The Bridges Golf Club (Gunter, TX on 09/21/13)

I had read good things about The Bridges which is a Fred Couples design in Gunter and ended up over here for an afternoon round. The course is a drive from the Dallas area and therefore would have to be a day trip due to the distance for those living in Dallas. The course is in the middle of nowhere in what was supposed to be a luxury housing development. The development has not taken off yet so there just a few homes and many vacant lots. We got there late in the day and took advantage of the $25 twilight rate which took effect after 4pm and were treated to a great afternoon. We got out right away and didn’t have anyone bothering us so we squeaked in the full round before dark.

The course has five sets of tees and we played the Golds (75.0/134/7021) which are one set up from the back boxes. The course is an open layout with many holes playing through the rolling farmland. The comparison that comes to mind from what I have played is Wine Valley in the state of Washington, both for the course design and rural area. The course definitely had a country feel as there were bales of hay just off the course. Many holes rise and fall gradually from the tee so it is hard to tell where the fairway ends and because of the firm conditions a driver was not needed on many tee shots. Although, someone who is familiar with the course could blast away with driver and be just fine. Some of the holes on the back play through the low part of the course with a couple trees, but for the most part, a missed shot was just going to end up in the high grass. I hit a couple poor shots into the tall stuff, but was able to find it and make bogey so the course was forgiving and would not spoil a good round. In fact, I think out of bounds is only on a couple holes so it was a pleasure to play. Other challenges came from long holes, severe greens, and mounding that blocked the view of some shots. Because of the location of the course I could see the wind being a big factor but it died down later in the day during our round. The course played firm and because of this allowed for shots on the ground which I think is part of the design in a wind prone area.

The 1st is a 410 yard par 4 that played to a valley before a blind approach shot and the 3rd is a 545 yard par 5 that played uphill and into the wind. Looking at the 3rd green it seemed like I was on top of the world because it is slightly elevated with flat farmland behind the green. The 4th is a 416 yard par 4 with a split fairway which is a great feature as the green was wide. So, it would allow someone to pick the side of the fairway to play to based on the pin location which is going to be visible from the tee. The 6th is one of the two holes that I could see being controversial. The hole is only a 283 yard par 4 that plays shorter in a straight line to the green. Because of five or six foot mounds in the green only about half of it is usable for a flag location. It is a green that I could easily see myself playing hockey back and forth across if I played here regularly. The hole is short enough though that someone should be able to salvage a bogey at worst. The 9th is a 478 yard par 4 that moved left with a left to right sloping fairway. It was a tough drive and then a long iron approach over a creek, in between trees to get to the green. I think this is one of the toughest holes on the course. The 10th is the other controversial hole as it has a deep green with a valley in the middle separating it into three sections. The 12th has an approach over a hazard before the 13th which has church pew bunkers down the right side of the fairway. The course closes with some tough holes which are the 16th and the 18th. The 16th is a 471 yard par 4 that played a bit uphill and the 18th is a 607 yard par 5 that horseshoes around a lake and requires multiple shots over water. The layup has to be played to no less than 130 yards because of a hazard.

The condition of the course was great with only a few burnt out spots in the fairways and very quick greens that rolled pure. I love putting on surfaces like these because I know right away if a putt has a chance to drop. The rough was pretty dry and resulted in some thin lies, but it could be overlooked due to the price. If the course was in any major metropolitan area I think it could command a $100 green fee. It is a solid course with a couple odd holes but it is one of those places where the breaks are going to average out over the round. I was a little hesitant to ride out to Gunter, but so glad I did. I am not sure if I hit a different setting on the phone or had something on the lens but these pictures turned out a bit blurry too.

#1:

1-1

#3:

3-1

#4:

4-1

#6:

6-1

#6 green with the mounds:

6-2

#8 looking back:

8-1

#9:

9-1

#9 green:

9-2

#10 green:

10-1

#11:

11-1

#11 green:

11-2

#12:

12-1

#13 green:

13-1

#14:

14-1

#17:

17-1

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