WinStar Golf Course - South Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Thackerville, OK
Date Last Played: November 05, 2011

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WinStar Golf Course - South Course Review

Just across the Texas border is WinStar World Casino which is home to a championship golf course designed by D. A. Weibring.  The WinStar Golf Course has 27 very good holes plus an upscale multi-function 10,000 square foot clubhouse with a well stocked pro shop, men’s and women’s locker room, the Legends Bar & Grill, a great outdoor patio, and some banquet and meeting rooms.  In addition, adjacent to the Clubhouse is the WinStar Golf Academy which is the place to go for lessons, club fitting, clinics, and golf schools.  The well done Golf Academy also has a fitness center, covered driving range, putting green, chipping and bunker area, golf simulator, and more. 

WinStar Golf Course was designed by D.A. Weibring and Golf Course Architect Steve Wolfard and they created a very “Golfer Friendly” 27-hole layout that is suitable for all levels of play from the beginners to the pros.  There are five sets of tee boxes with yardages on each nine from 2439 to 3621 yards, the fairways are wide and forgiving, the greens are relatively flat and smooth, and there are several recovery areas.  Pick the right set of tee boxes and you'll have a very relaxing and enjoyable round of golf with an opportunity to turn in a good score.

Owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation, WinStar opened in 2006 with 18 holes and was nominated for Golf Digest's "Best New Public Golf Course Award" and Avid Golfer rated it "Best New Course in 2006." In January 2009 they opened another nine creating the East, West, and South course.   Each of the courses is a little different from the others, for example:

  • The West Nine has three of the original 18 holes and six new holes and it’s mostly a links style course with a couple tree lined holes and it is considered the most straightforward and easiest of the nines – here is a link to our review of the West Nine
  • The East Nine is what used to be the front nine of the original course and it is a links style course with wide open sweeping fairways and native areas – read our review of the East Nine to learn more
  • The South Nine is a mixture of six of the original back nine and three new holes which makes it a combination of a links style plus three tree lined holes and it is regarded as the hardest of the nines

Common to all three nines are:

  • Very good conditions with near perfect above average size greens
  • Well maintained and manicured common areas and natural areas
  • Very good service and upscale amenities
  • Great carts with a good GPS
  • Resort style wide and forgiving fairways
  • Enough bunkers and hazards on each nine that you need to pay attention to where they are
  • Some fun holes and an opportunity to turn in a good score

If you gamble at the WinStar Casino, make sure you win enough money to play all 27 holes on WinStar Golf Course.  After your round, take your golf winnings and double down at the Casino.

The South Nine at WinStar was our favorite nine - it is the most interesting and unique and the hardest of the nines.  South starts off with a great par 5 that sets the stage for this nine – a 557 yard par 5 that requires a fairly precise shot to make the turn right to a tight fairway with a lake along the left side and a couple bunkers on the right side.  The next two holes are part of the new nine and they are narrow and straightforward but if you miss the fairway, you’re in the trees which may be tough to recover from.  That’s followed by a wide open links style hole with a slight dog left – a good risk reward opportunity to shorten the hole if you think you can carry the bunker and nail the fairway. 

The last three holes on WinStar's South Course are really fun:

  • #7 is a 382 yard par 4 that has a slight dog leg left around a lake and the right side of the fairway has mounding and bunkers
  • #8 is a long 231 yard par three that requires a carry over a large bunker in the front of the oblong green
  • #9 is outstanding with a wide sweeping and rolling fairway lined with a natural area along the right and a lake that goes along the right and back side of the green which also has a small bunker on the left, a large long bunker along the entire right side, and a hidden bunker off the back side. 

South only has 14 bunkers and ten are protecting the greens.  They range in size from some smaller pot sized to a couple huge monsters.  The sand was wet thanks to a little rain but it looked like it would normally be very thick, soft, and fluffy.  The lips are manageable.  35 of the bunkers at WinStar Golf Course will be redone starting in the winter of 2011 to help improve the drainage. 

On the South Course, the  fairways from the original nine were in very good condition as were the roughs while the new nine hole fairways are still maturing and not quite as lush and plush.  The three tree lined fairways are a little tight and you need to select a club that will keep you in the fairway or you’re in the trees.  On the rest of the fairways, bring out the big dog and let it rip. 

The greens are on the large side and relatively flat with some subtle breaks.  When we played they were in near perfect condition, ran true and at good speed (around a nine to ten), and five are guarded by one bunker and the rest by two bunkers.  You'll love these greens and one or two putts are common.

WinStar has an excellent Stay & Play package that you should check out.  You can stay in the WinStar Hotel or camp in the WinStar RV Park.  Read our article about our stay at WinStar Hotel.

Bottom line – good conditions, a pretty good value, and some fun holes make for a relaxing and enjoyable round.

Head Pro's Corner

Mike Hammond (Director of Golf) and Buddy Fichera, General Manager of WinStar Golf Academy, wanted to make sure that you were aware of their fantastic Golf Academy - stop by and take a lesson during your next visit.

The Winstar Golf Academy is an intentional blend of world-class instructors, a progressive and effective curriculum, and a state-of-the-art facility. We are proud to introduce all of this within a world-class WinStar Casino and Resort destination. Our 4,850 square. foot academy facility was created entirely with our Academy’s curriculum in mind. This marriage of form and function acts to create the best learning environment and experience for our members and students. Our facility includes:

  • 27 Hole D.A. Weibring designed Golf Course
  • SAM® (Science and Motion) Putter Fitting & Practice Studio
  • TPI®/LifeFitness® Fitness Room
  • 2 Indoor/Outdoor Heated Hitting Bays
  • 2 PGA TOUR® AboutGolf Simulating Studios
  • 1 Trackman – Range Unit
  • Custom Club Fitting Center
  • TITLEIST® Golf Ball Fitting Studio
  • Mindfulness and Stretching Rooms
  • Locker Rooms and Showers
  • Academy Lounge Recreation/Meeting Room
  • Adidias-Sponsored Pro Shop
  • 8 Covered Outdoor Hitting Bays
  • Outdoor Grass Driving Range
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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 3,621 38.1 128
Gold 3,406 36.8 130
Blue 3,181 35.5 124
White 2,948 33.8 118
Red 2,493 34.7 116

Course Information

Course Architect:
D A Weibring
Greens Type:
MiniVerde Bermuda
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 14 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$43.00 to $69.00

Service was very friendly and you'll find an expansive practice facility, beautiful clubhouse with locker rooms, oak paneled Bar & Grill, banquet facilities, and large patio with a remarkable panoramic view. The food is great and the pro shop has everything you'll need. The Philly Cheese Steak is fantastic.



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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