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Tierra Verde Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Arlington
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: March 25, 2011

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Tierra Verde Golf Course Review

Tierra Verde Golf Club opened in 1998 as a unique partnership between the City of Arlington, renowned designers Graham & Panks, and Audubon International. Their goal was to create a spectacular championship golf facility with a design that was sensitive to the environment.  And they did a fantastic job on exceeding both of those objectives.  Along the course there are environmentally sensitive areas that you need to stay our of as well as informative plagues about the terrain, wildlife, and more. 

Tierra Verde is the first golf course in Texas and the first municipal course in the world to be certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary - a very prestigious designation.  Tierra Verde also does a lot to protect the environment and support being green - for example, they built a rain water collection tower and the air conditioning is powered by geothermal. 

The course layout is also outstanding and a real pleasure to play - it's fun, scenic, challenging, and well maintained and manicured.  All of which has contributed to the Dallas Morning News recently ranking Tierra Verde Golf Club as number 80 in the "Top 100 Golf Courses in Texas" and Avid Golfer placing Tierra Verde in the "Top Mid-Priced Course in the DFW Metroplex."

Tierra Verde will throw a little bit of everything at you - water, strategically placed bunkers, blind shots, dog legs, uphill and downhill shots, tiered greens, challenging approaches, and risk reward opportunities.  With five sets of tee boxes and yardages ranging from 5111 to 6975, you can choose a yardage that fits your game. 

Part of what makes playing Tierra Verde Golf Club fun is that they have given each hole a name - we read the name and took a bet on what we thought we were we were going to face on that hole.  Some examples include:

  • Deception - what looks like a fairly easy par 4 is deceivingly tough thanks to a slight uphill climb on what looks like a wide fairway (but spray it right and you're history) to a relatively flat but two tier green
  • Southern Wind - the prevailing wind can make this already long (193 yards) par 3 very challenging
  • Gamblers Mood - step up to the tee box on this dog leg left and take a gamble on a high risk reward shot to try and cut the corner by flying the trees and avoiding the large strategically placed bunker - make it and a birdie may win the bet
  • Take Care - you need pinpoint accuracy off the tee to carry the lake and miss the fairway bunkers and then a precise shot to a multi-tiered green
  • Over The Ridge - be careful on this blind tee shot that requires a straight tee shot that hugs the left side

On Leaning Tree, #13, we could not figure out why it was named that - a local told us that there used to be a huge branch that hung out over the pond blocking most of your tee shot and forcing you to hit left toward one of the bunkers, but lightening recently knocked the branch off the tree.  Maybe they should rename the hole "Treacherous Bear" thanks to the forced carry over the pond and the two strategically placed bunkers waiting for your drive if you clear the water and then an uphill shot to a multi-tiered green flanked by bunkers. 

Holes 16, 17, and 18 are three excellent finishing holes that make the back nine very memorable - The Marsh requires a big carry over a lake and three large fairway bunkers; Up to You is a short 297 yard par four that will temp you to risk trying to drive the green or you can take the safer approach to the right side; and after #18 named Home Again you'll be ready for a drink at the bar - you'll need to manage a forced carry over a large lake, three treacherous bunkers guarding the right side of the fairway, a creek that crosses the fairway, and a narrow approach to a relatively flat green guarded by a couple bunkers.  

The front nine gives you an opportunity to turn in a good score - it's pretty straightforward with several par and birdie opportunities.  The back nine is fantastic - more scenic and lots tougher thanks to water, more trees, strategically placed bunkers, tough tiered greens, and tighter fairways. 

Speaking of the fairways, when we played they had just been aerated and were still transitioning from winter to summer.  They were in very good condition and some locals verified that they are normally in excellent condition during the season.  In most cases the landing zones are wide and ample with a large playable rough - after that you'll be lost in the trees and natural areas.  Most of the fairways are gently rolling with some contour, mounding, and berms.  Not homes or barking dogs, but you will usually see plenty of wildlife - roadrunners, a variety of birds, rabbits, and a family of bobcats.

The greens were also in very good condition and can be tough if you land on the wrong side of the tier giving you a challenging putt to the cup.  The Tierra Verde greens are about average size, ran true at a fair speed of around 9 to 10, and held the ball well.

The bunkers at Tierra Verde Golf Club are strategically placed, range in size from small to huge, and some are treacherous with steep and deep faces - don't expect to hit in them and run out!  The sand is a little gritty, thick, and firm. 

Bottom line - a great track and a fantastic back nine, outstanding clubhouse, good food, friendly service, and a pretty good value. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,975 73.5 133
Gold 6,534 71.4 129
Blue 6,085 69.3 123
White 5,578 66.9 117
Red 5,111 70.8 122

Course Information

Course Architect:
Graham & Panks
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
8.8
Greens Difficulty
8.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes -- no pull carts
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 50 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.7 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
8.3
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.8
Condition:
8.5
Front Nine Rating:
7.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$29.00 to $65.00

The service is excellent and very friendly, the pro shop is well stocked, and the grill serves some great food. The facility features a state-of-the-art golf learning center, a lighted driving range, three-hole practice course, and a large chipping and putting green complex. Every weekend during the summer, Tierra Verde hosts a Party on the Patio with live music.

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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.