Rock Creek Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Fairhope, AL
Website
Date Last Played: February 05, 2012

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Rock Creek Golf Club Review

Located in Fairhope on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay is the fantastic Rock Creek Golf Club, a Golf Digest four and a half star 18 hole championship golf course.  Earl Stone did a fantastic job of designing Rock Creek Golf Club to take advantage of the natural rolling terrain and wetlands.  As such you'll find tree lined rolling  fairways, surprising elevation changes, intimidating carries over wetlands, mounding, and more to keep you on your game.  

Rock Creek Golf Club meanders its way through a very upscale community and past some stunning homes.  Some of what makes this course a blast to play includes:

  • a front nine with some very unique and interesting holes
  • an opportunity to use a lot of clubs and test your course management and accuracy skills
  • excellent conditions with some colorful landscaping
  • a very good value
  • a demanding but fair layout
  • elevation changes, wetlands, creeks, ponds, ups and downs, bunkers, and forced carries
  • challenging greens

The front nine of Rock Creek Golf Club, and specifically the first six holes, are excellent - scenic, fun, unique, and a blast to play.  Some of the great holes include:

  • #1 is a 525 yard par 5 with a dramatically elevated tee box, 6 bunkers, a dog left, and an odd shaped 2 tier green with 3 big bunkers guarding it
  • #2 is a "Wow" hole and the #1 handicap - an elevated tee shot down a two tier fairway that needs a precise shot to avoid running thru the fairway and into the wetland which you then need to carry and try and stuff it on the raised green with 3 large bunkers surrounding it
  • two fun par 3s that demand a precise shot for a par
  • an excellent par 5 finishing hole with an uphill dog leg left and a landing zone pinched by a huge bunker on the left

The back nine is fun but pales in comparison to the front nine of Rock Creek Golf Club.  It is more traditional and straightforward with a couple good holes and two excellent par 3s with intimidating carries over a wetland. 

When we played in early February, the Bermuda greens were over seeded with rye and were in near perfect condition.  The greens range in size (a tad small to above average) and shape and no two are the same.  But common to all of them is plenty of undulation including tiers, slope, and subtle breaks.  They were running at a good speed of around 9 and were soft and true.  Practice putting before you head out - we had several three putts.  The fringe was perfect and puttable if you're fairly close. 

The fairways at Rock Creek Golf Club were also in very good condition.  Most are ample with a wide playable first cut, but after that you're wet, in a back yard, or lost in the trees or natural areas.  The fairways are tree lined with some beautiful homes set well back, but reachable.  Most of the fairways have some contour, slope, or mounding.

The bunkers were well maintained with a soft layer of white sand.  We thought the sand was a little thin and it wasn't easy to get through the hard pack under it.  

Bottom line - excellent holes, playable by all skill levels, fantastic conditions, fair but demanding, and a very good value. 

Head Pro's Corner


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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 6,920 72.9 128
Blue 6,322 69.8 124
White 5,831 68.1 117
Red 5,124 68.8 114

Course Information

Course Architect:
Earl Stone
Greens Type:
Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.8
Greens Difficulty
8.8
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
9.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 47 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.2 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
8.0
Variety:
9.8
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.3
Front Nine Rating:
9.5
Back Nine Rating:
8.8
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$49.00 to $59.00

Service is very good and friendly. The clubhouse is great and home to a well stocked pro shop and a restaurant serving a variety of good food. The driving range is impressive.

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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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