When people think of Coore/Crenshaw courses their minds typically drift to the more fantastical routings like at Sand Hills or the vistas at Kapalua. However, I put it to you that the specialness of Coore & Crenshaw can really shine through in a resort course like Barton Creek which often doesn't get lauded as much as other picture-ready courses in C&C's portfolio.
The course was renovated throughout the summer and fall of 2018 and was in great shape when I played it. It starts and ends by playing over Barton Creek and with a few forced carries on the day, the track is reminiscent of We-Ko-Pa in that while the forced carries create tension in the brain but in reality all can be navigated by most golfers.
What isn't straightforward are the greens on both the front and back 9s. While they don't have huge undulations or anything, they are very difficult to read and have breaks and slopes that aren't apparent without repeated play. The course may offer you a straightforward look to the green but once there, slippery is the word I would use to describe the greens.
The back 9 is a world of difference from the front and the course has awesome hole after awesome hole in store for the golfer. Blind shots, up and down hills, great green complexes. The C&C course might only be 6,600 yards from the tips but the lads used every yard possible on the back 9 to make for a really fun course.
My favorite hole has to be 12, first a drive over a canyon to a fairway guarded (putting it mildly) by a huge oak tree.
Then if you have hit it over the trap, by the tree or to the fairway to the right, you then have a tricky fade shot either into the green or laying it up (it is a long hole).
Then you get to the green which was a lot of fun to play. and the hole is a superstar!
The par 3s are also fantastic on this backside. Forced carries, devious bunkers and (on the day I played) diabolical pin positions.
The 17th hole is the most controversial golf hole on the course, the green is nigh unholdable unless you go hit it into the hill and then have it trundle down. I enjoyed trying to figure this hole out but I see what they are saying, there is only one way to play the hole and you need a perfect shot to do so but it is fun nonetheless.
Then 18, a great blind tee shot over bunkers leading to a short second shot over Barton Creek is a thrilling way to end the day.
Barton Creek may lull you into a resort course haze on the front side but the back 9 packs a wallop and gives you everything you can handle and more. I was really surprised by this course, it maximizes every inch of its topography and gives the golfer tons of fun playing opportunities at every turn.
This course is another example of why I am on this quest to play courses designed by this duo.
For more info about Barton Creek check out the link: https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/austin-barton-creek/golf/coore-crenshaw
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