Designed with the input of former US Ryder Cup team captain and 1983 PGA Championship winner Hal Sutton, Olde Oaks Golf Club’s 27-hole golf course weaves through 34 acres of wooded terrain teeming with ponds and streams. All three 18-hole combinations span more than 7,000 yards from the farthest tees, though the course’s open fairways offer plenty of space for golfers to unsheathe their driver or airdrop golf balls from remote-control helicopters. Though all three nine-hole layouts showcase plenty of natural hazards that add challenge to rounds, the Cypress and Meadow courses prominently feature ponds and streams, including difficult forced carries on both Meadow’s seventh and eight holes and Cypress’s fourth.
Before rounds, golfers can warm up at Olde Oaks Golf Club’s recently revamped driving range and head to The Grille at Olde Oaks after the round’s final putt and strut to enjoy the social trappings of a full-service bar, burgers, and two televisions.
Course at a Glance: * 27-hole course designed with collaboration of former US Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton * Nine-hole Oak measures 3,622 yards from the farthest tees * Nine-hole Cypress measures 3,638 yards from the farthest tees * Nine-hole Meadow measures 3,681 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating range of 75 to 75.2 from the farthest tees (Cypress and Oak 18 features lowest rating) * Slope range of 136 to 143 from the farthest tees * Five tee options available
Meadow Lake Golf Club's serene and well-groomed greens and fairways have challenged golfers of all skill levels with a formidable variety of shots since 1959. Commandeer a golf cart with wedges, drivers, and brassies in tow as you cruise past lagoons and suspiciously realistic rubber duckies along Meadow Lake's lush par 72 course, which flaunts a tree-lined front and a more spacious fairway on the back nine. With four par 3 holes and 10 par 4s, Meadow Lake elicits precision performances at each level, similar to Mario and Luigi. Call ahead to reserve your tee time and avoid crowds of misdirected crumpets.
Designed in a collaborative effort between PGA Tour pro and 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and renowned course architect Gene Bates, The Golf Club at StoneBridge’s 18-hole, par 72 course careens through 6,954 yards of towering oaks, small lakes, and scenic wetlands. Twosomes can begin the day by testing their mettle and irons at the club’s driving range, where practice balls willfully turn themselves into ballistic agents in the war on errant swings and caddies who suggest wearing argyle with plaid. With water hazards coming in play on 15 holes, players must be judicious in their course management and precise in their club selection, lest they pay fealty to the subaquatic despots with a one-stroke penalty. After the round, golfers can settle stymied competitions with a sandwich-eating competition or a contest to see who can more quickly transform their draft beer into a serviceable ball washer.
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 nominee for Gulf States Teacher of the Year four years in a row, Class A PGA member Pete Lockwood brings more than 12 years of teaching experience to each and every lesson. Pete came to the United States to play college golf at age 19, leaving behind his native Australian landscape and its score-crushing inverted gravity. After spending years in the States, he's learned to eschew trendy swing theories in favor of providing lessons tailored to the golfer's physique and real-world habits. Potential lesson-takers can schedule their instruction time at Querbes Park Golf Course driving range on Monday–Saturday.
If your golf ball gets caked with mud or covered in sand while grappling with the 18 holes at Northwood Hills Country Club, there's no lack of options for where to give it a wash. Water comes directly into play on ten holes—sometimes crossing fairways and forcing long carries—and indirectly on another four, where it lies just outside of the line of play but threatens doom nonetheless. If players can keep their golf balls dry and avoid sending them for a mid-round swim, they should leave themselves with a good shot at the par of 72. And if not, they can laugh off the round over hamburgers and hot wings at Flagstone Restaurant after holing out on the 18th green.