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:
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
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
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.