Review & Rating of Rusted Rail Golf Club in Candall, Texas
Just 20 minutes south of Dallas in Crandall is a fun track that provides a relaxing, enjoyable, and very affordable round of golf. Rusted Rail Golf Club (formaly Creekview Golf Club) was bought by the City of Crandall in 1995 and like a lot of muni courses it has had it's fair share of ups and downs. Mark Combs, Director of Golf, came to Rusted Rail Golf Club from Tennison Golf Course (home to Lee Trevino) a couple years ago and he and his superintendent have done an excellent job in keeping the course in good condition and providing good service.
Mark joined us for the first nine and it was fun playing with someone who truly knew what they were doing and could provide some insider tips on course management. Mark claims that Rusted Rail Golf Club has a reputation for providing excellent value and outstanding greens and we sure agree. Its hard to find a good track for $39 to $44 and when we played the Champions™ Bermuda greens were in very good condition, smooth and fast but pretty easy to read. Most of the greens were about average size and had some slope and minor undulation. Judging and getting used to the speed is the challenge - we finally got it down on hole 11. Practice putting before you head out.
Dick Phelps, the course designer, is known for designing and building golfer-friendly courses that don't push you to the brink of frustration - and Rusted Rail Golf Club is one of those courses. From the tips, the course plays to 7,249 yards through gently rolling terrain with seven large ponds, a couple creeks, and oak, pecan, and cottonwood trees. The 419 Bermuda fairways were in good condition, although dormant when we played in January, and generous enough that unless you really spray the ball you won't have any problem with your approach shots to the greens. The creek and water on 9 holes is easy to avoid, you can see what you're up against from the tee box, and if you're putting ok and hitting 'um fairly straight, you're going to walk off with a great score. In fact, the world's lowest score up until a couple years ago was held at Creekview - an amazing 58, imagine that for bragging rights.
What does make Rusted Rail Golf Club somewhat challenging are the greens and the prevailing southern winds, which were blowing 25 to 30 when we played. The good news is that half of the holes are upwind and half downwind, which I guess cancels the wind factor but can still be used as an excuse! Even with it blowing like stink, being nervous playing with a pro while you're reviewing his pride and joy, and not putting as well as normal, we still ended the day with a very respectable score and wanting to come back and replicate it! Not only did we score well, but with all that water and the creek, I didn't loose my typical sleeve of new balls. In fact, I lost zip, nada, none, zero balls - which is a new record for me and Mark said he would have a plague made for me!
We thought the front nine was a little more fun than the back and it has a couple interesting and challenging holes. For example, #3 is a par 5 581 yard dog leg left that used to be a split fairway. The left side is now considered rough, but if you miss the right side fairway, the ball is very playable and you can always claim that landing on the left side was part of your strategy to cut off a few yards and give you a better approach to the green. If you go for the right side you need to worry about the fairway bunkers and the creek running alongside most of the fairway. Get all that right and your next challenge is to avoid the lake on the left and it's small finger across the fairway as well as the bunker protecting the green. Nice hole. The back nine seemed easier and the challenges on this nine are the wind, the greens, and yourself. It also has a couple fun holes including the #1 and #3 handicap and a challenging 211 par 3 with water lining the right side of a narrow fairway.
Rusted Rail Golf Club is not a Cowboys Golf Club or Tribute course, but it is a good track, with good conditions, and an excellent value.
Rates: $30.00 to $44.00
Service is good and very friendly. The Creekview grill has a great view from the patio and a menu of burgers and sandwiches.
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.