We enjoyed a two night stay at Crown Colony's Golf Stay & Play and here is our review of their Stay & Play.
Crown Colony Country Club is the crown jewel of Lufkin and a gem for all of Texas. This course is consistently rated by all the Texas golf rags and newspapers as one of the best courses in Texas. If you haven't played Crown Colony than you need to add it to your priority list of "must play courses" now. But beware, once you play this course you are going to want to come back again and again and again.
Crown Colony Stay & Play
The best and most affordable way to enjoy Crown Colony is to take advantage of their excellent Stay & Play package which includes a Villa and golf. There are only 13 Villas and they stay very busy, which means you need to plan in advance to take advantage of this great deal. The Villas are next to the clubhouse and were completely renovated in 2005. We found them to be well appointed and furnished. The Villas are all similar and have:
- one bed room with two queen beds
- bathroom and shower
- living room with two leather chairs and a leather couch, 32 inch TV with cable, and a table with four chairs
- fully equipped kitchen - full refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, utensils, stove and oven
- small patio with 4 chairs
- cable internet service
- washer and dryer
The Stay & Play packages vary by season, so call or email Earlene (936 637-8888 or e-mail at email@example.com) to check on availability and pricing. When we played in November 2007, the price was $350 per person and included 3 day and 2 nights in a very nice Villa and unlimited golf. If you're not interested in unlimited golf, you can stay in the Villas for a nightly rate - $120 per night for one, $130 per night for 2 in November 2007.
By staying at the Villas, not only do you get a great deal and get to play a lot of excellent golf, but you can take advantage of the other Crown Colony Country Club amenities which include:
- full service restaurant with an outside patio which overlooks the practice range
- beautiful huge pool and playground for the kids
- very nice bar area with comfortable chairs, tables, and a fireplace overlooking the practice range
- four lighted tennis courts
- racquet ball court
- meeting rooms for reunions, social events, corporate retreats, or banquets
- very well appointed men's and women's locker rooms with lockers, TV, card tables, showers, and a bar
All of the Villas are very similar but we would recommend either 11 or 12 - both are end units and their patios have a better view of the course or club house. At the end of Villa's driveway is a small deck and a couple chairs where you can sit and watch the golfers finish the first nine or practice on the range before their round or just enjoy the scenery and get excited about your round. We found all of the Villa's staff to very friendly, courteous, and out to make sure your stay was memorable.
The Villas are perfect for a small family reunion, wedding, or corporate retreat. Crown Colony's clubhouse has excellent facilities for meetings, wedding receptions, or banquets.
Crown Colony Golf Course
You are going to enjoy this golf course. It is beautiful, in excellent condition, and is tough but fair. The front nine has gently rolling and sloping tree lined fairways, waterfalls, and some picture postcard perfect holes. The front nine seems a little harder than the back nine which has fairways that are a little wider and more homes along both sides. The fairways are in very good condition, as are the greens. Most of the greens are small, fast, and sloping. To learn a little more about the course, read our review and also click here to see a hole by hole layout of the course. Not only is the course beautiful, wait till you see of some of the huge beautiful homes that line the fairways.
Crown Colony was designed by Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin in 1979 and since then it has won a number of accolades. The Dallas Morning News has listed Crown Colony as the #1 course in Texas numerous years, including 2007 when it was rated #1 in the "Top 15 Most Expensive" and #2 as "Dallas Area Best Private Courses." In 2005, Crown Colony was listed in Golf Digest’s Best Golf Courses in Texas - Top Ten Statewide. Golfweek Magazine’s ratings of America’s Best, puts Crown Colony as the 72nd best course in the nation in 2005.
The course is short at 6692 yards but has a rating of 73.2 and a rating of 145. Because the course is short with a lot of dog legs and strategically placed bunkers or other hazards, in a number of cases you can leave your driver in the bag as you carefully pick your landing zone. The fairway bunkers aren't that hard to avoid and if you can hit the ball fairly straight you should be able to land in the fairway - miss it and you're in some tall rough during the summer and in the leaves in the winter. Trees are numerous but you can usually blast your way back to the fairway.
There are a number of fun, beautiful, and memorable holes at Crown Colony. The five par 3's are unquestionably some of the best in Texas. We haven't found a course yet where all of the par 3's are outstanding, so Crown Colony is a first. Not only are they very pretty, but they are also very challenging requiring a precise shot over water or hazards to hit a small protected green. You will remember these par 3's for a long time.
What makes this course challenging is the accuracy that is required to hit the greens. All of the greens are small and very well protected with water, multiple steep faced bunkers, or trees. A number of the greens are plateau or turtle top, which means its easy to hit the green only to roll off the back or side into a bunker or other hazard. The plateau greens will also stop you ball on a dime if you come up short. Some of the greens are narrow and oblong with traps on three sides. You need to spend some time at the range practicing your iron, chip, and trap shots!
Crown Colony is a fantastic and memorable golf course and you are going to want to come back and play again. Everyone we have talked to that has played the course loves it and raves about what a great round of golf it provides and are jealous when you tell them you just played Crown Colony. Service is attentive and friendly and we saw the cart lady about every 3 holes, The pro shop is well stocked and the range includes a chipping green as well as a steep faced bunker - spend time practicing getting on the green from this bunker. You should also consider some lessons from the Crown Colony pros.
