Firewheel Golf Park - Lakes Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Firewheel Golf Park - Lakes Course Review


Firewhell Golf Park - Lakes Course Review

Firewheel Golf Park, which is owned and operated by the City of Garland, has 63 holes of very good golf. The Bridges is the newest course and has 27 holes that are consistently rated as some of the best in the Dallas area.   In 2013 the Bridges Course ranked #2 in Avid Golfer's List of the Best Mid-Priced Courses ($50-$59) jn the Dallas area.  The Bridges is also a little more expensive than the Old Course and the Lakes Course. The Old Course hasn't changed much since opening but the Lakes Course was substantially redesigned in 2001 and the bunkers were being redone in 2015.   Here are links to our reviews of the Old Course, Bridges Champion Course, and the Bridges Masters Course.

The front nine of the Firewheel Lakes Course is an excellent and very challenging nine holes with some tight spots, plenty of water (8 out of nine holes), and a fair amount of variety. Course management and club selection are key to scoring well on the front nine of the Lakes.  Some of the holes that we liked on the front include:

  • #1 is a 414 yard par 4 that requires some shot making and club selection - off the tee you need to carry a valley and head uphill to the landing zone that takes a sharp 90 degree right turn and then downhill to a raised green
  • #7 is also 414 yards with a risk reward shot off the tee to fly more of the lake to try and shorten the fairway that dogs left around the lake
  • #9 is a fun 558 yard par 5 that turns right around some mounds and a hidden bunker on the right and a lake along the left side then it heads to a green tucking into the right side with a tough approach thanks to trees pinching the fairway

The back nine is more open then the front nine and as such you may find it a little more relaxing and fun. There is plenty of variety including five dog legs, water on 8 holes, a creek that crosses in front of the green putting a premium on the approach, and 25 bunkers.  This nine has some very pretty holes with narrow approaches that will challenge your course management and club selection skills, for example:

  • #13 is a fun 554 par 5 that turns right around a pond on the right and bunker on the left and has a tough approach over a creek to a raised green with a big bunker on the right
  • #17 is a dog left along a lake and off the tee you can bite off as much as you like but don't be short or you're wet and long may outrun the fairway - the green is tucked off to the right side and trees can block your approach if you're too far right

The Lakes course was still recovering from being underwater thanks to a flood in May.  The sand in the bunkers was washed away and has been replaced with soft and deep white sand.  But overall the conditions were pretty good considering all the damage done by the flood. 

The fairways at the Lakes course were in very good condition and they range from wide and forgiving off the tee to some tight spots.  Homes line 4 or 5 holes on one side and the rest are lined by trees, creeks, small mounds, or ponds.  The majority of  the fairways are flat with little to no undulation, giving you some extra roll.  The rough ranged from cut thin to thick enough to stop your ball and make for a somewhat challenging shot.  

The greens range from small to about average, flat to some challenging slope and surprising breaks, and all are raised making a bump and run challenging.  They were running a little slow, some were a tad bumpy, and most held the ball well.  All but 4 greens are guarded by one to four bunkers and most have some trouble (pond, creek, or dense trees) if you spray it right or left or go long.

The bunkers at the Lakes were still being working on - new white sand is being added and the matting along the faces are being replaced on some of the bunkers.  The sand is a tad heavy and very thick and deep.  Most of the bunkers are large with faces that can be demanding. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,680 72.7 129
White 6,141 70.3 123
Gold 7,134 74.5 133
Red 5,502 68.5 116

Course Information

Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 16 holes and the 52 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$26.00 to $47.00

Service is good, the rates and specials are very good, and the pro shop is well stocked. The driving range and putting green are more than adequate. The grill is good.


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.