Arkansas has some of the most unique and beautiful terrain in the southeastern region of the country. Sandwiched between Missouri to the north and Louisiana to the south, The Land of Opportunity as it is known, is also home to the mighty Mississippi on its eastern border and the Ozarks in the northwestern portion of the state. And this varied landscape really does lend the state to some wonderful golf opportunities.
Arkansas boasts some absolutely magnificent tracks that you will want to put on your checklist. To get you started, here are five Arkansas golf course you need to play.
Best Private Course: Blessings Golf Club
Located in Fayetteville, Blessings is a private club and home to the Arkansas Razorbacks golf team. In addition to the state of the art practice facility for the college club, the course has a beautiful layout that takes advantage of the topographical diversity of the region. Throughout the course, elevation changes and rolling fairways offer a welcome challenge. Sprinkled from tee to green are numerous bunkers that require accuracy to avoid. They also guard massive, undulating greens.
The front nine begins with two par 4’s and two par 5’s giving you a chance to score well early, although the first par 5 is a monster at 635 yards. Things get tougher from there as the course is deep and challenging. It measures over 7500 yards long from the tips and is a regulation par 72. It has a course rating of 77.7 and an unheard of slope rating of 148.
This Robert Trent Jones designed course is private meaning you can only play there at the invitation of a guest. Of course you could also try to make the Razorbacks team—its hard to say which would be more difficult. Either way, if you get on this phenomenal course, enjoy it.
Best Public Course: Big Creek Golf and Country Club
Since it opened in 2000, Big Creek has routinely been ranked as the top public course in the state. With wide, sprawling fairways and immaculate, bent grass greens, it is no secret why.
The course begins with a generous par 4. The fairway starts out wide and forgiving but narrows as you approach the green and is protected on both sides by large oaks. Water on the right hand side of the fairway on the long par 5 second hole is a magnet for errant tee shots and you will need to make sure you plan accordingly from the tees.
On the back nine things get kicked off with a signature hole featuring a green surrounded on all sides by both sand and water. This par 5 can offer huge rewards if you risk it and make the green from way back, but if you miss you will pay for it. The course finishes with a long dogleg left that has massive bunkers and deep, thick rough to contend with.
Big Creek is 7320 yards from the blacks and is a par 72.
You can play this great course for as low as $40 in the winter. However, in the summer months on weekends and holidays, prices climb to $69 for 18 walking.
Most Scenic Course: Tannenbaum Golf Course
Located in the majestic Ozarks, Tannenbaum Golf Course is literally surrounded by water. The course also features tall, stately pines, drastic elevation changes, and fairways and greens carved and fit perfectly into place.
The second hole is one of the most beautiful on the course and is a par 3 over a foreboding water hazard with a green side bunker providing a challenge of its own.
From there every hole requires pinpoint accuracy from tee to green as a forest of pines punishes wayward tee shots and approaches to Tannenbaums undulating greens.
This unforgettable track is 6608 yards from the blacks and is a regulation par 72.
For a picturesque course with this much beauty, the rates are surprisingly reasonable. A round at Tannenbaum can be played for $29 after 4 pm. During peak hours, however, the price is $55.
Most Challenging Course: Thunder Bayou Golf Links
Located in Blytheville, Thunder Bayou is one of the top rated courses and one of the few links style tracks in Arkansas. While there are plenty of venues to contend for most demanding, Thunder Bayou offers a unique challenge in that, while it looks wide open, in reality all that space means is there is nothing to stop you ball from finding one of the more than 80 bunkers and numerous water hazards on the course.
The lighting quick greens and rolling fairways add to your difficulties as you try to tame this wild animal of a course.
From the blacks, Thunder Bayou measure 7232 yards long and is a par 72. It has a course rating of 74.6 and a slope rating of 134.
Rates are low at this fantastic track—you can play 18 walking for $25.
Best Value: Mountain Ranch Golf Club at Fairfield Bay
Another great course, and one that has been nominated as one of the best deals in the entire country is Mountain Ranch Golf Club. Mountain Ranch is part of the same complex as the aforementioned Tannenbaum and is the primary course of the facility.
The course is no slouch either with slick greens and massive drop offs from tee to green (the 14th features an 80 ft elevation change alone). And the uphill 15th hole might just be one of the most challenging holes in the entire state.
Mountain Ranch measures 6780 from the blacks and is a par 72.
With twilight rates to be had for $29, it is unbelievable that you can play this masterpiece for such a low price. It is truly an amazing deal.
With golf courses built into the unparalleled Ozark landscape, Arkansas has some of the most mesmerizing golf to offer in the entire region. If you haven’t already tried your hand at some of these incredible tracks, you really should head on over to Arkansas and see what awaits you. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your Arkansas golf experience in the comments section below.