Review & Rating of White Bluff’s New Golf Course in Whitney, Texas
White Bluff Resort is one of our favorite Texas resorts because it’s on beautiful Lake Whitney, has a variety of accommodations, excellent resort amenities, and two very good golf courses – the Old Course and the New Course. In October of 2018, the White Bluff Resort Property Owners Association took over ownership of the Resort and the majority of the Resort amenities, including both of the golf courses which were in pretty rough condition when the POA took ownership. They immediately closed the courses and spent a significant amount of money on redoing the greens and bunkers, renovating the pro shop and golf stay and play accommodations, and on improving the conditions and playability of the course. In addition, they hired Arcis Golf, one of the premier golf management companies in the US, to manage the day to day operation and maintenance of the courses.
The New Course officially opened in August 2019 and Old Course opened for play in October 2019. We have played both courses a couple of times before the POA taking over and the POA improvements and course conditions were impressive when we played in August, 2020. The members that we talked to were also very pleased with the new ownership and with everything that the POA had accomplished.
Both of the White Bluff courses were designed by Bruce Lietzke and each course has its own unique personality and characteristics. For example,
the Old Course has more scenic vistas, a traditional front nine, an outstanding back nine, several elevation changes, and a back nine that is regarded as the hardest of the nines at White Bluff – read our review of White Bluff’s Old Course
the New Course is more traditional and is regarded as the harder of the two courses thanks to water on 16 holes, some tight approaches, and an extra 200 yards
Both courses are demanding but fair and common to each course and are in excellent conditions, some very fun and memorable holes, and good service. Both courses have a 4-star rating from Golf Digest and are consistently rated as some of the best resort courses in Texas by several sources – they made Texas Outside’s List of the Best Texas Resort Courses.
The New Course opened for play in 1998 and Lietzke designed this 18 to be fair but challenging. As such White Bluff’s New Course will test your shot-making and course management skills during your round. You’ll find water that comes into play on 16 holes, forced carries, elevation changes, some huge bunkers, tight approaches, challenging green complexes, and some risk-reward opportunities. But don’t let that scare you from playing this 18 – it’s really fun, fair and playable, and very manageable and there are 5 different tee boxes to choose from.
Talk to the pro about the course to get some ideas on how to manage the course if you want to score well. His biggest tip to us was to target to get to the 150 and not beyond because most of the potential trouble is from 150 yards and in – water, bunkers, berms, trees, elevated greens, and more. It worked and we turned in a pretty good score.
The front nine of the New Course is fairly traditional and straightforward and the first three holes on the front start you out with water and trees and somewhat narrow fairways. The next five holes are more open and have a links feel. An example of a couple of fun holes that we loved on this nine include:
#2 is a 374-yard dogleg right that requires a precise drive off the tee box to avoid the water on the left, trees on the right, and berms and trees if your drive is too long
#4 is a fun 387-yard sharp dogleg left to a green with a pond across the front and two bunkers protecting it – a good risk-reward opportunity to try to fly the trees on the left side and avoid the bunkers and water for a short chip to the green
#8 is is a 424-yard par four that looks easy from the tee box but the green complex is very challenging – the green is elevated, has plenty of slope and undulation, and there are three big bunkers guarding it – pin placement can be a killer
The back nine on the New Course was our favorite and it has a number of very fun, challenging, and memorable holes. Some of the holes we liked included:
#10 will set the stage for this nine – a dogleg right 411-yard par 4 that horseshoes around a lake, has tall berms along the left side, and requires a precise shot to a two-tier green – accuracy from tee to green is required, there is little room for error and the second shot is a great risk-reward opportunity to carry the lake and go for the green
#12 is the signature hole and it’s a real beauty – if you’re long and straight on your drive you’ll find the pond in front of a 75′ tall white bluff where the fairway doglegs right and leads to an elevated green with a pond and creek guarding the front before you tee off
on number 16 you should drive up and take a look at what you’re up against and determine how to play this 515-yard par 5 with a blind uphill shot, then a long downhill shot over a terraced roller coaster fairway followed by a carry over two creeks on the way to an elevated small green – you’ll want to play this one over again
When we played White Bluff’s New Course in late August, it had been reopened for a little over a year after the greens and several other improvements had been made. We thought the course was in very good condition despite the 100-degree temperature for the last three weeks! The fairways were a little dry and firm and the rough was well maintained and playable. The fairways range from wide open to tight off the tee box and a majority are lined with berms on one or both sides and lots of trees plus creeks and ponds.
The greens on the New Course were replaced with TIF Eagle just over a year ago and they were near perfect. They were a tad firm but ran true and at a very good speed. The greens range from average to huge and most had some slope with subtle breaks but not a lot of undulation.
The bunkers ranged in size from big to bigger and some are real multi-fingered monsters. The sand was soft and thick and fluffy and the lips are manageable – of course, there were a few exceptions which were steep and deep and treacherous. All of the White Bluff New Course bunkers were very well maintained.
The New Course makes for a memorable round – quiet and peaceful, a great pace of play, fun holes, excellent conditions, and demanding but fair plus reasonable rates.
White Bluff has some fantastic stay and play options and it’s well worth a weekend trip. Read our review of our Stay and Play at White Bluff. Make sure you play both courses.
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Service is very good and very friendly, the pro shop is well stocked. The grill has some very good food but was closed due to COVID-19 when we last played. The practice facilities are good.