Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, 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 25 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 @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

  • 4.0 stars from 5

    Kissing Tree Golf Club

    "Fun course with a different sort of vibe"

    Kissing Tree is less than 6,600 yards from tbe back tees, which means it's plenty of golf course for 99 percent of all players. Bravo, Gary Stephenson, for not designing a course at 7,300 yards so it can bid for top-level tournaments. Nope, that's not what the folks at Kissing Tree, a new senior community in San Marcos, had in mind. They built a course that's not only senior friendly (it can play as short as 4,000 yards), but playable by almost everyone. The holes are memorable and different. The greens are large and certainly undulated, but everyone can get the ball to them since there are opportunities to putt to them from off the green. Yet, those with a great short game will still have an advantage if they can pitch the ball to some difficult hole locations. There are also some elevated tees, a few water hazards and a smattering of bunkers that don't overwhelm the golf course. In short, it's a course I wouldn't mind playing every day. Most of all, it's just plain fun. Add all the other stuff you can do near the course like Pickle Ball, horseshoes, bocce and tennis, and you've got a great setup. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Chateau Elan Golf Club - Par-3 Course

    "Don't skip the par 3 course if you're at Chateau Elan"

    For me, this was the pleasant surprise of my stay at Chateau Elan. I knew they had a par-3 course at Chateau Elan, but had never played it until my most recent trip there. They don't even charge hotel guests to play it, and when I got out there, I was the only one on the course. In front of me were eight picturesque holes (the ninth is across the street) with plenty of elevated tees, water hazards and great green complexes. It wasn't in tip-top shape, but the bentgrass greens rolled well enough. Best of all, it's the perfect place to either work on your iron play and short-game or play a little game with friends or family. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Chateau Elan Golf Club - Woodlands Course

    "Chateau Course is fun, playable and beautiful"

    While Chateau Elan is certainly known for its winery, the golf is nothing to sneeze at, and that certainly includes the Chateau Course. From the wine bottle-shaped and named tee markers to the wide fairways, nearly everything about this course is fun. No two holes are alike, the routing is terrific and if you play the right tees, it's not overly difficult. Best of all, it was renovated two years ago, so it has a fresh new look, including new Tif-Eagle greens that rolled perfectly. more »