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Lake Fork Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Emory
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: March 06, 2009

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Lake Fork Golf Course Review

Voted as the "Most Improved Golf Course in East Texas" by East Texas Golf Association, Lake Fork Golf Course offers golfers an enjoyable and relaxing round of golf. Over the last four years, the new Lake Fork Golf Course owners, Larry and Paula Knecht have invested a significant chunk of change and time to make a number of improvements and they are continuing to invest in the course to make it one of the best in East Texas.

Lake Fork Golf Course was a nursery and one of the improvements was to remove a huge number of trees to open the fairways, but you'll still find some narrow slots off the tee box, some tight approaches, and over 4000 trees scattered throughout the course. Consider spending some time before you head out on your "under the trees shots" - you'll need it. When we played in early March, the course was still dormant but in a few months the Lake Fork Golf Course will be beautiful with hundreds of crepe myrtles and dogwoods adding color and complimenting the beauty of trees, greens, and ponds.

The front nine fairways are flat with berms/mounds and trees along the side, fairly straight, and in about average condition. The front nine is short at 2781 from the tips and par is only 35. With no traps, a little bit of water, and a couple tight shots on the front, there's really nothing to prohibit you from scoring well and having a very good round. Lake Fork will be a lot easier on the second round when you know where to place your drive to avoid the fairway tree on #3 and figure out a way to conquer #2. If you're not a power hitter, the par 3 207 yard 2nd hole might present a problem - it requires a precise drive of at least 185 to carry the pond. Short hitters will be forced to head right to get around the water which then presents tree problems on the second shot - but you'll stay dry and have a shot at par!

The back nine is a little tougher and much more fun with some dogs, more water, and plenty of trees to contend with. This nine is also short at 2950 from the tips and it has 3 par 5s for a par of 37. One of the new improvements is to add some additional yards and a new to at least one of the holes where the tee box will be moved back and you'll need to carry a pond on your drive. Number 11 is a fun hole where you must fly a valley for a precise landing to avoid the trees and to give you a shot at the dog leg right green. And we really liked the par 5 #13 - a big dog leg left where long drivers might try a high risk reward shot to fly the fence and trees to shorten the 463 yards to the green, but miss and you'll find it hard to par. For the non-long hitters, the drive needs to veer right but avoid the trees - too long and you're wet or under the trees on the other side of the fairway. Then you've got a 200 yard shot to a green protected by water in the front and OB on the back side.

When we played in March, the greens were is pretty good shape, seemed a little smaller than average, a tad fast, and had some slope. They seemed true but a little hard to read.

The staff is really friendly and helpful. The new head pro, Mark Kast, seems very committed to making Lake Fork Golf Course a premier course with a family friendly atmosphere where players of all skill levels can have enjoyable round. Lake Fork Golf Course is a bargain to start with and even better if you play on Saturday between 11 and 2 - you'll get a free burger and chips! Check them out!
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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 5,902 67.1 109
White 5,601 65.8 106
Red 4,899

Course Information

Course Architect:
Gill & Williams
Greens Condition
7.0
Greens Difficulty
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Very
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.5 out of 10
Beauty:
7.0
Difficulty:
7.0
Variety:
7.5
Fun to Play:
7.5
Value:
9.0
Condition:
7.0
Front Nine Rating:
7.0
Back Nine Rating:
7.5
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$30.00 to $40.00

Service is excellent and very friendly, the range is ok, and the carts seemed brand new.

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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.