Review of Rock Creek Resort on Lake Texoma
Rock Creek Resort on Lake Texoma is one of the 5 outstanding Texas courses owned and managed by Double Diamond - the others include The Cliffs at Possum Kingdom, White Bluff Resort on Lake Whitney, and The Retreat just outside Cleburne. Rock Creek and The Retreat are private courses available for play by property owners only and White Bluff and The Cliffs are open to the public and both have a very good Stay & Play package - you'll find our review on the Stay & Play Reviews Page. The Retreat & Rock Creek both made our list of the Best Private Courses in Texas and The Cliffs is on our list of the Best Resort Courses in Texas.
Jack Nicklaus designed this fantastic layout to leverage the natural beauty of the gently rolling terrain as it meanders up and down the hills, through the hundred-year-old towering oaks, and beside and across natural flowing creeks. Rock Creek Resort is a fantastic layout and each of the nines is very different. What is now the back nine was the first nine to open (2009) at Rock Creek Resort and it is very difficult with tighter fairways, water that can come into play on 6 holes, and smaller greens with heavily contoured putting surfaces. The back nine requires some shot making on the approach shots, to make dog legs, and to avoid the bunkers and trees in the fairway.
The front nine opened in 2011 and Jack made this nine much easier and a lot more forgiving. The fairways are wide and generous off the tee box, it seems easy to avoid the 35 bunkers, and the putting surface is much easier than the back. On most holes on the front nine of Rock Creek you can pull out the big dog and let it rip - this is the nine for the driver to shine because it may stay in the bag on the back nine.
When we arrived at the first hole, we uttered our first of many "Wows!" What a beautiful hole - an elevated tee box with a forced carry over a deep ravine to a wide sweeping gently sloping uphill contoured fairway with three treacherous bunkers leading to a huge green guarded by 4 more bunkers - Wow! The other 8 holes on the front are fun, some are straightforward and traditional, and some are unique and different. You'll encounter a little bit of everything including forced carries over natural areas, huge undulating greens, lots of bunkers, valleys and depressions, and plenty of trees if you can't find the fairways. #8 was another "Wow" - a 392 downhill par 4 with a bunker splitting the fairway in your landing zone, another small bunker in the middle of the fairway at about 50 yards out, and a well guarded green with a huge bunker in front and another one on the right side plus a grass bunker and natural gully. What a fun and scenic nine.
After the front nine and a cold beer at the clubhouse, Jack must have figured that you were up for a test. So he designed the back nine to challenge every part of your game - it demands accuracy from tee to green, good club selection and course management skills, and precise putting. That said, this is a fair nine but make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew - pick one of the 5 tee boxes that will fit your game. On several holes, you may want to leave the driver in the bag.
The back nine at Rock Creek on Lake Texoma is much tighter from tee to the cup and there are plenty of hazards on the way. Plus the greens are well guarded, raised, and much smaller and much more undulating with tiers, steep slope, ridges, and spines - pin placement can be a killer.
The back nine has much more variety and some very fun, interesting, unique, and demanding holes. Plus a few "Wows" like #10 - a 412 yard par 4 with a forced carry over a deep ravine from an elevated tee box to a very tight landing zone thanks to a huge oak in the middle of the fairway and then you need to stuff it on a raised green guarded by 3 bunkers. On the rest of the nine you'll find more trees in the fairway that you'll need to carefully go between, sharp dog legs that require a precise drive to give you a shot at the green, huge deep bunkers, a lake and natural areas to carry, elevated tee boxes, rolling and contoured fairways, and more. And putting surfaces are very demanding. This nine is challenging but it's fair - you just need to be accurate, avoid the bunkers, and read the breaks! The second time you play it, you'll do much better. An outstanding nine!
The fairways, particularly on the front nine were in near perfect condition when we played. The front nine fairways are wide and sweeping while the back are tight and tree lined. All of the fairways have some combination of slope, contour, berms, and mounding plus strategically placed bunkers, including some in the middle of the fairway. On the front nine there is a wide playable rough which varied from playable to very thick and if you miss the rough you will need to reload. Same is true on the back. As of now, no homes line the fairways - it's just you and nature and it's peaceful and quiet.
The Rock Creek Resort bunkers range in size from small deep pot bunkers to some treacherous monsters that are the size of Rhode Island with a lot of fingers! Most, if not all of the bunkers are steep and deep but the good news is the sand is fantastic. It's crushed white granite, thick, and deep and perfect. The bunkers are also surrounded by some thick rough - not sure which is worse, the rough or the bunkers.
The bent grass greens at Rock Creek were in very good condition - a few had some damage around the fringe. They ran true, a tad slow (an 8.5 or so) in the summer but faster (10 or more) in the cooler months. All had some combination of slope, undulation, ridges, tiers, and spines. Most are raised and well guarded. The front nine greens are huge and much less contoured compared to the smaller heavily contoured greens on the back nine. Practice putting before you head out.
Bottom line - consider a membership or find someone that has one so you can play this fantastic course! Click on this link to learn more about this fantastic golf community.
Initiation Fees: $10,001 to $25,000
Monthly Dues: $1 to $200
When you take the turn to head toward the pro shop, the colorful landscaping, rock wall, and stunning clubhouse give you a clue that you're in for a special treat. Everything is well done, upscale, and impressive - even the on course restrooms which are wood and stone and seem to blend in with the environment. The service is excellent, the pro shop is well stocked, and the practice facility is adequate. The restaurant serves a variety of some very good food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The bar and patio are great.
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.