Course Review – White Bluff Resort

Course Review – White Bluff Resort

White Bluff Resort sits about 90 minutes southwest of the Metroplex in the town of Whitney. This gated community nestled next to Lake Whitney is a great locale for not only a quick trip for some golf, but also a prime spot for those looking to build a vacation home or new permanent residence. Amenities are in abundance scattered across the 3,500 acres, from multiple dining options, fishing, boating, swimming, and even tennis and the wildly popular pickleball. 

If you are just heading down for some golf, you are immediately greeted with a friendly hello at the guard shack, and should you be on property for the first time, the attendant on duty will present you with a map and step-by-step directions to wherever you might need to go to check in for your stay or your tee time. 

If you are looking to plan an overnight adventure that includes a stay on property and some golf, then there are a couple different accommodation options for your visit to White Bluff. The Inn features 28 rooms, offering queen bed double occupancy or king-size adorned bedrooms for those traveling solo or wanting a little more privacy. 

Condos and cabins are also on property and make a great option for those traveling with a group. The Bluff Point are two-bedroom condos that overlook the 18th fairway and green on the Old Course. Just down the road, adjacent to the 16th green on the New Course, sit the Log Cabins. There are three of these available and are perfect for that buddies’ trip. The cabins even feature charcoal grills out back for those wanting to sear up some steaks after a long day on the course. The cabins have plenty of room to whip up some dinner or even organize an evening card game with your friends as you enjoy some beverages. 

Should you want to dine on property, there are a several spots that can accommodate you and your group. The newly renovated Mulligan’s is in the clubhouse for the New Course, and offers grub like their Birdie Wings, pulled pork sliders, burgers, or even chicken-fried steak or a build- your-own pizza. Breakfast and brunch are also available, should you have an early tee time or want to grab some delectable Migas as you prepare to hit the road back to DFW. 

The 19th Hole is also an option for those tackling the Old Course. It sits in the clubhouse and offers traditional course fare, like hot dogs, burgers, Philly cheesesteaks or even a mouth-watering French dip. 

The Lighthouse Pub is undoubtedly the most scenic and fun spots for visitors and residents of White Bluff. At Lighthouse, you can enjoy food and beverages overlooking the lake and take in special events open to residents like their Fourth of July celebration, with live music and patio seating available for the dusk fireworks spectacular over the lake. Just a few weeks ago, the Lighthouse did an adult costume contest and karaoke for Halloween, proving that the fun never ends when you are a White Bluff resident. 

Earlier, I mentioned some of the other resident amenities, and for my money, some of the most intriguing are the five swimming pools available to residents. This allows those with homes to enjoy taking a dip with family and friends when the Texas heat ramps up in the summer months. 

In addition, there is a marina, for those who enjoy boating and have their own vessel, as well as a playground for all the kids or grandkids, lighted tennis and pickleball courts, and even a chapel that is available to host weddings should you need a place to tie the knot or be looking to book a venue for your son or daughter’s upcoming nuptials. 

As this is a golf publication, we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about both of the courses at White Bluff. 

Designed by Bruce Lietkze and opened in 1992, the Old Course at White Bluff plays as the easier of the two tracks on the property. The course is more generous off the tee than the New Course but has greens that can require precise approach shots to be able to avoid three-putts and big numbers. There are also more drastic elevation changes on the Old Course, with an emphasis on pure iron shots and distance control. 

After a few ease-you-into-the -round holes on the Old Course, the par-4 fourth hole is a true test for any golfer. A tough par 4 with a slight dogleg left, this hole requires a precise tee shot with some length to leave most players a mid- to long-iron remaining to a tough putting surface. 

No. 6 on the Old Course is a great opportunity for players to circle a number on the scorecard. Playing at just 485 yards, this par 5 is reachable for almost all players if they are using the appropriate tee boxes. However, those with local knowledge will tell you to lay up and leave a good wedge number to avoid missing the wrong side of the green. Missing the green in the wrong spot could leave a putt that is near impossible to get down in two. 

The back nine at the Old Course has some of the most scenic views on property. The stretch of No. 12 and No. 13 is awesome, with panoramic views of Lake Whitney as you reach the green on 12 and proceed to the 13th tee. No. 12 requires an accurate tee shot, as water lies just off the tee box and trees frame the hole wonderfully. This hole plays uphill, so it will play a little longer than the 389 it reads on the scorecard, and again an undulating putting surface requires an accurate approach. 

No. 13 is the signature hole on the Old Course. This par 3 is tucked into a collection of trees atop a rocky outcropping that provides a stunning view of the lake below. It’s beautiful and offers a serene sense of peace as you prepare to fire your iron shot to this green. Short and long are both trouble, so although it only plays 158 from the tips, it can be a tough par. 

