Culled from the noggin of course-crafter John Sanford, the Dogwood course at Garden Valley merges Champion bermuda greens with Lake Butler's lapping shores to forge an unforgettable 6,840 yards of play. Towering pine trees blanket golf carts in shadows, cooling players as they ponder the best methods to evade the course's many water hazards and rolling hills, where distracted golfers often sacrifice games, stopping to paint the picturesque East Texas landscape.
Guests may also admire the scenery from the onsite restaurant, which serves house-made omelets and crisp salads. The eatery resides below the clubhouse’s vaulted ceilings, in addition to a fully equipped pro shop and an outdoor terrace overlooking the 18th green. Across the street lies the Garden Valley Sports Complex, a 24-hour facility filled with fitness machines and free weights that help patrons to burn fat beside an indoor basketball court and a refreshing pool relatively free of feral manatees.
A lush tapestry of Bermuda grass unfurls across 6,532 yards of rolling hills to form Stone River Golf Club's 18-hole course. A relatively open layout, the course lulls golfers into a comfortable rhythm before surprising them with the occasional fairway-side pond, strategically placed tree lines, or undercover course rangers that work as process servers. The par-5 16th—the course's hardest-rated hole—requires a long tee shot and a long-iron or short-wood approach shot to reach the green in two, which sits 590 yards from the tee box. Golfers can prepare for rounds by taking cuts at the irons-only driving range, getting a feel for the putting surface on the practice green, or passive aggressively introducing clubs to their potential replacements at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance:
Dramatic elevation changes, flowing creeks, and 2,000 rosebushes supply peeper-pleasing scenery to golfers as they traverse Stevens Park's recently renovated 18-hole golf course. One of The Golf Performance Institute of Dallas's professional instructors accompanies players through the first nine holes of their round, proffering helpful tips in real time, ranging from instruction on swing techniques to advice about course-management quandaries, such as when to hit driver, when to hit 3-wood, and how to motivate a lazy golf cart. After nine holes with their putt-putt pedagogue, solo golfers or divot-tearing duos take to the back nine on their own, where they summon recent on-course lessons to conquer testy holes such as the 519-yard, water-fortified, par 5 10th. Though trees and bunkers provide the bulk of the challenge throughout the round, the course makes deft use of the one narrow creek that winds throughout, forcing players to launch orbs over its burbling waters and trident-wielding mercaddies on 10 separate holes.
Featuring 6,516 yards of impeccably manicured landscape, Oakridge Country Club is a par 71 golf course designed to challenge everyone from first-time clubbers to full-time swingers. Conquer tight fairways, emerald greens, and challenging roughage while roaming among the scenic terrain and picturesque Duck Creek during your 18 holes of golf ($50 on weekends, $40 on weekdays). Water comes into play on several holes, along with more than 50 strategically placed bunkers—use a golf cart to travel to and around the obstacles. Before hitting the links, golfers can practice their swing and take aim at target greens with a bucket of balls ($7) at the driving range. While not included in this deal, Oakridge Country Club also boasts an onsite restaurant, offering daily lunch specials and a fully stocked bar. You can reserve your space seven days in advance, so call ahead to schedule your tee time.
Players attempt to control shots down narrow, zigzagging fairways and carefully sidestep water hazards on 9 of 18 holes as they traverse the challenging layout of Twin Wells Golf Club. The 18-hole course guides play across several branches of a winding river and alongside an elongated lake on the par-5 13th hole, which hugs the edge of the fairway for most of the hole's length. From the time golfers tee off on the 1st hole until they hole out on the 18th, the Dallas skyline stands visible in the distance, stealing the spotlight from amphibious golf carts practicing belly flops.
Course at a Glance: