Review Of Crown Colony Country Club
Crown Colony County Club in Lufkin is a semi-private country club that technically is not a resort, but since they have accommodations available for public use which includes the use of resort type amenities, we are considering them a resort for purposes of this review. The major reason you come to Crown Colony is to play at least one round on their outstanding golf course. You could stay in the Villas and have a fun few days golfing, playing tennis or racquetball, or chilling by the pool and never have to leave the property. But since you're in the area, you should take advantage of all the other fun things to see and do besides golf.
Crown Colony Golf Course
Every year, Crown Colony is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Texas. The Dallas Morning News has listed Crown Colony as the #1 course in Texas numerous years, including 2007 when it was rated #1 in the "Top 15 Most Expensive" and #2 as "Dallas Area Best Private Courses." In 2005, Crown Colony was listed in Golf Digest’s Best Golf Courses in Texas - Top Ten Statewide. Golfweek Magazine’s ratings of America’s Best, puts Crown Colony as the 72nd best course in the nation in 2005. We loved the course and have it rated as #4 on our list of Texas Outside's Top Twenty Texas Golf Courses. Crown Colony was also recognized for having two of the toughest holes in Texas - a 183-yard, par 3, which requires a tee shot over water a 582-yard, par 5, with a tree-lined fairway and well-protected green. From our perspective, Crown Colony Country Club offers you some of the best of everything - scenic beauty, near perfect greens and fairways, fun yet challenging holes, lots of variety, great amenities, and a somewhat fairly reasonable price based on the quality of the course. "It is simply a magnificent monument to the game of golf."
Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge designed and opened the course in 1978 and the like to design challenging and fun courses that "turn natures contours into dazzling golf landscapes.". According to Bruce, "Our goal is to build great golf courses within the contours of the natural surroundings which challenge the best golfers and yet can be equally enjoyed by the novice." And they have exceeded that goal at Crown Colony.
Crown Colony is a little short at 6692 from the tips and on most holes you can leave the driver in the bag. Trees and water and some fairway bunkers can cause a problem, but course management, club selection, and a fairly straight shot should position you ok for the approach. Devlin and Von Hagge seem to design their courses with a premium on accuracy on the approach shots. The greens are smaller than most and very well protected by a narrow approach, trees, water, or bunkers. Plus the designers seem to love turtle top greens - meaning if you don't nail your approach shot, stop the ball on the green near the pin, or land on a non-sloping portion of the green, there is a high probability that you're going to roll back onto the fairway. Once on the green, they are in excellent condition, somewhat fast, have both slope and undulation, and very true. So make sure you spend a lot of time before your round on the putting green and practicing your chip and bunker shots.
The course is challenging but fair and you need to employ good course management to avoid trees or the water hazards which come into play on 13 holes. Crown Colony is known for keeping the greens and fairways in excellent condition. You'll also find that all of the grounds are meticulously well maintained. This is also the first golf course that we have played where all of the par 3s are beautiful and challenging and some of the best that we have found in Texas.
The pro shop is very well stocked and the staff is friendly and attentive. There is a driving range, putting green, and bunker area for practice. The Club House has an excellent locker room and restaurant.
Crown Colony Golf Villas
Crown Colony has 13 Villas that are available for rent for a weekend or longer. The Villas are about 150 yards from the Club House, pool, driving range, and restaurant. The Villas were completely renovated in 2005 with all new furniture, carpets, and more. They will sleep four and are perfect for a small family, golfing buddies or close friends who don't mind sharing a bedroom.
We found the Villas to be comfortable, very clean, nicely appointed, and well furnished. Each villas has one bedroom with two queen beds, a living room with soft leather furniture, and a fully equipped kitchen. You'll also find a small deck and chairs which is great for enjoying a cup of coffee or a drink and reminiscing about your fun round of golf. There is a common deck with chairs at the end of the Villas which overlooks the driving range and 18th green - great place to relax, meet some new people, and plan your tomorrow's agenda.
To learn more about the Villas and Crown Colony's Stay & Play package, you can read our review of when we stayed there in 2007.
