White Bluff Resort Stay & Play Review -Sitting on a bluff overlooking beautiful Lake Whitney is a golf resort that Golf Digest rated four stars and when we read more about their golf courses, resort amenities, and the golf stay and play package, we immediately called and booked a room and tee times at both courses at . And White Bluff truly lived up to its 4 Star Rating and all the good things that we had heard about it. White Bluff and it's two courses are a hidden gem and we loved the accommodations, both courses were fun and in excellent condition, the prices are reasonable, and the other resort amenities are outstanding.
White Bluff is centrally located about halfway between the DFW metroplex and Austin and 20 minutes west of Hillsboro - meaning it is easy to get to. White Bluff is a planned gated residential community with some beautiful homes, residential lots, and plenty of amenities sitting on 3,450 acres with four miles of prime shoreline along beautiful Lake Whitney. The terrain is gently rolling and heavily treed with plenty of grazing and roaming deer. Within the gated community is Lighthouse Restaurant, the Spa, a Conference Center, two great golf courses, a marina, and lots more.
White Bluff Golf Courses
White Bluff is home to two outstanding 18 hole golf courses, each of which has it's own unique personality and characteristics. But common to both White Bluff golf courses are excellent conditions, smooth greens, good service, an excellent pace of play, peace and solitude, and some fun, challenging, and memorable holes. White Bluff's Old Course was designed by Bruce Lietkze and opened in 1992 and it is generally regarded as the easier of the two courses but also has the most scenic and hardest nine. At 6,866 yards with a slope of 74.6 and rating of 138 from the tips, the Old Course is no walk in the park and it demands some strategic shot accuracy off the tee box as well as on the approach shots plus you'll encounter some dramatic elevation changes, water, strategically placed bunkers, and lots of deer. The good news is that although the deer carefully analyze each and every swing very closely, they don't critique your shots, heckle you, or giggle among themselves when you dribble your ball down the fairway. I wish my golf swing was as smooth and graceful as those deer. Read our review of the Old Course to learn more about this course. If you're staying for the weekend, you may be tempted to play this 18 again - don't do it, head over to New Course and let it test you golf skills - you'll really enjoy it also. Better yet, White Bluff offers a fantastic stay and play packages, one of which includes unlimited golf at a very affordable price - sign up for that package and play both courses multiple times until you drop from exhaustion or a family member tugs you by the ear to the car to head home.
The New Course at White Bluff was also designed by Bruce Lietkze and opened in 1998. This 18 is almost 200 yards longer and with a slope of 144 and rating of 75.5 it is the more demanding of the two White Bluff golf courses. This 18 is more traditional and characterized by tighter flatter fairways, tough and demanding approach shots from 150 yards and in, water on 16 holes, 30 huge bunkers, and smooth new in 2012 mini-verde greens. The front nine is fun as the first couple holes wind through the trees and the next few open up and feel like a links style course, and then back into the trees. Like the Old Course, this nine is your warm up for the back.
The back nine of the New Course is really fun and very challenging. The 10th hole, a 411 yard par 4 that dog legs right around a pond, is an example of this nine - accuracy and positioning are critical off the tee thanks to a narrow fairway that is lined by a horseshoe shaped pond on the right and tall side by side berms and trees along the left side leading to the fairway. And the next 17 will give you more of the same - elevation changes, lots of water, steep faced big bunkers, forced carries, and more. This is a very memorable nine holes that is demanding but fair. And the greens on both nines are excellent - smooth, good speed, true, hold well, and good sized. Read our review of White Bluff's New Course to learn more about why we love this 18.
The pro shops at the New Course is very well stocked with everything you need to look good and play well - in fact, they won "Merchandiser of the Year." The clubhouse at the New Course also has a restaurant serving a great breakfast and lunch with a wide selection. And the veranda, overlooking the putting green as well as the 9th and 18th greens is perfect for a cold drink after your round. The Old Course clubhouse has limited golf gear and serves only snacks and hot dogs.
White Bluff Restaurant
On our last stay at White Bluff, the Lighthouse Restaurant was having a seafood buffet on Saturday night and when I checked the day before to see what was on the menu, I had a difficult time focusing on anything else and I was anxious for Saturday night to hurry up and get here. When it did finally arrive, the seafood buffet lived up to my expectations! Here is just some of what I devoured over the course of a couple hours and several trips to the buffet - snow crab with drawn butter, trout, salmon with Asian vegetables, huge jumbo peel and eat shrimp, delicious mac & cheese, crab bisque soup, and fantastic prime rib that was cooked to perfection, tender, and had a fabulous smoked flavor! Oh, there was also a table of deserts - rich chocolate cake, bread pudding, cheesecake, and a brownie to die for!
The Lighthouse Restaurant sits on a bluff with a 270 degree view of Lake Whitney from an l-shaped deck - and the sunset is unbelievable. On the weekend we were there, we enjoyed karaoke on Friday night and a live band on Saturday.
The White Bluff Spa & Fitness Center
After that prime rib, taking way to many golf swings, and consuming a few drinks, I considered heading over to the Spa and Fitness Center to loosen up the muscles for my next round, burn off some carbs from three brownies, and treat myself to a massage using the winnings from my last round - but somehow I got sidetracked and never made it. The Spa offers a variety of services ranging from several massages to pedicures to facials and hair styling. The Spa is also home to a very complete fitness center with a variety of the latest cardio and weight training equipment - perfect to help you wear off all the calories from the good food at the White Bluff restaurants.
