Billionaire investment banker, Warren Stephens, had a golf dream and his realisation, costing a cool $18m, is the Alotian Club.
In 2001, Stephens and Tom Fazio fell head over heels in love with the undulating, sometimes hilly, Arkansas property and three years later the golf course near Little Rock opened for play.
When we say opened for play, we mean opened for private play, because this is a high-end, ultra-exclusive golf club, where you’ll need to befriend a rare Alotian member to get a game. Stick to the six degrees of separation idea and you could get lucky.
Overlooking Lake Maumelle, Tom Fazio boldly routed the nattily named Alotian course over 300 acres of steep, pine-flanked ground. The earth certainly moved here. According to reports, Stephens bought an adjoining 300-acre farm simply for the topsoil. Couple this level of investment alongside underground cooling and heating systems for the bent grass greens, with fans that keep them cool during hot weather and you know this banker is deadly serious about his golf course.
The Alotian has been open for seven years, but accolades have been slow to arrive. The reason, we think, is that Tom Fazio’s designs are not in vogue with the rating aficionados. Some think his designs are rather predictable, others prefer a lighter design style. However, if you’ve played the Alotian, you might be impressed.
Measuring a hefty 7,405 yards from the back tees (there five separate teeing areas on some tees) and featuring 100-foot elevation changes, this is a course and property to rival Augusta. Ironically Stephens is a member at the famous Augusta National and we suspect Alotian is his Arkansan nod to the most famous course in America.
Little Rock is the name of the signature hole at Alotian Club. The 6th is distinctly reminiscent of Juniper (Augusta’s par three 6th). Little Rock measures 210 yards from the back plate and the tee shot must carry across a rock-strewn valley to an offset green that is cut into the hillside some 60 feet below the tee box. It’s a cracker.
Lets get one thing right out the way for this course.
It is not very easily walkable..BUT..never was it meant to be and as such I do feel that as a reason to knock the course is a little harsh, but that is certainly the number one critisism about the place from we that review courses and give our opinions.
It is very upscale just as Mr Stephens wanted it to be.
Nothing regarding service is neglected everything is 100% impressive in that regard.
Wonderful greeting staff, charming folks inside the clubhouse and as an experience of how perhaps the other half live this is second to none.
the practice facility is superb and capped with a choice of balls you would like to hit, it is all very top notch.
The course conditioning matches the service in the clubhouse, immaculate to the extreme but not at the xpense of looking fake or over manicured.
The course as the first rater said is a Tom Fazio and yes it does look and play like many Fazio courses, with wide landing areas and large putting surfaces with the usual Fazio undulations and slopes.
The land flow of the course is spectacular with wonderful elevation changes and spectacular views of Lake Maumelle.
The flow of the holes is very impressive with a marvelous blend of hole lengths and looks through out, a very playable course for all abilities, everything about the course is exactly the way the opwner wanted it to be, so from that perspective it is wonderful.
I agree 100% this marvelous piece of property in the hands of somebody else, somebody less predictable could have been one of "those" courses that everybody talks about....as it is ..It is one of those Club EXPERIENCES everybody talks about because that part of a visit here is mind blowing. So the number of balls checked below is for the entire experience knock one and a half off for the course alone.