Battle Creek Country Club opened nine holes for play in the 1920's when golfers played on sand greens! In 1970, the original nine was remodeled and other 9 holes was added. Battle Creek Country Club is about 10 minutes from Mart (population 2,273) and in some gently rolling farm countryside in what seems like the middle of nowhere – who in the world would build a golf course here? Reminds me of "Field of Dreams" – "build it and they will come." And they do come to play.
Battle Creek Country Club is what we call a true "country course" in every sense of the definition, it offers:
- good friendly country service and Texas hospitality
- affordable country rates
- a country pace of pace of play – most of the time its very quick thanks to limited play or a tad slow thanks to a fivesome of "good 'ole boys"
- country conditions that vary depending on the weather
- country rules which vary by foursome and golf club
- rolling terrain, plenty of trees, no homes, some dogs walking the course, cows grazing in nearby pastures, deer running free, and birds and squirrels chirping
The front nine of Battle Lake Golf Course is pretty traditional and straightforward and most of the time you can see what you're up against which includes some minor ups and downs over the gently rolling terrain, water that can come into play on 5 holes, and one bunker – which of course my ball quickly found!
Some examples of holes on the front nine include:
- #2 is a 520 yard par 5 with a slight uphill shot off the tee to a fairway that dog legs right around a lake and then up to a small oval green with some wicked slope
- #3 is a challenging 215 yard par 3 with a carry over two small ponds to another small green
- #5 is a 525 yard downhiller where you can let 'er rip off the tee box and if the wind is behind you you may have an all time record drive
We really liked the back – it's a little tougher, seemed to be in a little better condition, has some fun and challenging holes, and is more scenic. The back nine of Battle Lake will throw a little bit of everything at you to keep you on your game. You'll need to manage both uphill and downhill shots, dog legs right and left, wind and water, forced carries, tough approaches to small greens, and a token bunker. On two holes there are some risk reward opportunities to try and fly the trees and shorten the hole. A couple examples of this nine include:
- #11 is a 535 yard par 5 with an elevated tee box, a dog leg left, and a small pond in the middle of the fairway about 100 yards out from the green
- lucky 13 is short at 325 yards but is an uphill dog leg left to a small green – try to fly the trees for a potential birdie
- #14 is a fun 360 yard sharp dog leg left and a challenging approach shot over water to an uphill green guarded by this nines only bunker – the green has severe slope back to the water and pin placement can be a killer
The fairways are in country condition – not the best but very playable – and vary from a little tight to more than ample. The rough is very wide, cut thin, and very playable – at times it's hard to distinguish between the rough and the fairway. Trees are everywhere but they are not real dense and in most cases it's easy to find your ball and get back to the fairway to try and save par. The fairways are hard and you'll need to manage the roll. We played in November and the bermuda fairways were going dormant.
The Battle Lake greens were in surprisingly good condition when we played. Most of the greens are oval and smaller than normal – which demands accuracy on the approach shots. All the greens had some slope which in most cases was manageable. The greens seemed to run smooth and true, were fairly easy to read (but watch for some subtle breaks), and were a tad hard making bump and run a good approach strategy.
And the two bunkers had soft, thick white sand but both needed a good raking and some edge maintenance.
Battle Creek Golf Course is also well known for it's "Birdie Girls" – a crew of attractive young college-age women dressed in eye catching outfits who serve as cart ladies, welcoming and pro shop staff, and hostesses in the tournament pavilion. During the summer, the pavilion comes alive with special events including live music.
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The range is adequate; the grill serves snacks, hot dogs, and cold sandwiches; and the pro shop is as very well stocked as some of the best pro shops in Texas. Service is country friendly.