Beginning in 1990, Robert Trent Jones Jnr. designed the 36-hole golf complex at Chenal Country Club over a thirteen-year period and the eighteen holes on the newer Bear Den track are now rated a tougher test than those on the original Founders course.
Situated within a forested estate close to Little Rock, the fairways of the Bear Den course are a lot tighter than those on the more open Founders course with the sparkling waters of Rock Creek coming into play at a dozen of the holes.
The back nine offers the best golfing action. The 406-yard 14th is a fine par four, followed by the 538-yard 15th, where the green juts out into a lake. There’s a little bit of respite to be had at the water-protected par three 17th before tackling the tough 472-yard closing par four.
There are two courses at Chenal, Bear Den is the newer of the two. I liked Founders better, but it is not available for a review. Founders has much more water. Bear Den is longer and MUCH tighter. The 2nd hole par 4 while short has a sneaky bunker in the left elbow of the dogleg left with a creek in front of the green. The 5th hole is 3 shotter,make sure you are left on your drive or you run the risk of being blocked out. The par 5 tenth for big hitters is reachable but there is plenty of danger with the same water feature coming into play multiple times. The par 5 15th is probably the signature hole with a large water hazard running most of the hole on the left side. The 18th is a really really tough finishing hole, 430+ yards from the blues with a creeki in front of the green? Dastardly design