The course at Spring Creek Ranch Golf Club is a demanding track where length and water define much of the challenge – eight of the par fours measure in excess of 430 yards and fourteen of the holes feature aquatic hazards.
It was the fifth course from Nicklaus Design to appear in Tennessee when it was unveiled at the start of the new millennium, following on from Richland Country Club (1988) and three Bear Trace tracks at Cumberland Mountain (1998), Harrison Bay (1999) and Tims Ford (1999).More notable holes here include the 496-yard 6th (which doglegs right around water), the 457-yard 9th (played to a pond-protected green) and the 519-yard 14th, which many consider to be the most strategic hole on the card.
Spring Creek Ranch is a Nicklaus design. There are 8 sets of tees ranging from 5300-7400 yards. Nobody should be surprised that the first holes leans right. A good welcoming hole with fairway bunkers left and right and one greenside right. The second is longer and tighter. Woods and creek all the way up the left side. Fairway bunker and trees right. Favor the right side off the tee. The green is protected by four bunkers. The third is a par five with a unique split fairway. It starts with the tee locations, left to right the tees can be 100 yards apart. The tees you are playing and where they are placed will impact your decision, left or right. Splitting the fairway are three large consecutive bunkers and then a patch of trees. This area is about 250 yards long and 70 yards wide. There is no waffling here as to which side to play, you need to commit and go. There is more room right and playing left will leave you with a water carry approach. The 4th is a long par four that leans right with a stream diagonal across the fairway at about 70 yards out. The first par three is long with a couple of greenside bunkers. The 6th is a big boy par dogleg right with water all the way on the right side. From the tips it is almost 500 yards, but that is on the ground. It is the number one handicap and it is just a question of how much of the hazard can you cut? Oh, and of course executing. The 7th is a straightaway par five. Fairway bunkers on both sides in the landing zone a couple of more scattered about and then four more in front of the green. The 8th is a forgettable par 3. The 9th is a long par four with the green tucked behind a water hazard with four bunkers thrown in for good measure.
The back starts with a long straightaway par four with a couple of fairway and greenside bunkers. The 11th is another long par four that bends right. There is gunch down the right side and the green is protected by an assortment of bunkers. The 12th also leans right. Off the tee there is an innocuous gunch carry to a generous fairway. There is a water hazard right. The 13th is the shortest hole on the course. The 14th is the easiest rated hole on the course, a left tilting par five that is reachable just watch out for the eight bunkers inside of 100 yards. The 15th also leans left, there is a water carry to a landing area with fairway bunkers. The 16th is a dogleg right with a water carry. There is an assortment of bunkers starting about 150 yards out. Regardless of how much you chew off the approach will still be a water carry. The 17th is a short par three with water right. The finishing hole is a par five and you gotta stay right. There is a creek, gunch and ultimately a water hazard on the left. Three average shots and you should have a shot a birdie.
Nice but not great
Spring Creek Ranch is a Jack Nicklaus Signature track. Has 8 sets of teeing grounds with the longest playing up to 7,400 yards. It's a great test for golfers of all different abilities. Excellently maintained and a "getaway" experience for sure. You don't feel like you are in Memphis playing the Ranch.
Spring Creek Ranch is an excellent Nicklaus design several miles east of Memphis in the town of Collierville. The course is built on some fascinating topography incorporating woods and wetlands and has a number of excellent holes. The fairways are reasonably generous but there are a number of demanding approaches. The greens have excellent contours and when the Bermuda is running fast some of the greens can be incredibly difficult to two putt.
There are a number of great holes. I enjoy the par 5 third hole which offers two different fairways to approach the green. This may sound gimmicky but it works well here. The par 4 6th winds around a lake on the right side and requires nerve and precision to negotiate. The par 4 9th must be approached over a pond and if the drive is not struck well a layup could be required. The back nine is a little shorter and birdie opportunities are available at the short par 4 12th and par 5 14th. 18 is a nice uphill risk/reward par 5.
Overall this is one of my favorite Nicklaus designs. I have played the course in two Tennessee state medal competitions (State mid-am and State Senior) and I have found the course to be very challenging but fun to play. If I lived in he Memohis area I would enjoy being a member.