White Bluff Lodging
In addition to two great golf courses, good food, and a spa, one of the other reasons to pick White Bluff Resort for a golf outing and stay and play is because they offer you a variety of very comfortable and reasonably priced accommodations to choose from. And after all that golf, eating, and partying, you're going to need a comfy bed for a few hours so you can do it all again the next day! Some of the choices for lodging at White Bluff Resort include:
- The Inn - sitting on a bluff overlooking Lake Whitney and just a chip shot away from the Lighthouse Restaurant, pool, Spa, Fitness Center, and Conference Center, the Inn has 28 well appointed hotel type rooms with an eclectic rustic charm. Half of the rooms face the lake and offer majestic views and stunning sunsets. Each room has two queen beds, wireless internet access, satellite TV, work desk, coffee maker, and a patio with furniture - request a lake view room, it's well worth the view.
- Golf Course Condos - 27 spacious one bedrooms condos near the driving range of the Old Course (appropriately named the Range Condos) or on the 10th hole of the Old Course and across the street from the pro shop (Trailwood Condos) are perfect for two to four people - one queen bed and a fold-out couch in the living room. Each of these charming condos are well appointed with a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryers, TVs, and everything else you need for a fun golfing weekend. The patio is perfect for morning coffee or a cold drink after your round and a meal cooked on the BBQ grill.
- Two Bedroom Golf Condos - for couples, golfing buddies, or small families, the four two story two bedroom two bath condos (Bluff Point) are perfect. Each condo has a queen and two twins, fully equipped kitchen, and a patio overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course.
- Log Cabins - the three rustic Log Cabins are cool and they overlook one of the holes on the New Course. Downstairs is a living area, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, and one bedroom with a queen. The loft has three twin beds. Each Log Cabin also has a grill and picnic table.
We stayed in a two bedroom condo and found it very clean (seemed almost new), well appointed, and eclectically decorated and it had everything we needed for a fun weekend. The beds were very comfortable, the refrigerator was full sized with an ice maker that worked, and maid service appeared each day to keep the condo clean and supplied with fresh towels and more coffee. And the deck outside was perfect for coffee in the morning, games, and enjoying a great sunset over the lake.
White Bluff also has a tent wilderness camping area plus and two RV park with full hookups which are available for members or member's friends.
Regardless of where you stay, you'll have less than a 5 minute drive to get to the restaurants, spa, or either one of the golf courses. The advantage is you can choose to be close to the main pool and restaurant or stay next door to the driving range or overlook one of the golf holes. When you use one of the golf packages, the combo of golf and lodging are reasonably priced and very affordable for an enjoyable weekend.
White Bluff Amenities
Another one of the reasons to stay and play at White Bluff Resort is because of all the other amenities that you can enjoy before or after your round of golf. White Bluff got it's name from the beautiful towering white limestone cliffs and bluffs along the shoreline of Lake Whitney. The Lighthouse Restaurant, the Inn, and several huge beautiful White Bluff homes sit majestically on the edge of the bluff overlooking the lake.
The lake is perfect for any type of water recreation - fishing is excellent for catfish and bass, the north west end of the lake is the Brazos River and it's excellent for boarding, skiing or tubing; and there are several small coves that are great for dropping an anchor and swimming. Read our review of Lake Whitney to learn more.
White Bluff has over 4 miles of shoreline on Lake Whitney which is great for walking the shoreline, skipping rocks, casting a line to catch a dinner, taking dip in the refreshing water, or just relaxing by the shoreline and watching the sunset.
If you have a boat, at the marina is a two lane boat ramp and ample trailer parking, a gas dock, and overnight boat slips. If you don't have a boat, you should consider renting one from the White Bluff Marina - they offer 19' and 20' pontoon boats that are excellent for exploring the lake, a fishing trip, or just getting out on this beautiful lake for a few hours. The Marina is in a small protected cove and a short walk up the hill is a ship store with gas pumps, ice, beer, snacks, bait, and more.
If you like fishing, you should consider hiring one of these Lake Whitney Fishing Guides or White Bluff Resort can also make arrangements for a fishing guide to pick you up at the marina and take you fishing for a few hours - these guys have been fishing Lake Whitney for years and know where the big ones are waiting for you. They will provide all the gear and bait and help you catch enough fish to feed friends and family for a week. White Bluff Resort can also make arrangements to take you out on the lake for a sunset cruise - doesn't get much prettier than watching the sun set over the lake!
In addition to bringing your fishing pole, pack your swim suit, tennis racquet, mountain bike, hiking shoes, and some other athletic gear to enjoy some of the other amenities at White Bluff Resort, which include:
- a mile and three quarter hiking and mountain biking trail some of which is along the shoreline of Lake Whitney
- three different tennis courts which are lit and have an adjoining pool for a dip after a competitive round of tennis
- in addition to the three pools at the tennis courts, the main Cascade Pool is fantastic with a hot tub, cascading waterfalls, and water fountains
- a baseball diamond and several picnic areas
- a kids playscape and playground
- horseshoe pits and volleyball courts
- fishing ponds
- lots of bird and wildlife spotting - White Bluff is a designated wildlife preserve and as such is home to a variety of birds, turkey, bobcats, deer, and wild and crazy golfers roaming all over the property
For reunions, social events, weddings, or corporate events, the White Bluff Conference Center has everything you need for a small to medium sized meeting or event. And the Resort will provide all the services and catering to make it a memorable event.
Bottom line - if you're a golfer, want a fun weekend escape, or need to host a special event, then White Bluff Resort is an excellent choice and provides good friendly service, two top notch golf courses, a beautiful lake to explore, good food, a variety of excellent and comfortable accommodations, and affordable and reasonable prices.