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. When we played in January 2016 one of the nines was closed due to severe flooding in mid 2015 - hopefully that nine, which is the hardest and most scenic and probably the most fun nine will reopen in the Spring of 2016.
The existing two nines at Mill Creek are very different and a blast to play. The front nine is a more traditional 9 with tree lined fairways, water that can come into play on 7 of 9 holes, greens that are a little faster but flatter than the back nine, 28 signature Robert Trent Jones bunkers, elevation changes, and doglegs. The front is a par 35 from the back tees and a par 36 from the front tees and it's home to 3 par 3s, one par 5, and 6 par 4s.
The back nine at Mill Creek is very different from the front - it's more of a links style course with wide open fairways, water on 4 holes, 32 bunkers, some fun holes, and greens that are tougher thanks to more slope and undulation.
Both nines are home to some great holes, some that we really liked included:
When we played in January the fairways were dormant so it was had to judge the normal condition, but they were in pretty good condition and very playable. Most of the fairways are forgiving off the tee box but you'll find some dramatically elevated tee boxes, some intimating carries over the creek off the tee box, and several places where the creek crosses the fairway (some are hidden from view) on the front nine. The rough was wide and a little thick but it's dense and the ball tends to sit on top of it. Beautiful big homes line several fairways but you'll need to really spray it to land in a back yard or swimming pool! You're more likely to hit the Salado Creek, bunkers or a couple lakes, or land under the trees. In most cases the fairways are flat giving you some extra roll.
The greens are large and a variety of shapes and most are raised making a bump and run tough. They are all well guarded with big bunkers. The back nine greens are more challenging with more slope and undulation and a couple like #13 are like a Six Flags roller coaster ride around the fringe. They roll at a pretty good speed, are true if you can read the subtle breaks, and they held the ball well. They were a tad bumpy when we played.
The bunkers range from huge to huger (is that a word?) and they are strategically placed in the landing zones off the tee and guarding the greens. The good news is the sand is near perfect (light, fluffy, and thick) and a lot of the faces an thin and you might get lucky and roll out. However, some of the green side bunkers have steeper faces.
Bottom line - a fun and fair 18 that rewards good tee shots and careful approach shots and the course has lots of variety, several elevation changes that make it fun and challenging, some great holes, and reasonable rates. The course has been rerouted because of the closing of one of the nines which means your GPS may not find the right holes and the cart ride can be a little challenging. Walking is not a good idea - it's a hike between some of the holes.
Rates: $40.00 to $50.00
The pro shop has a limited supply of the basics, the putting green and range are adequate, the bar and grill has a great burger and drinks, and service 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!
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.