Course Review – Coyote Ridge Golf Club

Course Review – Coyote Ridge Golf Club

For a couple years now, AVIDGOLFER has been hearing grumblings of Coyote Ridge potentially switching to an all-private facility. While we still hear that may be the case, for now, public tee times are available, and this is a course you should still want to check out. The Sam Rayburn corridor is low key one of DFW’s unknown golf hotbeds, with Coyote, Indian Creek, Lake Park, and privates like The Lakes at Castle Hills and Maridoe all within just a few miles of one another. 

Coyote Ridge is not only convenient, being just a minute drive off the Rayburn, but it also comes complete with fantastic amenities and one of the most unique and challenging course layouts in the area. 

Once you arrive at the course, you will immediately be greeted by a clean, modern clubhouse which sits right next to the driving range and short-game area. Inside the 17,000 square-foot structure is everything you would want from a top-notch facility. There is plenty of swag to stock up on should you need balls, gloves or a logoed cap or shirt. There are meeting spaces, dining areas and lounges that can host any number of events, from corporate events to charity tournaments or even weddings or other larger family functions. 

Just off the main pro shop sits Grill 19, which is their on-site restaurant and bar. Offerings range from BBA pork egg rolls and chicken wings, to salads, burgers or even country fried steak. Each menu item is solid and is perfect for your pre- or post-round meal. Beverages also come in abundance if you would like a nice cold beer while settling up your round with friends. 

The driving range at Coyote is big enough, with plenty of room to hit balls as you get loose for your round or stop by after work to put in some time working on your game. There is also a chipping area and a large putting green, which will test your stroke in any number of ways with some flatter areas, and some that can be downright nasty. If you are looking to lock up your putting, this is a great place to do it. 

The course at Coyote Ridge is interesting, to say the least. Course conditions upon my visit were very solid, with just a hint of some early spring Poa Annua in the greens. But likely by the time you read this, the rising temperatures should claim what is left of the Poa, leaving just smooth rolling Bermuda. One thing I was super impressed with at Coyote Ridge were the bunkers. Every one was in perfect condition; not too firm, but not too fluffy. When I did find myself in a sand trap, I felt very confident in taking a nice full swing and knowing that my club would neither bottom out or dig into the bunker resulting in a chunk. What was even more remarkable is I played just a couple days following a real gully washer, so I would have expected the bunkers to still be in slight disarray from all the rainfall. Tee boxes and fairways are also solid, with nary a bad lie when a fairway is found. 

The architecture of George P. Williams is a bit radical in spots on Coyote. The opening nine is lined through homes and features water on several holes that can really present a challenge. The breezes seem to hit shots on the front a bit more, as there aren’t as many trees to protect shots from the wind. The inward nine is slightly more claustrophobic, with more of a forest feel and some intriguing, undulating fairways. 

The opening hole is a short par 4 that immediately captures your attention. Playing at 356 yards from the tips, a precise driver can lead to a flip wedge and a possible opening birdie. But the hole narrows as you approach the green, so be mindful that any marginal tee shots could be lost in trees or on the driving range. 

After another scorable hole at the par-5 second, comes the first look at some of the water on the front nine. A long, downhill par 3 with a pond on the right will challenge even the most efficient iron-striker. At a whopping 259 from the tips, this is a tall order for even the longest of the long. Getting away with a par here means you hit a phenomenal tee shot or your short game is very precise. 

No 6 and No. 7 are back-to-back great holes. No. 6 is a windswept fairway with a large water feature that protects the right side a good 250 yards into the distance. Anything that balloons right will be a re-tee and a big number is possible. A good tee shot hugs the left center of the fairway and leaves just a short iron or wedge in hand. When the wind blows, this hole becomes significantly more challenging. No. 7 is the second par 3 of the side, and with a 70-foot drop from tee to green, this 175-yard hole can be a tricky club selection. Also note that the green isn’t very deep from front to back and water guards the putting surface short, so you better choose the proper wrench, or you might find trouble. 

The final hole of the opening nine is a very difficult par 4 that tips at 437 yards. Water on the left and Oscar Bravo right leave only a sliver of narrow short grass to target, making this, in my opinion, the most difficult driving hole on this par-72 layout. The approach shot doesn’t leave much room for error either, as the water extends all the way down the left to protect the green, and more water right of the green isn’t visible from the right side of the fairway, so don’t expect to bail out over there either. It’s a quirky design, but a hole that can separate the true ball-strikers from the mortals. 

Speaking of quirky holes, No. 10 might be one of the most interesting par 5s in the Metroplex. I wrestle with my thoughts on this one, as there are several ways you can potentially attack this almost 600-yarder. There are a pair of small creeks that run through this par 5, one that is in play off the tee, and a second that must be navigated for your second or your third shot, depending on how you choose to play the hole. A long iron or hybrid first shot should leave you short of the first hazard, which will take going for the green in two out of the equation. A layup of a mid-iron will require somewhere between 90-140 yards for your third, depending on how aggressive you want to be. A massive bunker guards this tabletop green short and right, and if found, it can be curtains for an attempt at par. I think the best way to play this hole is in three shots, with the third being a little deep into the green to take the bunker out of play. Five here is a good score. Take your par and move along. 

No. 13 is one of my favorite little par 4s on the course. Playing just 376, but uphill, a good driver should leave nothing more than a wedge. But with trees pinching the fairway in the further you advance in the landing zone, a three metal or hybrid might be the more intelligent play. This leaves a mid- or short iron, but an almost blind approach, as the green sits atop a hill where only the top of the flagstick is visible. 

The next hole is a wonderful par 3 that plays back down the hill to a green guarded by multiple bunkers. A miss a little short won’t hurt you here, as the green isn’t terribly severe. Although it reads 221 yards on the scorecard, it doesn’t play that long with the elevation change. 

The final two holes at Coyote Ridge are as gettable as any two finishing holes in the area. No. 17 is a slightly downhill dogleg left where longer players can sling a draw around the corner, add some roll and potentially run something up toward the front edge of the green. Those who play a cut can elect to swat a three wood or even a long iron to play for position and leave a scoring club in hand for a potentially simple par or better. 

No. 18 is another short par 4 that plays slightly uphill to a blind green. It helps to have a little local knowledge here for the line you should choose off the tee. Just to the right of a little grove of trees is a good starting point if you want to bang driver or fairway metal. More conservative players can lay back with an iron and play for position, leaving somewhere around 165 yards remaining to a steeply sloped green. Any pin on the back left can be tough to get at, so playing to the middle of the putting surface can be the play, but this can leave a difficult two-putt. 

Coyote Ridge is just quirky enough in spots to really test your course management skills, but also open enough on several holes to offer the grip-it-n’-rip-it style player to go for broke and swing away. From start to finish, I think you will enjoy the layout. It is still to be determined if and when Coyote Ridge will transition into a completely members-only club, so if you have yet to play it, I suggest you don’t dawdle or you may run the risk of missing out on this track forever.