Mill Creek Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 27 Holes · Par 69
Salado
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: January 28, 2016

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Mill Creek Country Club Review

Review and Rating of Mill Creek Country Club in Salado Texas

Mill Creek Country Club in Salado is home to three nines that were designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1983.  When we played in January 2016 one of the nines was closed due to severe flooding in mid 2015 - hopefully that nine, which is the hardest and most scenic and probably the most fun nine will reopen in the Spring of 2016. 

The existing two nines at Mill Creek are very different and a blast to play.  The front nine is a more traditional 9 with tree lined fairways, water that can come into play on 7 of 9 holes, greens that are a little faster but flatter than the back nine, 28 signature Robert Trent Jones bunkers, elevation changes, and doglegs.  The front is a par 35 from the back tees and a par 36 from the front tees and it's home to 3 par 3s, one par 5, and 6 par 4s.

The back nine at Mill Creek is very different from the front - it's more of a links style course with wide open fairways, water on 4 holes, 32 bunkers, some fun holes, and greens that are tougher thanks to more slope and undulation.

Both nines are home to some  great holes, some that we really liked included:

  • #4 is a 556 yard par 5 with a slightly elevated tee shot, then left around a big bunker, followed by a shot right across the creek to a long skinny green between a left and right bunker
  • #8 is a fun 376 yard par 4 that dog legs left around 2 big bunkers then heads uphill with a tough approach shot to a green with a tree on the left and 2 bunkers on the right
  • #9 is a great hole - a 369 yard par 4 with a big elevated tee shot to a landing zone pinched by a bunker on the left and a lake on the right and a tough approach shot to a green set off to the right with 2 bunkers and water guarding the front
  • #14 is a 407 yard par 4 with a tough tee shot from a dramatically elevated tee box to a landing zone with a big right side bunker and a lake on the left side pinching the fairway followed by a tough approach to the green
  • #18 has two big trees that split the fairway making for a very tight tee shot and the green is raised about 6 six or so above the fairway

When we played in January the fairways were dormant so it was had to judge the normal condition, but they were in pretty good condition and very playable.  Most of the fairways are forgiving off the tee box but you'll find some dramatically elevated tee boxes, some intimating carries over the creek off the tee box, and several places where the creek crosses the fairway (some are hidden from view)  on the front nine.  The rough was wide and a little thick but it's dense and the ball tends to sit on top of it.  Beautiful big homes line several fairways but you'll need to really spray it to land in a back yard or swimming pool!  You're more likely to hit the Salado Creek, bunkers or a couple lakes, or land under the trees.  In most cases the fairways are flat giving you some extra roll. 

The greens are large and a variety of shapes and most are raised making a bump and run tough.  They are all well guarded with big bunkers.  The back nine greens are more challenging with more slope and undulation and a couple like #13 are like a Six Flags roller coaster ride around the fringe.  They roll at a pretty good speed, are true if you can read the subtle breaks, and they held the ball well.  They were a tad bumpy when we played. 

The bunkers range from huge to huger (is that a word?) and they are strategically placed in the landing zones off the tee and guarding the greens.  The good news is the sand is near perfect (light, fluffy, and thick) and a lot of the faces an thin and you might get lucky and roll out. However, some of the green side bunkers have steeper faces.

Bottom line - a fun and fair 18 that rewards good tee shots and careful approach shots and the course has lots of variety, several elevation changes that make it fun and challenging,  some great holes, and reasonable rates.  The course has been rerouted because of the closing of one of the nines which means your GPS may not find the right holes and the cart ride can be a little challenging.  Walking is not a good idea - it's a hike between some of the holes.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,436 71.7 123
White 5,922 69.7 120
Red 5,017 71.3 128

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert Trent Jones
Greens Condition
8.0
Greens Difficulty
7.5
Fairway Condition
7.0
Bunker Condition
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hard walk
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 60 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.3 out of 10
Beauty:
8.0
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
7.0
Front Nine Rating:
8.5
Back Nine Rating:
8.2
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$40.00 to $50.00

The pro shop has a limited supply of the basics, the putting green and range are adequate, the bar and grill has a great burger and drinks, and 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. 

 

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