The Lakes at Castle Hills makes no bones about the title water bodies, with ponds dotted across the property. No. 11 is one of the most dramatic examples, calling for a long drive across a lake to a fairway that continues along the same body, daring players to play with fire (er, water) for a shorter approach shot.
More often than not, however, the water players will contend with will be in the form of streams that run between the different lakes. Eight holes at Castle Hills will require crossing these flows, often forcing a lay up for those who have missed the fairway on their tee shot. The closing hole will be the most thought-provoking of the bunch: At 570 yards, players will need to seriously consider whether it’s worth carrying the creek 50 yards out from the green.
That said, Morrish — known for his drivable par fours — doesn’t use any water when defending No. 15, letting the awkward angle of the green dissuade big drivers during this 330-yard hole. The architect came by the North Dallas club for further renovations during 2011, 12 years after it first opened.
The Lakes at Castle Hills has a welcoming first hole. A good birdie oppty where a decent drive will leave you with an attack iron. Leans a little left with two bunkers front right. The second is a long straightaway par four with no real hazards. It is ranked the 13th hardest hole and the 1st is rated the 9th. This really surprises me as the 2nd is 65 to 100 yards longer than one. The 3rd is a long par three with water right and bunkers right, rear and left. The 4th is a long par five. The tee shot carries a creek that then runs down the right side and then cuts in front of the green about 60 yards out. There are the obligatory fairway bunkers right and left and the hole bends a we bit right. The green is well protected with four bunkers, not to mention the creek. The fifth bends right and the fairway runs out about 80 yards from the green for that pesky creek. Another well-protected green with four bunkers. The 6th is the longest par four and it ate my lunch. Straightaway, but the fairway runs put into a water hazard about 160 yards out. To be on in reg you have hit two solid golf shots. The 7th at 228 yards is not even the longest par three. Water carry to a green that is flanked with bunkers. The 8th is a reachable par five that doglegs left. There are fairway bunkers on the inside and outside elbows. Water right off the tee and then water left on your second and third shots. The front ends with a long straightaway par four with water left. The green has a front and right bunker.
The back starts with a long par four. Bombs away off the tee, however the fairway does run out about 160 yards from the green into a creek. The green is well-protected with two bunkers left and one right. The 11th is a water carry and water all the way down the left side par four. It is a fun hole if you hit the fairway, if not, well….. The 12th is a long par five. There is a series of water hazards right. Off the tee, aim just right of the left fairway bunker. There is a large cross bunker about 70 yards out and the green is surrounded by five bunkers. The 13th is a 242 yard par three and is rated the easiest hole. My double bogey begs to differ. The 14th bends a wee bit left. Aim just left of the right fairway bunker. There is a creek right that leads into a water hazard right on the approach. The 15th is a polarizing hole. It is a reverse S short par four with a narrow landing area short that is compressed by a water hazard on the right side. However, the fairway is quite generous if you can clear the hazard and you will be rewarded with a flip wedge. My favorite hole, birdie. The 16th is the shortest par three. It is over a ravine to a long narrow green with three bunkers. The 17th is a long dogleg right. Aim just right of the left fairway bunker. There is a water hazard way right on the approach that should not come into play unless you, well, I am not going to say it. There is also water left if you hook it. Tough hole. The 18th is a dogleg left par five. Off the tee aim at the three right fairway bunkers. The fairway runs out into a creek about 80 yards out. The green has three bunkers left and one right.
A good course that I would play again.