Stone Creek Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Sherman
Website · Locate This Course
Online Specials · Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: June 25, 2010

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Stone Creek Country Club Review

On the outskirts of Sherman lies a fantastic 18 hole golf course that was designed by Cal Olson and opened for play in January, 2009.  Olson designed the course to take maximum advantage of the terrain and as such you find lots of ups and downs (both elevated tee boxes and greens), roller coaster and sloping fairways, lots of trees and natural areas, plenty of sand, and a creek and three ponds – all of which makes a round at Stone Creek Country Club visually pleasing, challenging, and a blast to play.  In fact, you wouldn’t know you’re in Sherman thanks to the gently rolling and heavily  treed terrain – even Shermanites claim they didn’t know “this kind of beautiful terrain was anywhere near Sherman.”

We found Stone Creek to be a very pleasant surprise and no walk in the park - rating of 76.1 and a slope of 138.  The course demands some strategic shot making and excellent club selection to manage the dramatic elevation changes, wind, tight landing zones, and uneven lies thanks to the sloping and contoured fairways.   

Don’t let the drive up appeal to the club house scare you aware, this is a great layout, unlike the club house.  The front nine has a lot of character and three unique personalities.   The first three holes give you the feeling of playing a links style course – open fields and natural areas on one side and tree lined on the other – but unlike most wide open links courses the fairways are a tad tight as they twist and turn toward the green.  Then holes four through six head into the trees with a creek that crisscrosses the fairway on two of the three holes.  And just when you’re getting used to the shade and trees, the terrain changes again and is more open with some dramatic uphill and downhill shots.

The back nine has its own unique character and personality as it meanders through an old pecan orchard.  The first few holes play along a ridge giving you an alpine mountain feeling (that may be stretching it a little since there are very few mountains in Texas), then a through the trees experience, and finally into a valley with an excellent finishing hole.  This nine seems much more open and forgiving but still requires good course management and with the downhill greens and roll you get off the fairway, you’ll have an opportunity to turn in a great round.

Stone Creek Country Club has some really fun holes, for example: 

  • #1 sets the stage for your round and tests you with a tight landing zone off the tee box and a narrow sloping fairway leading to a tough approach thanks to water on both sides and 3 bunkers
  • #9 is a 485 yard par 4 downhill fairway through a valley  to a dog leg right two tier green protected by 3 pot bunkers and water on one side and a large bunker on the other - a good risk reward opportunity if you think you can carry the trees to shorten the hole
  • #10 is a wide open big uphill shot than a dog leg left down a rolling steep hill to a small green guarded by 4 bunkers - spray the ball right and you're down a steep and sharp dropoff that will make for a very challenging blind shot back to the fairway 

The bent grass greens are fairly large and all shapes and sizes.  Outside of some weather damage to three greens, they were in near perfect condition, with slope, and undulation thanks to some ridges and spines.  Some are elevated and most are fairly well guarded.  They held well, seemed very true, and were about average speed. 

The fairways were good, not great, and the rough was cut thin and playable.  Most of the fairways are rolling and range from tight to wide and forgiving.  Strategically placed bunkers, big elevation changes, blind shots,  the creek, and the fairway slope need to be carefully managed.  The fairways are still fairly new and maturing and the harsh winter had a negative impact on some of them.  As the fairways continue to mature and fill in, they have the potential to be great.  

The bunkers are all sizes and shapes - from small pot bunkers to some large monsters.  All were in excellent condition with soft fluffy sand. 

Even though Stone Creek Country Club is long (5655 to 7428) challenging from most of the tee boxes (slope of 114 to 138), it seems like a lot of the holes are downhill resulting in some huge drives (or should I say roll) that position you well for getting on the large greens in regulation and ending with a very good score.    On a couple drives I felt like John Daley with booming long drives! 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 7,428 76.1 138
Blue 6,833 73.4 132
White 6,240 71.0 126
Red 5,655 68.6 114

Course Information

Course Architect:
Cal Olson
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
8.5
Greens Difficulty
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hard - very hilly
Scorecard
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 66 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:
7.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.2
Back Nine Rating:
8.5
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$35.00 to $50.00

The pro shop is limited but has the basics, the grill food is also limited, and the practice facilities are adequate. Service was ok and the pace of play on a Friday was excellent.

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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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