Comanche Trail Golf Complex is home to two 18 hole courses – the original Tomahawk Course built in 1990 and the Arrowhead Course which opened in 1999. Both courses are owned and managed by the City of Amarillo and the Arrowhead Course has been consistently ranked in the top 5 Best Texas Economy Courses by the Dallas Morning News. And at $30 in 2010 it is a real bargain!
Tomahawk is the more traditional course of the two and plays a 200 yards longer and with a stiff wind it is the harder of the two courses because the wind makes it more demanding off the tee box. Arrowhead is a Scottish links style course, was build to handle the wind, and is traditionally in better condition. The wind typically impacts play on any of the Amarillo courses, but the design of Arrowhead gives you an opportunity to use the wind to your advantage. For example, on the first three holes let it rip and leverage the down wind for extra distance. On some of the dog legs, you can use the wind to help you push the ball around the dog leg to get you closer to the green.
Instead of flat straight fairways, Comanche Trail moved a lot of dirt to create berms, contoured fairways, and somewhat elevated and rolling greens. Arrowhead is a little short at 6940 yards and it's very forgiving off the tee box with wide fairways – but if really spray the ball you've got trouble with the natural rough which is thick, deep, and loves to devour golf balls. The water 5 holes and the small pot bunkers are pretty easy to avoid. Bottom line, if you pick the right tee boxes, hit 'um fairly straight, leverage the wind, and can putt, you may have one of your best rounds.
When we played in March, Comanche Trail was still trying to recover from recent snow storms (yep, that white stuff covered the course twice in March!) that impacted the greens and fairways. However, we thought the bent grass greens were in very good shape, about average speed, and a tad bumpy. The greens are on the small side, have some minor slope and some undulation, and held the ball pretty well. The small pot bunkers were in good shape with hard gritty sand. The fairways look like they would be in very good condition during the season. If you miss the fairway or land on or near some of the many berms, you may have a problem trying to find your ball.
Arrowhead has a little of everything to make it a fun round – good variety, some dog legs, water hazards, forced carries, fairway and greenside bunkers, course and wind management requirements, and some risk reward opportunities. For example, #4 is a 427 yard dog leg left where you can let the wind push you around the dog or really risk it and try to fly the berm and leverage the wind to give you a short chip shot and birdie opportunity. #9 is a fun hole – a 510 yard par 5 that dog legs right and requires a precise drive and then offers a huge risk reward shot to fly the water and try to stuff it on a small green with 4 bunkers and water three quarters of the way around the green.
We enjoyed the back much more than the front nine – it seemed to be more challenging, offer more variety, and had some really fun holes. #17 and #18 are two great finishing holes that will make you want to come back and play Arrowhead again.
Bottom line, Arrowhead gives you a fun round, with an opportunity to score very well, and have money left over after you play – a real bargain.
The pro shop staff is friendly, the grill has a limited menu, the practice facilities are adequate, and the pro shop has the basics. When we played on a Sunday, there was no cart service and I'm not sure if that is typical or not.