Mill Creek Country Club - Creek 3 Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 34
Salado
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Mill Creek Country Club - Creek 3 Nine Review

Review and Rating of Mill Creek Country Club in Salado Texas

Mill Creek Country Club in Salado is home to three nines that were designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1983.  Each of the nines has it's own personality and characteristics:

  • Creek 1 is a par 37 and the hardest of the nines thanks to water on six holes, 19 bunkers, and some tough approach shots - here is a link to Texas Outside's Review & Rating of Creek 1
  • Creek 2 is the shortest of the nines, the most traditional with tree-lined fairways, water that can come into play on 7 of 9 holes, greens that are a little faster but flatter,  28 bunkers, elevation changes, and doglegs - this nine requires some target golf and good shot-making - here is a link to Texas Outside's Review of Creek 2
  • Creek 3 is a 3258-yard par 34 (one par 5, 3 par 3s, and 5 par 4s) that is a mix of tree-lined fairways and several wide links-style fairways plus 26 bunkers and water on 3 holes

Common to all three nines are traditional Robert Trent Jones, Jr designs (with near-sadistic use of huge bunkers, ponds, and creeks), pretty good conditions, very reasonable rates, friendly service, and a great grill.

The Creek 3 at Mill Creek Country Club is fun to play because it's a mix of some traditional tree-lined holes and some wide-open links-style holes.  This is a par 34 nine holes (1 par 5, 5 par 4s, and 3 par 3s) and it's short (2503 to 3258 yards with 4 tee boxes) but it has a lot of everything that makes golf fun and challenging - tight fairways with trouble on both sides, water to avoid, big nasty strategically placed bunkers, elevation changes, and tough approach shots to challenging greens.  Pick the right set of tees and you'll have a fun and enjoyable round of golf.

Some of the holes that we really liked included:

  • #2 is a 389-yard par 4 with a creek to carry off the tee box, a wide landing zone with a left bunker, a dogleg and another creek in a deep ravine to cross, and a green with left and right side bunkers
  • #4 is a minefield of big bunkers - 5 bunkers on the left side of your landing zone plus 4 guarding the green - 2 big bunkers on the left and 2 more on the right front
  • #5 is a beautiful 407-yard par 4 - an elevated tee box with a stunning view of the countryside for miles, a big pond on the left side of the landing zone and a big bunker on the right side of your landing zone plus the pond and left and right side bunkers guarding the green
When we played Mill Creek Country Club in December it was dormant but the fairways and rough were in pretty good condition.  Except for a couple of elevation changes, the fairways and generally flat and firm giving you lots of extra roll.  Trees line both sides of some of the fairways but the brush has been cleared so you'll most likely find your ball and have a worm burner shot back to the fairway. 
 
The greens are large, relatively flat, and easy to read.  They were rolling a little slow but true.  They were in very good condition and a little tougher than Creek 1.  All are protected by one to three big bunkers, which puts a premium on the approach shots. 
 
The bunkers are traditional Robert Trent Jones, Jr type bunkers - big, some with multiple fingers, and several with steep and deep faces.  The good news is the sand is soft and light and a joy to hit out of!
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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,258 71.6 127
Blue 2,709 67.8 124
White 2,503 70.7
Gold 2,992 69.6 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Greens Condition
8.0
Greens Difficulty
7.5
Fairway Condition
7.7
Bunker Condition
8.2
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 24 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Beauty:
8.6
Difficulty:
8.7
Variety:
8.5
Fun to Play:
9.2
Value:
9.2
Condition:
7.8
Front Nine Rating:
8.5
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$40.00 to $50.00

The pro shop has the basics, the practice facilities are adequate, the service is country friendly, and the grill has some great sandwiches and more.

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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. 

 

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