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 former brickyard may not be the first place one would think to build a golf course, but Old Brickyard Golf Course has succeeded in turning the one-time site of Ferris Brick Company into a fun-and-surprising 6,486-yard layout. By working around three former quarries, the course architect added stark elevation changes and wide-open vistas to the par 71 course. TifEagle greens roll atop land that was once nothing but rugged, natural clay, creating smooth, fast surfaces that make any two-putt a tricky proposition. Before taking to the course, golfers energize with hot dogs and drinks at the clubhouse, warm up swings at the all-grass driving range, or bury time capsules in the practice bunker so they can remember what life was like before their 18-hole rounds.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,486 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 125 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
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:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,432 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 69.4 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 114 from the farthest tees
Three tee options
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
While the Stevens Park Golf Course was a secret to many for years, its great views and close proximity to downtown Dallas have become a real draw to lots of local duffers. A public golf course located in Oak Cliff’s Kessler Park, the recent re-opening boasts a redesign that was finished in 2011 and has been drawing accolades since. All eighteen holes were restored and there are 38 new sand bunkers snatching up balls now, as well as new putting surfaces and refined fairways with almost 3,000 new trees and rosebushes. The results is a leafier, more challenging and ultimately more fun course that is still open to the public. There are men, ladies, junior and senior tees as well, plus a full-service pro shop to keep hackers up to date with the latest tips, techniques and tools to make it around the course.
At Spring Creek Golf Learning Center, there's a noticeable emphasis on quality. For instance, the facility keeps its turf in pristine condition, and every year, it receives a shipment of 60,000 new range balls right after they've been laid by PGA-approved chickens. Visitors can take note of this attention to detail while practicing in Spring Creek's various areas, including the 10,000-square-foot putting green and a driving range with more than 50 grass hitting stations. The center's staff, meanwhile, relies on more than a century's worth of combined experience while teaching lessons, clinics, and manning the fully stocked pro shop, complete with club-fitting services and gear from some of the industry's top manufacturers.