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The Golf Club at Twin Creeks Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Semi Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Allen
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: December 11, 2010

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The Golf Club at Twin Creeks Review

The Golf Club at Twin Creeks opened in 1995 and it was designed and built by Arnold Palmer and is one of his signature courses.  Arnold describes Twin Creek as follows:   "The Golf Club at Twin Creeks could be one of the best courses in the State of Texas and the most peaceful 18 hole course I have ever designed.  The golf course is of a traditional nature and is very much in harmony with the natural landscape."   Like most Arnold Palmer courses, Twin Creeks is very playable and fair to all levels of play and a pretty traditional and straightforward layout with no tricks or surprises - in most cases you can see the pin and what you're up against and plan your strategy accordingly.  

Palmer designed Twin Creeks around two creeks and several ponds.  The course plays through a beautiful golf community with several huge beautiful homes set well back off the fairways, they shouldn't come into play unless you really spray the ball.  You'll also encounter water on 10 holes including six ponds waiting for your golf ball, a blind shot, an uphill as well as downhill hole, dog legs, forced carries, some risk reward opportunities, and several strategically placed bunkers.  Some examples include:

  • #5 is a short 352 yard par 4 but it's uphill into the prevailing wind and the fairway zig zags through a mine field of 8 bunkers - accuracy all the way to the tee is critical on this hole  - - a - ddd
  • #7 is a very fun and somewhat challenging 548 yard par 5 - from the tee box you'll have a blind slightly uphill shot to the fairway and a tough shot downhill to a small challenging green with lots of slope and undulation and no room for error thanks to a pond on the front and left side - the good news is with some good downhill roll, two good shots give you an opportunity for an eagle or at least a birdie
  • #14 is a short 346 yard par 4 offering a great risk reward opportunity to try and fly the trees and stuff it on the green
  • holes 16, 17, and 18 are three excellent and challenging finishing holes with a combination of water, strategically placed bunkers, tight landing zones, well guarded greens, and a couple opportunities to test your go-for-it attitude

Twin Creeks has a links feel to it - fairly open, generally flat, but with lots of berms and mounds, and contour to the fairway. The twin creeks line 4 holes but the dense tee line and underbrush will most likely devour your ball before it finds it's water for a drink.  

As you can tell from the pictures, when we played in November the fairways were dormant, but still in near perfect condition.  In the summer, the course would be pretty with trees, creeks, homes, and the contrast been the lush fairways and rough.  Most of the fairways have ample landing zones and when we played in December, the wide rough was very playable allowing us to play some of the holes a little different then we play them would during the summer.  In the summer, the rough is much thicker and much tougher. 

The greens are what make Twin Creeks challenging.  They range in shape as well as size - from oval to oblong and from huge to small.  Most are well guarded with water or one to six bunkers and all of the greens have some slope and undulation - some of which is very severe.  And they typically run pretty fast - about a 10 or 11 when we played.  The greens were in near perfect condition, held the ball well, and were smooth and true - if you could read the breaks.  Two and three putts were common for us.

The bunkers also range in size from pot sized to some real monsters.  And most are steep faced.  When we played the sand was gritty, very thin, and challenging to hit out of - it felt more like playing on dirt!  I talked to the General Manager and he told me that they are planning to redo all the bunkers with new sand in the near future. 

The Golf Club at Twin Creeks is short from all of the tee boxes and it's very fair, which means it gives you an opportunity to head to the 19th hole with a record scoring low round.  You can usually find a discounted tee time or a special that will make Twin Creeks an excellent value for such a quality and fun course.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 6,840 73.2 131
Blue 6,288 70.5 123
White 5,651 67.3 111
Red 4,602 66.5 107

Course Information

Course Architect:
Arnold Palmer
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
9.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hard walk
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 42 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.7 out of 10
Beauty:
8.7
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
8.0
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.8
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
8.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.3
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$39.00 to $70.00

Twin Creek stays pretty busy on the weekends and the pace of play can be a little slow. Service is ok, the pro shop has all the basics, the grill is very good, and the practice facilities are adequate. On a busy Saturday when we played there was no cart service.

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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.