D.A. Weibring hails from Illinois, and enjoyed much of his success on the PGA Tour there as well, but he’s found an especially welcoming audience for his architectural endeavours in Texas. That portfolio includes Gentle Creek Country Club, a residential club located north of Dallas.
Everything is allegedly bigger in Texas, and this course takes that mantra into consideration on No. 9, its signature hole. The par three requires an 185-yard tee shot to a green perched precipitously on the edge of a 20-foot rock wall, which features a waterfall down into a potential watery grave. The hole also includes two sets of tees, which allow match-players to decide whether to play the better line from the right set, or turn the screws on their opponent by challenging the more intimidating leftward tees.
The closing par five is also “bigger,” with clear instructions on the club’s online course tour regarding the final forced carry: “Do not go for it in two.” Sounds like a dare, doesn’t it?
If there is a course that I know like the back of my hand, Gentle Creek would be it.
I got to play there over a period of 2 and a half years with my high school golf team. As fortunate enough to have a private club as our home for after school practices, and tournaments, Gentle Creek was very good to our school team, and always was welcoming.
With that being said, I played Gentle Creek 1 once or twice a week for a period of just under 3 years, with my last outing there being only a few months ago in September. I know this course very well, and it is a fun challenging course.
Located north Dallas, in the town of Prosper, Gentle Creek is a private 18 facility. This is what I would call "stereotypical Texas golf." Some varying undulation and treelined holes, and then a mix of holes boasting links style qualities, as natural flat terrain and plateaued false front greens. It is common to say once you've played one Texas style course, you've played a majority of them.
That is not to say Gentle Creek is a "bad" course, it is just repetitive. It is an easy walk, yet walking golfers do not really exist in Texas, something that breaks my heart. The layout is separated into 2 nines on separate plots of land, with the front 9 in my opinion standing out over the back nine.
The course was designed by D.A. Weibring, a quite notable creator of such "Texas style" courses. I think the best qualities Gentle Creek has to offer is the par threes on the course, with all but 1 of the 4 consisting some water . Number 9, is a great way to finish the front 9, and can be very rewarding, or can hurt you as well.
The front 9 to me has the best sequence of holes, with the opening 3 holes settling you into the rolling fairways, and firm deceptive greens. I think the weakest part of the front 9 being its number 2, a very plain and boring 3 shot par 5, only enticing you with a blind approach to the green.
Expect a very big mix of blind approaches to the green, and the very stereotypical Texas style of being on the correct side of the green. If you fail that be prepared for a very ridiculous and long putt.
The back nine is where the course becomes kind of boring, and what you would expect on a course like in this region of Texas. There is some quirky type holes, but they seem to overachieving to be very different compared to the other holes. The either very uphill, or very exaggerated carries become tiring on the course, and it feels like you've seen the whole course through the 12th hole.
Recently, the course has been in and out of conditioning, either it being in very poor condition or quite good. I really think they could touch up on certain parts of the course to make it more of a challenge, as well refurbish some parts of the course as they need it.
All in all Gentle Creek is a well made course, with good intentions and ideas. I very much enjoy the variety of shot you will have, but the course becomes very repetitive and bland just a little over halfway through. What I think when someone says a great course, it is not just about the quality, rather the sequence of holes and the layout it possesses. You do not want to be bored playing, you want a good variety.
Some of the better holes would be #3,5,9,17 are good ones to take a look at. If you get a chance to head out there, definitely go on out, you will have good fun, and its a new course you can play so don't pass up on it.