Review of Whitestone Golf Course in Benbrook Texas
According to Whitestone's website, "Whitestone was created with one thought in mind – offer Texans and visitors the best possible golf experience at an unbelievably affordable price." We would agree that Whitestone has exceeded that objective. This is a fantastic course (fun, memorable, lots of variety, and challenging) at a very affordable price.
In 2008 Somerset Golf purchased Whitestone Golf Course and has slowly been making changes (ie, removed some bunkers, added new white sand to others) to improve the course and conditions, which have improved significantly since the takeover.
Jeff Brauer and Jay Morrish (designers of Cowboys, La Cantera Resort & Spa Courses, Las Colinas Sports Club, and Terravista) designed Whitestone in 2000 and the course opened with a number of accolades, some of which included: "Best Place To Play" by Golf Digest and "Best Public Golf Course by the Star Telegram.
Twisting and turning over 150 acres of rolling hills, Whitestone Golf Club offers you a little bit of everything: some straightforward what you see is what you get holes as well as some very challenging holes that require strategic shot making, dog legs, strategically placed fairway and green side bunkers, elevation changes, some pretty scenery, risk reward opportunities, and some memorable and fun holes – all at a great price! The key to scoring well on this course is to move up a set of tee boxes, do what it takes to stay in the fairway (keep the big dog in the bag), and focus on the approach shots.
The course layout meanders through tree lined fairways (a few holes have some houses), up and down some hills, and across creeks and ravines. The front nine offers more variety and is a little more challenging than the back. Some of the front nine holes that we really liked include:
- #2 has a huge bunker on the right side of the landing zone and two smaller ones on the left side waiting for your drive and then 4 more bunkers around the green which makes for a very challenging approach shot
- the par 3 5th hole is demanding at 198 yards from the tips – it's all carry over a lake to a green with two bunkers to catch long shots
- #9 is a blast – it's short at 359 yards and will temp you to try and carry two creeks and a large natural area to get close to the green but it's safer to lay up on a right side fairway and have an easier approach shot over the creek and natural area, if a sprawling tree doesn't block the shot to the green – beware there is a huge swale in front of the green and a large depression in the middle of the horseshoe shaped green
The back nine seems a lot more open and straightforward off the tee, the greens seem a little smaller, 34 of the 60 bunkers can cause trouble, and some holes have a links feel to them. Our favorite hole on this nine is #10 – a 579 yard par 5 with a slight downhill shot off the tee to a sloping fairly tight fairway, then a shot right and over a creek, following by a shot left to a green with 3 bunkers – strategic shot making is required from tee to green to par this beauty. #11 is a 203 yard par 3 but a creek crosses the front of the green which is guarded by 8 bunkers! The 581 yard par 5 16th is fun with a slight downhill shot that can find the first creek, some tight landing zones, and another creek crossing about 60 yards in front of the green.
When we last played in early April, the fairways were in above average condition but still transitioning to summer and as such still had some bare spots. The back was not in as good condition as the front. Most of the fairways are rolling and sloping, some have lots of mounds, and on the front nine the trees can be a problem as can a back yard on a few holes. A meandering creek cuts across the fairways on several holes.
The greens at Whitestone Golf Course were also in transition and on the front they were in pretty good shape. The back greens were struggling but still very playable. The greens are raised, have a combination of slope and tiers, and most are well guarded with bunkers, trees, and swales or mounds. They were running fast, held the ball very well, and ran true. The greens on the front are huge and the back greens seemed a tad smaller.
Some of the bunkers have been redone and have soft, thick white sand that's a joy to hit out of. Most of the other bunkers are firm and gritty. A recent rain had done some damage. The bunkers range from huge multi-fingered monsters to small pot bunkers.
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Service is good, the range and putting green are adequate, and the pro shop has all the basics. The grill serves dog, burgers, and sandwiches.
Jared is head pro Jared@whitestonegolf.com