Click here to see a few more pictures of the outstanding course - the pictures don't do it justice.
Extend Your Crown Colony Stay & Play
Here are some other options for you when you visit Crown Colony, so extend your stay and play and enjoy some or all of the following:
Play Another 18 - see if you can better your score and play another 18 or 36 at Crown Colony. However if there is a burning need to sample other courses in the area, you have some great options. Oak Hurst in Bullard which is in Tyler (about an hours drive) is a fun and challenging course that we rated 8.2 stars. Rayburn Country has 27 fun, inexpensive, and challenging holes about 40 minutes south of Lufkin. In fact, one of the nines was designed by the same designers of Crown Colony and is one of the most challenging course that we've played in Texas. North west of Crown Colony is another top notch course, . We haven't had the chance to play Pine Dunes, but everyone we have talked to who has played it lists it in their top ten favorite courses in Texas. Read the reviews of Oak Hust and Rayburn Country (Gold, Green, and Blue course) to learn more about each of these courses.
Hunt and Golf - spend one day hunting for you ball in Crown Colony's roughs and another hunting for dinner or a trophy. Lufkin is known for its excellent variety of game - so make your trip a golf and hunt excursion. Get up at the crack of dawn and go hunting and you'll still have time for another 18 holes. Make sure you get out of you camouflage outfit because the other golfers may tee off not knowing you're still in the woods or fairway looking for your ball and plus Crown Colony has a dress code! Check out the hunting section of Texas Outside.
Fish and Golf - if you like to fish, beautiful Sam Rayburn Lake is only 30 minutes south and is known for it's excellent bass fishing. Head down and catch some fish in the morning, then play another 18, and then have a fish fry! It can't get much better than that. If you don't like fishing, then Sam Rayburn has some fantastic coves with smooth water for skiing or boarding or your other water toys. Don't let not having a boat or a pole stop you from going fishing, you can hire some of the best bass fishing guides in Texas from this list. To learn more about the lake (ramps, marinas, fishing guides, maps, pictures, etc.) click here.
Tennis, Racquetball, and Golf - as long as you're going to be chasing balls all weekend, then why not bring your tennis or racquetball gear and take advantage of Crown Colony's tennis and racquetball courts. As part of the Villas' Stay & Play package, you are entitled to use the courts.
Shop and Golf - shopping in Lufkin isn't one of my favorite, but the Villas are close to some major shopping centers and downtown Lufkin has some antique shops. So spend some money shopping and then try to win it back on the course playing some fun games like skins, wolf, bingo/bango/bongo or play or Texas hold um in the men's locker room!
Crown Colony Dining
After all that golf you are going to be hungry, so if you didn't catch any fish, or the hunt was not successful, or you don't feel like using the kitchen in your Villa, then head over to Crown Colony's club house and enjoy a scrumptious meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served everyday in a dinning room with a view of the duffers or pros practicing on the range. There is also a patio for outside dinning. We found the food to be very good and prices were surprisingly reasonable. Similar places charge a fortune for drinks and food (ie, $12 for two eggs over easy), but this is not the case at Crown Colony - two eggs any style were only $4.75! The lunch menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, favorites (catfish platter, chicken fried steak, and more), and build your own certified Angus beef burgers. For dinner you'll find soups, appetizers, salads, pasta, steaks, pork, seafood, poultry, and lamb - and scrumptious desserts. Dinner prices range from $8 to $24.
If for some reason, you need to escape Crown Colony and venture out for dinner, Lufkin has lots of good choices for you including all the big chains and some good local favorites. Ask some of the Crown Colony staff for some recommendations based on the type of food you're looking for. Right outside Crown Colony is Ralph and Kacoos - a well known cajun seafood restaurant chain from New Orleans. They were also voted as serving Lufkin's best steak - seems a little strange for a seafood restaurant!
Activities and Nightlife
Don't get your hopes up if you are looking for a lot of other activities and fun things to do in and around Lufkin. We couldn't find much - a zoo, nature trail, a couple museums, and several bird watching places. Remember, you're not here to sightsee, you are here to play golf on one of the best courses in Texas.
Nightlife is about the same - not a lot of choices that we could find. If you like country western dancing with a fun and lively crowd ranging from 21 to 70, try Wild Horse Saloon. They have pool tables, multiple bar stations, a DJ playing tunes, and lots of dancing on the large wood dance floor - reminiscent of Urban Cowboy!
Crown Colony is unquestionably one of the best courses in Texas - fun, memorable, beautiful, and challenging. Their Stay & Play package is a great deal (unlimited golf on a magnificent course!) and the Villas are a short chip shot from the pro shop and practice range (make sure you spend some time here before teeing off), comfortable, and well furnished. In addition, when you stay at the Villas you can enjoy the pool, locker rooms, tennis and racquetball courts. Food is very good and reasonably priced and Crown Colony's service was perfect. Plan a trip now because Crown Colony stays very busy. Enjoy!