Pinnacle Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Payne Springs
Website · Locate This Course
Online Specials · Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: September 10, 2013

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Pinnacle Golf Club Review

Review of Pinnacle Golf Club

Nestled in the tall trees along the shoreline of Cedar Creek Lake is a fantastic golf course and golf community - Pinnacle Golf & Boat Club. This hidden gem and well kept secret is about 75 miles southeast of Dallas and it is a public course within a very nice gated community with beautiful waterfront and golf course homes. The Community is very friendly and active with tennis, a clubhouse, pool, marina, and lots of planned events. Golf memberships are available and are very reasonably priced.

Pinnacle Golf Course is a fun and challenging 18 holes of golf. The terrain is gently rolling and heavily treed and the course meanders through the community. To score well on this course, you need to have a chat with your clubs, give them a little pep talk, a good cleaning, or whatever it takes to get them to hit the ball straight. Unless you can consistently hit your drives straight, you should consider leaving the driver at home and replace it with a tree trimmer or a chain saw.  You might also have a talk with yourself and together deploy your best course management strategy.  To score well here you need to focus of hitting the ball straight, course management and club selection, and placement off the tee and on some critical second shots.

All of the fairways are narrow and if you spray the ball you'll be spending some time getting to know the squirrels. Before you head out, you should go to your nearest forest and practice getting out from under the trees. But don't let that scare you away from playing this fantastic course. There is no out of bounds and it's actually pretty easy to find your ball and get back into the fairway - and in the heat of the summer the trees provide some great shade!

The front nine is going to get you warmed up for the back nine. On the front nine, there is water on three holes, six doglegs, 28 of the 38 bunkers, and some narrow but fun and interesting holes. Take #4 for example, this beautiful 503 yard par 5 dogleg right requires you to carry a pond in front of the tee boxes (no problem!) and head slightly uphill for a precise landing in the narrow fairway - avoiding the three bunkers (a problem!) strategically placed where your ball wants to land. If you're long you're in the trees, short and you can't cut the turn to the green. Your second shot needs to head straight down the narrow tree lined fairway for the approach to a steeply sloping small green protected by a couple traps in front. #7 is a beautiful par 3 with a 215 yard carry across a pond to a oblong sloping green with a couple large traps on either side.

When we played in August 2012, the front nine fairways at Pinnacle Golf Club were in pretty bad shape with a mixture of brown spots, dirt, and grass.  The severe drought, record heat, and challenges with the irrigation system had taken a toll.  The greens were in about average for this time of year with some brown and damaged spots.  The bunkers were not in good shape thanks to a heavy rain the day before. 

The back nine of Pinnacle Golf Club is outstanding - fun, unique, memorable, and challenging. Club selection, course management, and strategic shot making are key if you want to score well on this nine. You're going to find a little bit of everything to keep you on your game - very intriguing greens with plenty of slope and unusual shapes, water on 7 of nine holes, berms/mounds, open to narrow fairways, sharp doglegs, and well protected greens.

The back nine has 3 holes that are particularly memorable - 13, #15, and #16 - and you'll want to come back and play again.  #13 looks pretty easy from the tee box - you can see the flag 421 yards straight up the fairly wide fairway and you'll catch a glimpse of what looks like a small pond. But when you're ready for your approach shot, it looks a little more intimidating - you need to carry a pond that crosses the fairway and heads down the left side and around the back of the green. And then you have to hit a small green that is protected by the pond three quarters of the way around and large bunker on the right front and side. Survive that one and you have an easy 175 yard par 3 followed by the #2 handicap fifteenth hole. #15 is really fun and challenging - a 406 yard par 4 with a landing zone with water if you're long or two fairway trees which hinder the approach shot if you land near them. Then you carry an interesting water formation a very well protected oblong green with both slope and undulation. And 15 is just a warm up for the 16th hole! What a fun nine!

We updated this review in August 2013 and when we played the conditions on the front nine were better than anytime in the past.  Several holes on the front are no carts to help conditions get even better.  The severe drought coupled with the hot temperatures have taken a toll on the lakes and ponds - some of which are close to being dry, what a shame.  Compared to the front nine, the back nine was in a little better condition, thanks to a much better and newer irrigation system, but still dry and firm due to the drought.  The rough was also in good shape and in places it was thick and challenging. 

You'll find the greens are a little smaller than normal, some were elevated and turtle top, a couple had minor undulation, most were non traditional shapes and sizes which makes putting and approach shots interesting, and all of them had lots of slope.  For example, you'll find greens that are small ovals, shaped like a light bulb, and skinny oblong with a dog right.  They are about average speed, true, and relatively easy to read.  Practice putting before you head out.

Overall, Pinnacle Golf Club is an enjoyable, yet challenging 18 holes of golf that we really love playing. In fact, we liked the course and amenities so much that we decided to become a member! Come out and join us for a round of golf.

In May, 2011, the Challenge Golf Group purchased the Pinnacle Golf & Boat Club and immediately started making some needed improvements and has plans to continue with additional enhancements and improvements.  To date, an extensive landscaping project is underway at the Clubhouse and construction has begun on a new "19th Hole" bar and grill at the Clubhouse.  Also planned for 2011 are a new Member’s Fitness Center and a private beach area on the lake behind the pool and Clubhouse. 

They are also working on softening up the course (boo!) by removing some trees that pinch the fairway or block approach shots as well as converting 19 bunkers to grass bunkers. 

Golf and Social memberships are now available at very attractive rates and Pinnacle Golf and Boat Club members will have access to reciprocal play privileges at the other six Challenge courses in East Texas.  Check out the Challenge Group website and their portfolio of some excellent courses including Garden Valley, Eagles Bluff, and The Woods.  Better yet, check out the Azalea Golf Trail where you can play all 7 of these outstanding east Texas Golf Courses.  You can also read about our Playing The Azalea Trail article.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 6,608 73.0 132
Blue 6,021 70.3 130
White 5,760 69.1 128
Red 5,196 73.1 124

Course Information

Course Architect:
Don January
Greens Condition
8.8
Greens Difficulty
7.0
Fairway Condition
7.0
Bunker Condition
7.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
No
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 38 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.7 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
9.5
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
8.5
Condition:
7.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.0
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$34.00 to $49.00

We found the service to be good, friendly, and accommodating. The clubhouse is new and has a full menu and bar and some good food. The practice facilities are ok. The pro shop has a limited supply of the basics.

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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. 

 

About Texas Outside

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