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Firewheel - Old Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.1

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Garland
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: October 19, 2015

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Firewheel - Old Course Review

Review and Rating of Firewheel's Old Course in Garland

Firewheel Golf Park, which is owned and operated by the City of Garland, has 63 holes of very good golf. The Bridges is the newest course and has 27 holes that are consistently rated as some of the best in the Dallas area.   In 2013 the Bridges Course ranked #2 in Avid Golfer's List of the Best Mid-Priced Courses ($50-$59) jn the Dallas area.  The Bridges is also a little more expensive than the Old Course and the Lakes Course.

The Old Course hasn't changed much since opening but the Lakes Course was substantially redesigned in 2001 and the bunkers were being redone in 2015.   Here are links to our reviews of the Lakes Course, Bridges Champion Course, and the Bridges Masters Course.

The Old Course at Firewheel opened in 1983 and it's tree lined fairways play through gently rolling terrain, across a meandering creek, and around 65 bunkers.  The front nine is a little longer, offers some good variety, and seems a little easier.   A couple of the holes that we liked on the front included:

  • #3 is a 556 par 5 that takes a gentle right turn around a cluster of three bunkers and heads uphill to a green tucked off on the right side and surrounded by 3 bunkers - trees on the right front of the green can block your approach
  • #5 is fun with an elevated tee shot with a risk reward shot if you want to try and fly a cluster of trees where the fairway dogs left and heads down hill to a green with a left and right pond on the front

The back nine at Firewheel's Old Course is a little shorter than the front and it's a par 35 with 3 par 3s, 4 par 4s, and 3 par 5s.  I think the back is a little tougher thanks to the creek that crosses every hole, strategically placed bunkers, and small greens with more undulation and slope.  We liked:

  • #16 which is a 567 yard par five that dogs right around a big lake and heads toward a green with 3 bunkers - take a risky shot off the tee to fly the bunker and avoid the lake for a much shorter approach shot to the green
  • #18 is a diabolical finishing hole that requires a good drive to not overrun the dog left fairway and avoid the two bunkers and the lake on the right and the approach is tight and must fly the creek, miss the trees, and avoid the bunkers on the left side of the fairway

The fairways are gently rolling creating some uphill and downhill shots and they range from wide open to tight and tree lined.  Some homes line three or four fairways.  The front nine fairways seemed to be in a little better condition but both nines fairways were dry and thin - which means some extra roll.  The rough varied quite a bit - from thick and dense, to dry and thin, to a mixture of grass and dirt. 

The greens at the Old Course at Firewheel range in size from small to about average and are a variety of shapes.  They were in pretty good condition, held the ball well, and ran true but a little bumpy.  Some are raised, others are flat, and all but three are guarded by one to three bunkers.

The bunkers need some sand and some TLC - the sand was very thin and in some cases very gritty and some weeds were starting to encroach into the bunkers.  They range in size from small to about average and the lips are 1 to 6 inches - easy to hit over.  The back nine greens seemed to have more slope and undulation.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 6,845
Blue 6,429 72.5 130
White 6,054 71.1 129
Red 5,497 69.4 125

Course Information

Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
7.5
Greens Difficulty
7.0
Fairway Condition
7.0
Bunker Condition
6.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Scorecard
Beware of water on 14 holes and the 65 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.1 out of 10
Beauty:
8.3
Difficulty:
7.8
Variety:
8.5
Fun to Play:
8.5
Value:
9.0
Condition:
7.3
Front Nine Rating:
8.0
Back Nine Rating:
8.2
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$35.00 to $47.00

The pro shop is very well stocked, the practice facilities are good, and the grill serves some good food. Service is good.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.