Old Kinderhook Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Semi Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Camdenton, MO
· Stay & Play

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Old Kinderhook Review

Review and Rating of Old Kinderhook Golf Course in Camdenton, MO

I can use three words to describe Old Kinderhook – impressive, impressive, impressive.  The course is spectacular, the grounds are immaculate, the homes on the property are huge and beautiful, the stay and play lodging is outstanding, and the facilities and amenities are top-notch!  Tom Weiskopf designed a masterpiece that is the centerpiece for the 700 acre Old Kinderhook master-planned community.  The golf course is renowned for its unsurpassed drama with valleys, waterfalls, hills, trees, lakes, elevation changes, and breathtaking views as it meanders through the rugged Ozark hills.  It seems like Tom designed and built a beautiful park and then dropped a golf course in the middle of it, making use of the natural beauty!  And it is not surprising that Old Kinderhook is consistently named in Golf Digest’s list of the Top 10 Missouri Golf Courses and is also ranked #1 by Best of the Lake.

Every hole on Old Kinderhook is a joy to play, a little different than the other holes, and is challenging but fair.  During your round, you’ll encounter doglegs, elevation changes, swales and 55 bunkers, water on 11 holes, generous fairways, big greens, thick rough, and near-perfect conditions.   A little bit of everything that makes golf fun and demanding. 

All of the golf holes at Old Kinderhook are awesome but some that we really loved included:

  • #6 is the shortest par 4 on the course at 344 yards but it’s also the #1 handicap hole thanks to a tight fairway and lots of trouble including two fairway bunkers and two right front bunkers and a small stream guarding a small oval raised green
  • #8 is a 416 yard par 4 that may be the course’s most scenic and breathtaking hole – the tee box is around 100 feet above the narrow fairway and the second shot to the green is treacherous because it needs to carry a pond, avoid the stand of trees, and miss a big left front bunker
  • #11 is a beautiful 202-yard par 3 with a dramatic downhill shot to a green with a view of the lake and a large left and right side bunker
  • #17 is a 376 yard par 4 with big bunkers on the left and right of your landing zone, a tight fairway that turns right and heads uphill past another fairway bunker plus a huge deep bunker in the middle of the fairway that appears to be right in front of the green but is actually well short of the green and has a small pot bunker between it and green
  • #18 is a very impressive finishing hole – a 516 yard par 5 with a stunning elevated tee shot to a huge landing zone, a dogleg right around a bunker, a lake on the left that can easily catch your second or third shot, and an approach shot over the lake or across the creek to a green with a hidden back bunker and a bunker on the left side of the green – the Old Kinderhook Lodge and the lake form a beautiful backdrop for this fantastic golf hole

The zoysia fairways at Old Kinderhook vary from tight to wide open let-er-rip.  If you miss the fairway,  a thick and challenging rough borders both sides of the fairways and can be very challenging.  The fairways were in near perfect condition.  Some huge beautiful homes sit well back overlooking some of the fairways.  The fairways and rough at Old Kinderhook are lush and plush and very well maintained.

The bent grass greens were also in near perfect condition.  They range in size from average to large and all of them have some combination of slope, tiers, or undulation.  They were running smooth and true and around an 8 to 9 on speed.  They are soft and held the ball well.

The 55 bunkers at Old Kinderhook vary from small pot bunkers to big multi-fingered monsters.  Some are steep and deep and challenging.  15 of the bunkers have been redone and are in great condition with sand that’s a joy to hit out of.  The rest of the bunkers vary from washed out to very thin and heavy sand.  Another 15 bunkers will be redone this year and the rest the following year.

Old Kinderhook is home to an excellent stay and play package that includes your choice of golf cottages, patio homes, or villas.  During your stay, you can also enjoy the upscale Trophy Room Restaurant for lunch or dinner with a beautiful view of the 15th and 18th fairways or enjoy breakfast and lunch and the bar at the Hook Cafe.  In addition, there is a fitness center, pool, tennis courts, a spa, seasonal ice rink or sand volleyball courts, and access to the lake with kayaks and paddleboards.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,726 72.3 133
Blue 5,705 67.9 125
White 5,173 65.7 120
Gold 6,218 69.9 129
Red 4,876 69.2 127

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Weiskopf
Greens Type:
Bent Grass
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 55 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$40.00 to $105.00

Service, as you would expect, is first class, the pro shop is well stocked and won “Merchandiser of the Year”, and the practice facilities are very 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.