It’s time to pull those rusty golf clubs out of the closet because the new Raven Nest Golf Course was recently completed. The first tournament at the course, the First National Bank Master’s Challenge, was held on April 25 and the course is scheduled to open to the public Thursday.

The 7,001-yard course is located at 457 Interstate 45 South in Huntsville and it is designed for golfers of all skill levels. The course is operated by the city of Huntsville in cooperation with Sam Houston State University.

The name Raven Nest commemorates the Texas hero Sam Houston, who was known by his Cherokee brothers as ‘The Raven’. Tripp Davis, who also designed the Tribute Golf Club in Dallas, designed the multi-tee course. The course is filled with native trees and grasses, as well as creeks and wildlife.

The Raven Nest Web site says that each multi-teed hole presents a different challenge to the golfer, no matter what the golfer’s skill level. The tees range in order from green, being the closest to the hole, to white and blue being further away, and black being the furthest from the hole.

On the first hole, the green tee is 430 yards away from the hole, the white tee is 450 yards, the blue tee is 515 yards and the black tee is 536 yards away.

In order to successfully master the first hole, the Raven Nest Web site says, “The key to playing the hole rests on a straight tee shot avoiding Robinson Creek which parallels the hole on the entire right side. Long hitters will have an opportunity to go for the green in two shots with a normal prevailing wind coming from behind the player.”

The green tee at the second hole is 334 yards away from the hole, white is 375 yards away, blue is 421 yards away, and black is 443 yards from the hole.

The site said the challenge the hole presents is that it has a low landing area with a severe fairway bunker on the right side.

Robinson Creek borders the green, putting a high demand on making the putt in the second shot before the ball is hit into the water.

The third hole presents the challenge of a creek protecting the front of the landing area, and according to the tips on the course’s Web site, the golfer must keep the ball in the fairway and use a mid-to long-iron club.

The fourth hole does not present any major challenges, but the landscape surrounding it provides a natural amphitheater-style setting, and gives the golfer a taste of what the rest of the course will look like. The sixth hole contains a bunker shaped like a Bearkat’s paw, signifying that the course is on the turf of Sam Houston State.

Some students at Sam Houston State said they were excited about the course opening up.

“I saw the course,” said junior Jeffrey Bowden. “It looked very green. Last Thursday, I was in the barber shop, and I heard people talking about this mysterious golf course behind Wal-Mart.”

Junior Mark Sherrill said the golf course looks very nice, but he wishes there were a place to play putt-putt.

There are a total of 18 holes on the course, and each hole presents its own challenges to multiple skill levels.

Raven Nest is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Mondays and 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. A large bag of golf balls, which contains about 115 balls, costs $6.50 per bag, including tax. A small bag of golf balls, which contains about 65 balls to a bag, costs $4.33, including tax.

For more information about the Raven Nest Golf Course, visit its Web site at

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