It's more than likely that many people will not be venturing to Arkansas to play golf simply because the State is often overlooked for other locations in the southeast USA. That's unfortunate because there are a few courses of note.
The Arlington Course at Hot Springs CC is a fine layout -- a gem design by William H. Diddel, which was updated and restored by the talented duo of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in the mid-1990's. The terrain is simply a joy to behold. Rolling certainly but not severe as to distort shots or become a chore to walk. Being able to work the ball is an element the Arlington calls upon time after time. The layout provides sufficient challenge without becoming an overly long slog. Total length from the tips is just over 6,700 yards and with the terrain movement can prove testing with plenty of different lies to contend with throughout the round.
As has been mentioned the par-3 8th and 11 holes are quite good. I really enjoyed the downhill swinging left par-4 3rd hole. Just 371 yards the hole is a classic example in requiring solid shotmaking. The uphill 4th is a solid counterpoint. The range of holes is always changing -- so constant adjustments need to be made when playing. I too enjoyed the varied par-4's one plays from the 12th to 16th holes.
I have often stated that land is the first among equals for me when rating courses. The Arlington Course is blessed with fine topography and the recent refinements made provide for an entertaining round of golf.
The Hot Springs area has a wide array of different courses but many are merely pedestrian in their overall presentation. The Arlington is certainly one worth checking out when in the area. The community is also a fun place to explore given its rich history.
by M. James Ward
Date: August 14, 2017