Southern Oaks Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Southern Oaks Golf Course Review

Review of Southern Oaks Golf Club Burleson Texas

The Southern Oaks Golf Club brochure states that this is a "golf club designed to embody the spirit and tradition of the game."  Designed by PGA champion Mark Brooks, the course opened in 1999 and Mark built the course to force golfers to focus on strategy, shot making, and intelligent club selection.  As such you'll find strategically placed bunkers, mounding, swales and grass bunkers, dry ravines crossing the fairways, and plenty of century old trees as well as a meandering Village Creek lining some of the fairways. That said, most of the holes on the front nine are straight ahead with the pin in view and no hidden hazards and if you pick the right right tee box and do what it takes to avoid the fairway bunkers, you can score well on the front nine. 

The front nine holes at Southern Oaks Golf Club are very traditional with fairly tight tree lined fairways and no homes.  From the tee box, in most cases you can see the pin and quickly determine what you're against and how you should play the hole to avoid the bunkers and any other trouble.  Unfortunately, we didn't have time to play the back nine but were told that it plays through the Southern Oaks community and is more like a links courses - wider more open fairways, homes, plenty of pot bunkers, and lots of mounding.  

On the front nine, some of the holes we liked included:

  • #1 is a straight ahead 567 yard par 5 with a minefield of bunkers placed exactly where your drive (4 bunkers) and second shot want to land (3 more bunkers) plus the fairway is a little tight, has lots of mounds, and a deep dry gully crossing the fairway at 200 yards out and the big green is raised and tiered
  • #6 is a demanding par 3 three - 205 yards from the tips with a carry over the creek, 6 grass swales/bunkers between the creek and the green, and a deep grass ravine crossing the fairway

When we played in October 2013 the Southern Oaks Golf Club fairways were in pretty good condition but still had several bare spots thanks to the hot conditions and drought over the last year.  The fairways are a little tight, some are gently rolling, and most have several bunkers.  The rough is wide and playable but if you miss it you're lost in the  dense forest.  A new superintendent arrived in May and he has done a good job in improving the conditions. 

The greens at Southern Oaks Golf Club will test your approach shot making and your putting skills.  The good news is most are large but they raised, well guarded, and have a mix of slope, undulation, ridges/spines, and tiers.  When we played they were a little damp from a recent rain but running true, smooth, and at a good speed - normally they run between a 10 to 11.5. You need to carefully study the breaks before you putt.

The bunkers are strategically place in the fairway and one or two are guarding most of the greens.  They range in size from small pot bunkers to some nasty bunkers that are very steep and deep.  The sand was wet when we played but it looked and felt like it would normally be soft and fluffy and thick and a joy to hit out of. 

Bottom line - with a slope and rating of 76 and 135 from the tips (7311 yards), Southern Oaks Golf Club is no walk in the park but it's fair if you play smart, a joy to play, in good condition, and the rates are very reasonable. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,961 74.4 131
White 6,248 70.8 129
Gold 7,311 76.0 135
Red 5,325 72.6 127

Course Information

Course Architect:
Mark Brooks
Greens Type:
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 57 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$35.00 to $43.00

Service is good, the clubhouse is excellent with a well stocked pro shop, a good grill and food, and a bar. The practice facilities are adequate.



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.