Crown Colony Amenities
Guests staying at the Villas are given a temporary membership which entitles you to full use of all the amenities, some of which include:
- discounts at the pro shop
- an excellent restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- six lighted tennis courts
- outdoor dining on a nice patio overlooking the range and 18th green
- racquet ball courts plus wallyball
- olympic sized swimming pool
- outstanding men's and women's locker rooms with sauna, whirlpool, card tables, TV, and appetizers
- golf and tennis teaching professionals to enhance any part of your game
- meeting rooms for personal, social, or business functions
Other Fun Things To See and Do
One of the advantages of staying at Crown Colony is the variety of fun things to do, so why not make your trip a combo vacation where you:
- Golf and More Golf - see if you can better your score and play another 18 or 36 at Crown Colony. However if there is a burning need to sample other courses in the area, you have some great options. Oak Hurst in Bullard which is in Tyler (about an hours drive) is a fun and challenging course that we rated 8.2 stars. Rayburn Country has 27 fun, inexpensive, and challenging holes about 40 minutes south of Lufkin. In fact, one of the nines was designed by the same designers of Crown Colony and is one of the most challenging course that we've played in Texas. Northwest of Crown Colony is another top notch course, . We haven't had the chance to play Pine Dunes, but everyone we have talked to who has played it lists it in their top ten favorite courses in Texas. Read the reviews of Oak Hust and Rayburn Country (Gold, Green, and Blue course) to learn more about each of these courses.
- Hunt and Golf - spend one day hunting for you ball in Crown Colony's roughs and another hunting for dinner or a trophy. Lufkin is known for its excellent variety of game - so make your trip a golf and hunt excursion. Get up at the crack of dawn and go hunting and you'll still have time for another 18 holes but make sure you get out of you camouflage outfit because the other golfers may tee off not knowing you're still in the woods or fairway looking for your ball, plus Crown Colony has a dress code! Check out the hunting section of Texas Outside.
- Boat and Golf - if you own a boat, then head south 20 or 30 minutes to beautiful San Rayburn Reservoir which is excellent for skiing, boarding, cruising, swimming, or just enjoying the lake. To learn more about the lake (ramps, marinas, fishing guides, maps, pictures, etc.) click here.
- Fish and Golf - if you like to fish, Sam Rayburn is known for it's excellent bass fishing. Head down and catch some fish in the morning, then play another 18, and then have a fish fry! It can't get much better than that. If you don't have a boat or a fishing pole, don't let that stop you from going fishing, you can hire some of the best bass fishing guides in Texas from this list.
- Play Tennis, Racquetball, and Golf - as long as you're going to be chasing balls all weekend, then why not bring your tennis or racquetball gear and take advantage of Crown Colony's tennis and racquetball courts. As part of the Villas' Stay & Play package, you are entitled to use the courts.
- Shop and Golf - shopping in Lufkin isn't one of my favorite, but the Villas are close to some major shopping centers and downtown Lufkin has some antique shops. So spend some money shopping and then try to win it back on the course playing some fun games like skins, wolf, bingo/bango/bongo or play or Texas hold um in the men's locker room!
- Zoo and Golf - if you have kids, or like Zoos, then after your round go visit the Lufkin Zoo. The zoo has received numerous state and national awards and is considered one of the top zoos in cities with Lufkin's population. At the park, you can ride a miniature pre-Civil War train replica around the lake and through the beautiful pine trees
Dining And Nightlife
After all that golf you are going to be hungry, so if you didn't catch any fish, or the hunt was not successful, or you don't feel like using the kitchen in your Villa, then head over to Crown Colony's club house and enjoy a scrumptious meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served everyday in a dinning room with a view of the duffers or pros practicing on the range. There is also a patio for outside dinning. We found the food to be very good and prices were surprisingly reasonable. Similar places charge a fortune for drinks and food (ie, $12 for two eggs over easy), but this is not the case at Crown Colony - two eggs any style were only $4.75! The lunch menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, favorites (catfish platter, chicken fried steak, and more), and build your own certified Angus beef burgers. For dinner you'll find soups, appetizers, salads, pasta, steaks, pork, seafood, poultry, and lamb - and scrumptious desserts. Dinner prices range from $8 to $24.
If for some reason, you need to escape Crown Colony and venture out for dinner, Lufkin has lots of good choices for you including all the big chains and some good local favorites. Ask some of the Crown Colony staff for some recommendations based on the type of food you're looking for. Right outside Crown Colony is Ralph and Kacoos - a well known cajun seafood restaurant chain from New Orleans. They were also voted as serving Lufkin's best steak - seems a little strange for a seafood restaurant!
We couldn't find a lot of choices for nightlife. But if you like country western dancing with a fun and lively crowd ranging from 21 to 70, try Wild Horse Saloon. They have pool tables, multiple bar stations, a DJ playing tunes, and lots of dancing on the large wood dance floor - reminiscent of Urban Cowboy!
Crown Colony Country Club offers Villa visitors a resort type atmosphere and resort type amenities. The major attraction is the excellent golf course, but when you stay in the Villas, there are a lot of other things to see and enjoy - hunting, boating, swimming, tennis, eating, etc. There are a limited number of Villas and they stay very busy, so plan your trip now.