, like many Dye courses, the holes get harder as you work your way close to the greens. Approaches and short game are the key because there's plenty of room to drive the ball, so that shouldn''t be an issue. I never played the course that was here prior to Dye's new layout, but I've got to believe this is 100 times better. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Mission Inn EL Campeon Resort & Club

    "Great value for a more than interesting and historic course"

    With a great history, elevation change not common in Florida and green fees well below what you find in Orlando, making the trip out to Mission Inn is well worth the hour drive or so from Orlando. The El Campeon Course has some of the most unique holes you'll ever play and some pretty interesting greens. With plenty of slope, you don't want to get above the pin or even much to the side of the hole as putts can easily get away. But that makes it all the more interesting. And as the golf celebrates a century here as one of the oldest courses in Florida, you can't help but appreciate a stretch of holes on the front side that will test your ability to hit off uneven lies, adjust for elevation change and work the tee shot. And on the back nine, the 17th, the no. 1 handicap hole on the course, is one of most unique par 5s you'll ever play with twists, turns, a large oak tree, large bunker in front of water, which then must be carried on the approach. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    PGA Golf Club in PGA Village

    "PGA's Dye Course gets even better after makeover"

    The Dye Course might have already been my favorite of the golf courses at PGA Golf Club, but after it got new greens and other bunker improvements, it's that much better. Conditioning was terrific and the greens, though firm, rolled flawlessly. As far as the design of this course, remember it was designed by Pete Dye, so it isn't easy. Yet it's generous off the tee, so very playable. Also of note, while I gave it four stars, if available, I would have given it 4 1/2. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Reunion Resort

    "Very enjoyable test of golf"

    With plenty of room off the tee, the Watson Course could be the most playable of the three courses at Reunion Resort, and it's certainly as enjoyable as any of them. As you get closer to the green, however, this course does get more difficult, mainly because of the bunkers and sometimes difficult to read greens. Fairway bunkers also loom large on several holes, so you're going to want to avoid those, but with a little course management and directional control, that shouldn't be a problem. Simply put, it costs a little more to play here, especially in season, but it's a solid, enjoyable all-around golf experience. more »