Cottonwood Valley Course Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.1

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 71/72
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Cottonwood Valley Course Course Review

Review of Cottonwood Valley Golf Course

This review of Cottonwood Valley Golf Course by Texas Outside will give you our perspective and what we think about Cottonwood Valley Golf Course. 

The Four Seasons Resort & Club at Las Colinas is home to first class service, excellent amenities, fine dining, and two outstanding golf courses - TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas and Cottonwood Valley Golf Club.  Read our review (coming soon) of the Four Seasons Resort & Club to learn more about why we think the Four Seasons Resort is one of the best resorts in Texas.

The Four Seasons Resort & Club, the only AAA Five Diamond Resort in Texas, manages both courses.  TPC is a D. A Weibring design and host to the Byron Nelson Golf Championship and it is available for tournaments, charity events, members, and resort guests.  Cottonwood Valley Golf Course is the exclusive course for members of the Sports Club at Four Seasons and is occasionally available for play for guests of the Four Seasons Resort.

The front nine of Cottonwood Valley opened in 1982 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones - the back nine for Cottonwood Valley is now the front for TPC.   D. A. Weibring was hired to redesign both TPC and Cottonwood Valley and he turned it into a fantastic 7120 yard par 71/72 championship course and from 1994 to 2008 the Byron Nelson Championship was played on both Cottonwood Valley and TPC.  It's not often that you get to play a course where Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Vijah Singh, and Sergio Garcia won a Championship Trophy!

What makes playing Cottonwood Valley Golf Course a blast is that the conditions from tee to green are near perfect, the grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained, the course is demanding but very fair, the layout is great, the homes along the fairways are jaw dropping and huge, and the service is top notch. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Some of the holes at Cottonwood Valley that we really liked included:

  • #1 is a 480 yard par 4 with a wide landing zone, a steep terraced drop down to water that cuts across the entire fairway, and an approach shot to a huge green in the shape of Texas, a bunker that resembles Oklahoma, and a lake that has a similar shape to the Gulf of Mexico
  • #6 requires a good tee shot from an elevated tee box to carry the water and an accurate approach to a green surrounded by 7 bunkers
  • #8 is fun with a blind uphill shot followed by a big downhill shot to the green - club selection on this hole is critical
  • #15 offers a good risk reward opportunity if  you think you can fly the trees to shorten this dog leg left 430 yard #2 handicap hole with a two tier sloping green
  • #18 is great - a 435 yard par 4 that's uphill off the tee, then down a roller coaster tree lined fairway to a green protected by 4 big bunkers and the Resort looming in the background

When we played Cottonwood Valley in late September 2013 the fairways were in near perfect condition.  The fairways are all tree lined and most are ample off the tee box and most have a wide and thick but playable rough.  You'll find elevated tee boxes, some downhill and uphill shots, dog legs, some long par 4s (ie, 440 yards), mounds, and swales as well as some fairway slope and contour!  The fairways are tree lined but not densely packed, meaning you'll most likely be able to find your ball and get back to the fairway.   Huge beautiful multi-million dollar homes line several fairways but you'll need to really spray to get to know the owners.

The greens are what define this course and they can easily prevent you from having a great round.  They have some mixture of slope, undulation, ridges, and tiers and some of the breaks can subtle and pin placement can be very challenging.  All of the greens are raised and well guarded by some nasty bunkers, mounds, and/or swales.  The good news is that most of the greens are big, they run true, and hold the ball well.  They were running around a 10 when we play. 

Cottonwood Valley Golf Club is home to some strategically placed fairway bunkers and lots of greenside bunkers - most of which are big, steep, and deep.  But they seemed relatively easy for our foursome to avoid and normally I spend a lot of time in the bunkers, which was not the case at Cottonwood Valley.  The sand is perfect - soft, thick, and well maintained.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,410 71.2 134
White 5,940 69.3 130
Gold 7,120 74.9 136
Red 5,265 71.2 125

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert Trent Jones
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 59 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.1 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Initiation Fees: $55,001 to $70,000
Monthly Dues: $601 to $800

Service at Cottonwood Valley and the Four Seasons Resort is top notch - you'll be treated very well! The pro shop is one of the best and well stocked with everything you can imagine. The food options are good and vary from fine dining to a members only lounge to burgers and more by the pool. Cottonwood Valley also has a comfort station with ice, water, crackers, peanut butter, jam, choclate chip cookies, and a peanut mixture to help you stay norished and cool - a very nice touch!



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.