The Bridges Golf Club is a Fred Couples Signature Golf Course that opened for public play in October 2008. This 18 hole, 7612 yard links course, was designed by Jeffrey Brauer (designer of Cowboys, Trials of Frisco, and others) to take advantage of the natural contours and features of the legendary Double M Ranch. The course is now part of a 1580 acre community – The Bridges at Preston Crossing. As you drive into the community, you will immediately notice a new beautiful clubhouse that overlooks the pond and the outstanding 18th hole – you immediately sense that you are in for a fun day of golf.
From my perspective, the front nine of The Bridges is one of the best and truest "links" courses in Texas. With that said, I looked up the definition of a links course and here is what I found: "a traditional links course will have many – perhaps all – of the following features:
- The course is built along the seaside – this is not happin' in North Texas
- The soil is sandy and drains easily – very true at The Bridges
- The course is laid out naturally, so that unusual bumps and slopes in the fairways and greens remain, rather than being smoothed over – you'll find plenty of bumps, slopes, and ups and downs at The Bridges
- The rough features natural seaside grasses – there is plenty of natural Texas (not seaside) grass on both sides of the fairways and on a number of holes you'll need to carry a lot of natural grass areas from the tee box as well as on some of the approach shots
- Bunkers are numerous, very small and very deep (to keep the seaside breezes from blowing the sand away)- The Bridges fairways have plenty of huge bunkers, which seem to be strategically placed about where my ball wants to land and they are fairly deep, and you'll most likely play in some wind
- Fairways are rarely (if ever) watered and play firm and fast – when we played in October the fairways were very fast and firm resulting in some excellent roll
- Links courses usually have few if any trees – on the front nine, you'll encounter two trees, the back nine has a few more
If you like a links course you're going to love the front nine and will cherish the back, which seems a little more traditional but still has a links feel. The back nine also has a couple very fun holes. The number 2 handicap #14 for example is a 626 yard (don't fear, that's from the tips!) par 5 downhiller that requires some strategic shot making and decisions from the tee box. For the long straight hitters this may not be that tough, but for the rest of us, you need to decide on which of the split fairways to take keeping in mind the left one will require you carry a pond and then need a great second shot to the left side of the green and high and far enough to avoid the the trees protecting the green. If you take what appears to be the safer right fairway and head straight to the hole, you'll face a huge bunker and numerous tall berms/mounds on the way to the green. This is the kind of fun and challenging hole that you want to play again and try the other route to the green. #18 is another fantastic hole – it's fun and challenging and will make your round memorable – it may also eat a couple of your balls.
Most of the fairways seemed narrow with a somewhat thick rough followed by the natural grass and don't even think about looking for your ball in the natural grass, take your stroke and move on. The fairways were dormant when we played but in near perfect condition and in the summer I imagine that they would be lush and green. The greens are something else – perfect condition, all shapes and sizes, lots of slope and undulation, and fast. The greens are truly unique and something you won't easily forget – practice putting before you head out for your round. Pin placement can be a killer so make sure you try to study the green's slope and undulation before you hit your chip up.
The course is pretty long at 7612 from the tips, but with 5 tee boxes, you can find something that will fit your game and experience. The slope and rating have not yet been determined.
The Bridges is a great course and one we can't wait to go back and play again. The pictures were taken when the fairways and greens were dormant and don't do the course justice – in the summer the course would be lush and green and the contrast between the green fairways and the brown natural grass will be dramatic and beautiful.
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The new clubhouse is fantastic with a great deck overlooking the scenic 18th hole. Service is courteous and friendly.