Review of Sugar Tree Golf Course in Lipan Texas
Not only is Sugar Tree a Golf Digest 4 Star "Best Places To Play" course but it's also in Texas Outside's "Best Texas Golf Courses" because of its conditions, challenge, scenic beauty, variety, and value – they don't come much better than Sugar Tree. Every hole is unique and presents it's own set of challenges which include doglegs, blind shots, rolling hills, very narrow approaches, elevation changes, creeks, challenging green complexes, bunkers, ponds, and natural hazards – which make this a very fun course to play but you need to keep your patience and bring your A game to score well!
Sugar Tree is tight and tree lined and a shot makers course that requires some excellent course management skills. With a slope of 125 to 137, Sugar Tree ranks with the best of them in terms of difficulty – but don't let that discourage you from playing this fantastic course – move up a tee box and make the course a little easier and more relaxing to play.
Talk about course management and club selection – this course demands it if you want to score well and you may have to play it twice before you can conquer this great golf course. In addition to variety and challenge, Sugar Tree is also one of the most scenic courses we have played – trees line all the fairways and you'll find waterfalls, small lakes, the Brazos River, rolling hills, rock formations, a wooden covered bridge, an old water wheel, and elevation changes with views of the surrounding country.
In fact, the 12th hole, a 110 to 210-yard par 3, is from our perspective one of the prettiest holes in Texas and it made our list of the Most Scenic Holes in Texas. From an elevated tee box, you look down at a small lake with cascading waterfalls, trees, a pond, stone terrace, bunkers, and a water wheel. Don't let the view cause you to lose focus, because if you miss the small green, you're in trouble.
Both nines are great with lots of variety but our favorite was the back nine. The front is a par 37 with 3 par 5s, 2 par 3s, and 4 par 4s. The back nine is a par 35 (2 par 3s, 1 par 5, and 6 par 4s) and every hole is fun and different from the others. here are lots of fun and challenging holes, but a couple of our favorites include:
- #1 one sets the stage for your round – a carry over the creek to a tight creek and tree-lined fairway that dog legs left to a green guarded by the creek the crosses in front of the green plus a left side bunker
- #14 the #2 handicap which is a 524 yard par 5 that plays along the banks of the Brazos River and requires accuracy off the tee box to carry the creek and nail the tight fairway and a very precise approach shot to an uphill well protected small green (you'll want to play this one again)
- #7 is a challenging 182-yard par 3 with a downhill shot from an elevated tee box and a carry over a pond that fronts the green with two bunkers in back
- #10 which is a huge uphill tee shot followed by a blind shot thru a valley and then down to the green
Most of the greens are big and rolling but a few may require three putts thanks to the severe slope, roller coaster contour, and ridges or valleys. The greens were in very good condition when we played and they ran at a great speed of 9 or so. Plus they run true (if you can read the breaks) and are soft and hold the ball well. Most are well guarded by some combination of bunkers, creeks, or ponds.
We've played Sugar Tree a number of times and this time the fairways were in very good condition. There were a few fairways with some bare dirt spots but that's to be expected after a hot summer with several days over 100! The grass is short and firm. The fairways range from tight to tighter and all are tree lined – we lost a lot of balls but still had a blast. The first cut was playable and in pretty good condition.
The sand in bunkers was soft and fairly deep and the lips were short – you might get lucky and roll out. The bunkers needed some TLC around the edges.
Not only is this a fun, challenging, and pretty course, the value is outstanding for a course of this quality. The only challenge is that Sugar Tree is not on the way to anywhere – it is 20 miles south of Weatherford. It's not easy to get to but you will really enjoy it once you're there. The good news is that they now have an excellent Stay & Play package in a 5 bedroom very nice house. And you with your Stay & Play you can play the 5 hole par 3 course which has an island green.
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Service is good and country friendly, practice facilites are ok, the grill has some good grub, and the pro shop is well stocked.