No. 16 is a sharp dogleg right par 4. Avoiding the fairway bunkers is paramount, as you will want to be able to put some spin on your approach shot to avoid finding the wrong section of the putting surface. The green complex here is simply diabolical. Those who miss left when the pin is on the right will see one of the most difficult two-putts imaginable. It’s a fun hole, where a four on the card is a good number. 

The final hole is a par 5 and one last chance to score before packing it in for the day. It is the shortest par 5 on the course, but requires an accurate tee shot. A pair of trees on the left can knock down tee shots and begin a potential cavalcade of errors if not careful. If you are in the left trees, be mindful to not put too much on your recovery attempt, as balls can scurry through the fairway leaving a third shot that has similar tree issues. A good tee ball leaves a great chance at a closing birdie. 

The New Course at White Bluff has as much character as the Old Course but plays vastly different. While the Old Course has generous fairways and is most often protected by its large carnivorous greens, the New Course is far more claustrophobic and tighter, especially off the tee. On some holes, it seems as if the trees want to reach out and grab your ball out of mid-air, making this course a little more claustrophobic than the Old layout. 

Another Lietkze design, this one opens with some tough holes before giving way to a more links-style feel for the remainder of the opening nine, and back into the trees for the final nine. 

The opening three holes on the New Course emphasize accuracy off the tee. They are all extraordinarily tight, the opening pair par 4’s with utmost precision required. The third is a par 3 that plays 215 from the tips with virtually no good miss around the green. Getting through the first few holes unblemished is quite an accomplishment and could lead to a nice score for the day.

Nos. 4-7 are a gettable stretch, especially with no wind. No. 7 is especially forgiving, with a wide landing area, meaning long hitters can bomb away and try to get a mid-iron in their hands to go at the green in two. 

The final hole of the front on the New Course is an appetizer for the more difficult inward nine. Try to keep the drive along the right center for a good angle in at the flag. A short iron should remain, but water short of the green can make for a tricky shot, especially if the wind is coming from the south. 

No. 10 sets the tone for a tougher inward nine, with a narrow tee shot that has water in play on the right. Players can try to thread a driver up the left side for a more manageable second shot, but miss right and you bring a big number into play. Lay back to avoid the water on the right, and this leaves a longer second, with a massive bunker on the left that makes for a very tough up-and-down. 

After a reachable par 5 and a great chance for birdie at No. 11, the New Course begins to flex its muscles. The signature hole, and for my money, the most interesting hole on the New Course, comes at No. 12. A large, exposed rockface in the distance makes this hole a visual delight. Favor the left center of the fairway, but choose wisely from the bag, as too much club could mean a watery grave for your tee shot. Avoiding the huge fairway bunker on the right is also a necessity, as being in it leaves a huge sand face in front of your ball and no view of the green. Players that hit the fairway will have no more than a wedge into this well protected green. I chose a three metal off the tee, which left me with a pitching wedge from a bit of a hanging lie. 

No. 15 is a long par 3 that will test even the best ball strikers. Players will gladly take a 3 on this 229-yarder. Water all down the left drowns golf balls that drift that way with the predominant winds, and bailing out right doesn’t leave much option either; as while your ball may be on dry land, the chip will be very awkward to a slightly elevated green complex. A par on the card here is a huge success. 

No. 16 is the final par 5 on the New Course. It snakes its way downhill to the right, across a pair of creeks, meaning the premium is usually on the second shot here. There is a narrow plot of land between the two creeks that provides a landing zone for those that choose to lay up, but there is an opportunity to make a run at this green in two and assure a birdie or at worst a tap-in par. If it is your first time on property, be sure to check out the aforementioned cabins to the right of the green here, as they might inspire you to book one of them for a future stay. 

The closing hole is a long par 4. At 460 yards, it plays downhill from tee to green, but also usually into the southerly wind, so the yardage plays pretty true. A good tee shot leaves a tough mid-iron from a downhill lie that can be tough to hoist in the air. Any ball that comes up a little short and left will find the water. It’s a great finishing hole to your round on the new course.

White Bluff Resort is really a wonderful property from top to bottom. It has a great country feel without being too far out of the big city lights. Whether you are just heading down for a quick round, a weekend stay, or are in the market for something permanent, White Bluff checks all the boxes. It’s got a cozy, welcoming feel, every amenity you might want, and enough to do that you can easily stay on property for days and never want to venture outside the gates. With all those things considered, White Bluff just might be a good fit for your next trip or permanent homestead.