Best Golf Courses to Play in Tyler + East Texas
East Texas is in no short supply of great golf courses. Whether public or private, the cities of Tyler and Longview and the surrounding areas boast some of the greatest links locations in Texas.
Many courses in the East Texas area have hosted major state and national tournaments, including the Eisenhower Classic at Hollytree and Willow Brook Country Clubs in Tyler, the Texas State Open at The Cascades in Tyler and the Adams Tight Lies Tour at Eagle's Bluff in Bullard, among many others.
If you're an occasional or avid golfer, novice or experienced, there's a course for you in the East Texas area, for sure.
Here are some great choices to get you started on your next golfing adventure:
One of Tyler's most premier communities and golf courses, Hollytree is the true definition of a championship course. Boasting four tees ranging from 5,102 to 6,805 yards, the par-72 course is truly a beauty to experience in East Texas.
Hollytree is for members only, unless you play with a current member as a guest. Click here to visit Hollytree's website for more information on the course or to become a member.
Originally opened as Briarwood Country Club in 1956, The Cascades has developed into one of East Texas' best golf courses. As The Cascades website describes it, "The club experienced a renaissance in the late ‘90s, when the talent of PGA Tour Player Mark Hayes was enlisted in a multi-million dollar restoration designed to uncover the hidden gem while maintaining the integrity, character and mystique of the original course. The result is a magnificent par-71, 7,142-yard championship layout, opened in 2002, that fits seamlessly into the surrounding terrain."
The Cascades hosted the prestigious Texas State Open from 2006 to 2011, which established the venue into one of the best in Texas.
The Cascades also is for members only, unless you play with a current member as a guest. Click here to visit The Cascades website for more information on the course or to become a member.
Considered by many to have the fastest greens in East Texas, Eagle's Bluff is not for the easily frustrated (but isn't that most of us who golf?). Eagle's Bluff is a little off the beaten path off Lake Palestine in Bullard, but it is certainly a hidden gem.
A prestigious neighborhood surrounds the par-71 course, which measures nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees. The Dallas Morning News called Eagle's Bluff the sixth-most difficult course in Texas, according to the club's website. Water plays into effect on 15 of the course's 18 holes, so if you're prone to hooks and slices, buy plenty of balls.
Eagle's Bluff is private as well, but you can visit the website for more information on how to become a member.
Tyler's oldest golf course and club is certainly a sight to see. Willow Brook, which has four sets of tees that start at 5,329 yards from the red tees and stretch out to 6,819 yards from the back, is celebrating its 90th year in business this year. It boasts a true traditional layout that golf purists will love.
East Texans always have fond memories of Willow Brook for hosting the Eisenhower Classic from 1990 to 1999 (its first two years were played at Hollytree), which saw the likes of Greg Norman, the late Payne Stewart and Ben Crenshaw, as well as celebrities like The Dixie Chicks and Troy Aikman.
Willow Brook is a private course with various memberships available. Visit their website for more.
If you're looking for a great, affordable public course, Oak Hurst in Bullard is one of East Texas' favorites. Right alongside beginner/senior course Peach Tree, Oak Hurst has four tees over its 18 holes, with water coming to play on 11. Peach Tree is the older course of the two. It opened in 1984 and is an executive length, beginner friendly course favored by seniors, juniors, and those that are new to the game of golf. This shorter, more open links style golf course makes scoring much easier.
Emerald Bay Club is strictly for homeowners in the Lake Palestine community, but if you've got a friend who lives there -- or maybe you're looking for a house -- it's a good place to be.
The par-71 course boasts four tees with a length of 6,622 yards from the tips. There's plenty of scenery with beautiful water and trees throughout a beautiful neighborhood with unique homes.
Another one of East Texas' hidden treasures, Pine Springs underwent a complete renovation under new ownership in 2010. The par-72, 6,509-yard course is back to being in great shape, and it's one of the most affordable and valuable golf deals in the entire area.
One of the best parts of Pine Springs is it caters to any skill level of golfer, and whether you're a scratch golfer or a beginner, it's a good place to start.
Located about 20 minutes north of Tyler near Interstate 20, Garden Valley might just be that golf course you've never heard of, but once you visit, it might just become your favorite.
A great value for golfers, Garden Valley features Champion Bermuda greens, beautiful lakes, and tall pine trees and will allow you the opportunity to test every aspect of your game. Avid Golfer magazine even said Garden Valley "is perhaps the closest thing any of us will ever get to experiencing Augusta National."
Garden Valley also features "stay and play" packages with cabins where you can stay and play golf, too. And if you're in the mood for a house, any homesite or house you buy in Garden Valley comes with free golf for as long as you own it.
Pretty good praise. Check out Garden Valley's website for more information.
There's no debate with this one: Pine Dunes is easily the most premiere public golf course in East Texas, and arguably the state. The late Pat Summerall even called Pine Dunes "the perfect home."
Given 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest and named the No. 1 course in Golf Week's list of "Courses You Can Play," Pine Dunes is a gem tucked away in the midst of thousands of pine trees just outside of Frankston.
Do bunkers scare you? Then Pine Dunes is your nightmare in reality. An incredible 7,117 yards from the gold tees, Pine Dunes is definitely one of the most challenging courses in East Texas. If you need an at-home reminder of the uber-popular Pinehurst Golf Club, Pine Dunes is your choice.
Check out Pine Dunes' website for more information, which includes incredible stay-and-play packages.
With 27 holes just off Interstate 20 near Lindale, Hideaway Golf Club is something for everyone. Green fees are always free if you're a homeowner in Hide-A-Way, where you'll find plenty of golfers. Guests can play with property owners, so jump on board. Three different nine-hole courses offer different challenges.
It's a little drive out west, but Twin Lakes Golf Course in Canton is a sight to see. According to the club's website, "The dual center pieces of this layout are the namesake twin lakes, which makes this course one of the Texas golf community's true hidden gems. This course accomplishes the difficult double task of helping newcomers learn this classic game while at the same time challenging experienced players with a total of 51 bunkers and six water carriers. This course comes complete with rolling hills, tree-lined fairways and TifEagle Bermuda greens."
It's 7,171 yards from the tips, so if you're an expert at the game, this will be a challenge even for you.
The same company that owns Eagle's Bluff, Garden Valley and The Challenge at Oak Forest in Longview also owns The Challenge at The Woods in Jacksonville (formerly known as Cherokee Golf Club). The 6,231-yard, par-71 course boasted quite a challenge to almost any golfer when it was Cherokee, and nothing has changed.
According to the course's website, Pinecrest Country Club, the oldest golf course in East Texas, started as a cow pasture in 1921. At first, there were only 9 holes and in 1958, Press Maxwell expanded the original 9 holes to an 18 hole, championship layout.
One of Longview's premier courses, Pinecrest certainly has something for everyone in the golfing community.
Part of the "Challenge" family with Garden Valley, Eagle's Bluff and The Challenge at The Woods, The Challenge at Oak Forest Country Club is a 6,671-yard layout that plays to a Par 72. Winding along Grace and Ray Creeks, water and 30 sand bunkers come into play throughout the course. With dwarf tiff Bermuda greens and 419 Bermuda fairways, it's a great golfing option in Longview and for any golfer in East Texas.
Memberships at The Challenge at The Woods are available and definitely affordable. Click here for more information.
If you're looking for an affordable option with wide-open fairways and accommodating putting greens, Wood Hollow is for you.
The course reaches the 6,000 total yard mark, largely thanks to the incredible 605-yard par 5 No. 10. Try getting to that green in two.
Wood Hollow does not have a website, but you can go here to find a little more information.