Situated a hundred miles northeast of Little Rock, the 6,900-acre Village Creek State Park is the second largest state park in Arkansas, with miles of multi-use trails carved through the hardwood forest, offering visitors the chance to explore the area by hiking, horse riding or mountain biking. Lake Austell and Lake Dunn are also ideal sites for fishing and messing around on the water.
The golfing element of the park comprises the 27-hole Ridges at Village Creek facility which was designed by Andy Dye and opened to the public in 2012. Set out as three distinct 9-hole circuits, named North, East and West, the course occupies the rolling landscape of Crowley's Ridge, where dramatic elevation changes and water hazards come into play across the layout.
Depending on which of the two nines are chosen to play, the 18-hole yardage could stretch to over 7,400 yards, but the North and East combination measures slightly shorter than that length from the back tees. MiniVerde Bermuda greens and Tiff 419 Bermuda tees and fairways are featured throughout and there are four tees in operation at every hole.
Our group had just played a few days at Old Waverly and Dancing Rabbit in Mississippi. Although nice, we were not exactly blown away and decided to explore a few options on the way back home. We had a fun, wind-blown round at Mirimichi outside of Memphis, and headed to Golf Galaxy for a few supplies. We told the pro we were looking for a good track for the morning, and he recommended The Ridges. It was about an hour west of downtown, but he assured us it was worth the detour.
Skeptical, we decided to give it a try.... wow! This is the definition of a hidden gem. The terrain is incredible, with huge elevation changes throughout. The North 9 was solid, with some really exciting risk-reward holes. The West was mind-blowing! Holes 1, 2, 6, and 8 are stunning beautiful.
The pro mentioned that this course is just about as picturesque as The Alotian Club, and he was right. A must play for anyone near Memphis.
Calling this one the 7th best in the state is just dead wrong. This is may be the best golf course in Arkansas. Challenging, fun, and what golf is supposed to be. The price is reasonable, in fact cheap for the kind of course you get to play. Better bring your A game for an A+ course.