Firewhell Golf Park – Lakes Course Review
Firewheel Golf Park, which is owned and operated by the City of Garland, has 63 holes of very good golf. The Bridges is the newest course and has 27 holes that are consistently rated as some of the best in the Dallas area. In 2013 the Bridges Course ranked #2 in Avid Golfer's List of the Best Mid-Priced Courses ($50-$59) jn the Dallas area. The Bridges is also a little more expensive than the Old Course and the Lakes Course. The Old Course hasn't changed much since opening but the Lakes Course was substantially redesigned in 2001 and the bunkers were being redone in 2015. Here are links to our reviews of the Old Course, Bridges Champion Course, and the Bridges Masters Course.
The front nine of the Firewheel Lakes Course is an excellent and very challenging nine holes with some tight spots, plenty of water (8 out of nine holes), and a fair amount of variety. Course management and club selection are key to scoring well on the front nine of the Lakes. Some of the holes that we liked on the front include:
- #1 is a 414 yard par 4 that requires some shot making and club selection – off the tee you need to carry a valley and head uphill to the landing zone that takes a sharp 90 degree right turn and then downhill to a raised green
- #7 is also 414 yards with a risk reward shot off the tee to fly more of the lake to try and shorten the fairway that dogs left around the lake
- #9 is a fun 558 yard par 5 that turns right around some mounds and a hidden bunker on the right and a lake along the left side then it heads to a green tucking into the right side with a tough approach thanks to trees pinching the fairway
The back nine is more open then the front nine and as such you may find it a little more relaxing and fun. There is plenty of variety including five dog legs, water on 8 holes, a creek that crosses in front of the green putting a premium on the approach, and 25 bunkers. This nine has some very pretty holes with narrow approaches that will challenge your course management and club selection skills, for example:
- #13 is a fun 554 par 5 that turns right around a pond on the right and bunker on the left and has a tough approach over a creek to a raised green with a big bunker on the right
- #17 is a dog left along a lake and off the tee you can bite off as much as you like but don't be short or you're wet and long may outrun the fairway – the green is tucked off to the right side and trees can block your approach if you're too far right
The Lakes course was still recovering from being underwater thanks to a flood in May. The sand in the bunkers was washed away and has been replaced with soft and deep white sand. But overall the conditions were pretty good considering all the damage done by the flood.
The fairways at the Lakes course were in very good condition and they range from wide and forgiving off the tee to some tight spots. Homes line 4 or 5 holes on one side and the rest are lined by trees, creeks, small mounds, or ponds. The majority of the fairways are flat with little to no undulation, giving you some extra roll. The rough ranged from cut thin to thick enough to stop your ball and make for a somewhat challenging shot.
The greens range from small to about average, flat to some challenging slope and surprising breaks, and all are raised making a bump and run challenging. They were running a little slow, some were a tad bumpy, and most held the ball well. All but 4 greens are guarded by one to four bunkers and most have some trouble (pond, creek, or dense trees) if you spray it right or left or go long.
The bunkers at the Lakes were still being working on – new white sand is being added and the matting along the faces are being replaced on some of the bunkers. The sand is a tad heavy and very thick and deep. Most of the bunkers are large with faces that can be demanding.
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Service is good, the rates and specials are very good, and the pro shop is well stocked. The driving range and putting green are more than adequate. The grill is good.