Review of Whitestone Golf Course in Benbrook Texas
According to Whitestone's website, "Whitestone was created with one thought in mind - offer Texans and visitors the best possible golf experience at an unbelievably affordable price." We would agree that Whitestone has exceeded that objective. This is a fantastic course (fun, memorable, lots of variety, and challenging) at a very affordable price.
In 2008 Somerset Golf purchased Whitestone Golf Course and has slowly been making changes (ie, removed some bunkers, added new white sand to others) to improve the course and conditions, which have improved significantly since the takeover.
Jeff Brauer and Jay Morrish (designers of Cowboys, La Cantera Resort & Spa Courses, Las Colinas Sports Club, and Terravista) designed Whitestone in 2000 and the course opened with a number of accolades, some of which included: "Best Place To Play" by Golf Digest and "Best Public Golf Course by the Star Telegram.
Twisting and turning over 150 acres of rolling hills, Whitestone Golf Club offers you a little bit of everything: some straightforward what you see is what you get holes as well as some very challenging holes that require strategic shot making, dog legs, strategically placed fairway and green side bunkers, elevation changes, some pretty scenery, risk reward opportunities, and some memorable and fun holes - all at a great price! The key to scoring well on this course is to move up a set of tee boxes, do what it takes to stay in the fairway (keep the big dog in the bag), and focus on the approach shots.
The course layout meanders through tree lined fairways (a few holes have some houses), up and down some hills, and across creeks and ravines. The front nine offers more variety and is a little more challenging than the back. Some of the front nine holes that we really liked include:
The back nine seems a lot more open and straightforward off the tee, the greens seem a little smaller, 34 of the 60 bunkers can cause trouble, and some holes have a links feel to them. Our favorite hole on this nine is #10 - a 579 yard par 5 with a slight downhill shot off the tee to a sloping fairly tight fairway, then a shot right and over a creek, following by a shot left to a green with 3 bunkers - strategic shot making is required from tee to green to par this beauty. #11 is a 203 yard par 3 but a creek crosses the front of the green which is guarded by 8 bunkers! The 581 yard par 5 16th is fun with a slight downhill shot that can find the first creek, some tight landing zones, and another creek crossing about 60 yards in front of the green.
When we last played in early April, the fairways were in above average condition but still transitioning to summer and as such still had some bare spots. The back was not in as good condition as the front. Most of the fairways are rolling and sloping, some have lots of mounds, and on the front nine the trees can be a problem as can a back yard on a few holes. A meandering creek cuts across the fairways on several holes.
The greens at Whitestone Golf Course were also in transition and on the front they were in pretty good shape. The back greens were struggling but still very playable. The greens are raised, have a combination of slope and tiers, and most are well guarded with bunkers, trees, and swales or mounds. They were running fast, held the ball very well, and ran true. The greens on the front are huge and the back greens seemed a tad smaller.
Some of the bunkers have been redone and have soft, thick white sand that's a joy to hit out of. Most of the other bunkers are firm and gritty. A recent rain had done some damage. The bunkers range from huge multi-fingered monsters to small pot bunkers.
Rates: $22.00 to $50.00
Service is good, the range and putting green are adequate, and the pro shop has all the basics. The grill serves dog, 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.