When Hidden Creek first opened for play in 1997, it was a welcome addition to the south Fort Worth/Burleson community. Until then, residents of the area didn’t have many options if they wanted to tee it up. In the 20 years since, Hidden Creek has seen its share of rounds, to the tune of almost 17,000 in 2017 alone. Fair pricing and solid amenities make this south Fort Worth track is everything you’d expect from an upper tier municipal course, but at a reasonable price.
Hidden Creek underwent a redesign and partial rerouting in 2012. During the process course architect John Colligan and his associates made every effort to keep the course playable and at the same time, add some new twists to this well-known property.
The par 5 opening hole is one that requires precision as well as length. It measuring 567 yards from the tips and there are a couple different ways to attack this one. If you can bomb it, you can carry the small pond and waste area that cuts into the fairway. If you succeed, you can certainly make a run at the green in two and hopefully get started with a stress-free birdie on the card. For the shorter hitter, you can play this hole as a true three-shot par 5. A hybrid or three-metal leaves you short of the danger, and then you can hoist a mid-iron into a layup area and leave yourself a comfortable wedge number. There is certainly more than one way to skin this cat.
A birdie on No. 1 would be beneficial, as No. 2 and No. 3 are both difficult pars to make. No. 2 is a narrow par 4 with water down the right to collect tee shots that stray that direction. Definitely not a hole for the unwanted slice to make an appearance. Should you locate the short stuff off the tee, you’ll face an uphill second with a bunker guarding the green short.
No. 3 is one of the more unique holes on the property. The fairway is offset to the left of a line of trees. The player can either hit it left of the trees to the fairway, or go right of the trees and attempt to carry a large area of taller rough. During the winter, this grass is primarily dormant, so if you come up a little short, it’s no harm, but once the grass begins to grow in the spring, this route could be treacherous if you don’t have the distance to carry it.
The fourth is a par 3 that can play anywhere from about 125 to 185 depending on which tee you choose. The only real trouble here is the small pot bunker that guards the front right. The par 4 fifth is a dogleg left that plays just short of 400 yards from the back tees. The longer hitters can chew off the dogleg and carry the trees on the left and get it close to the putting surface. Although miss too far left and your ball will find a ditch sometimes filled with water, and other times filled with gnarled grass too deep to search through. The second par 5 of the front is next: the 506-yard sixth. You’ll want to favor the left side of the fairway here to give yourself the best angle of attack for your second, however, a pair of fairway bunkers make the landing area minute.
The seventh is the longest par 4 on the property and the hardest rated hole at Hidden Creek. Measuring 448 from the tips, this one doglegs lightly to the left and requires an accurate tee ball to find a very narrow fairway. Be mindful of where the pin is located for your approach, because the green is over 100 feet from front to back, and can leave you with a difficult two-putt if your iron distances aren’t on point.
No. 8 is basically all intimidation. Water is in play and forces players to carry their ball all the way to the green, or face rinsing one. You can take some extra club and bail out right, but the crowned green makes any up and down a challenge. On a breezy day, the right to left cross wind will push balls toward the drink.
The front nine closes with another par 4. No tricks to this one. There isn’t a dogleg to speak of, just a narrow landing zone and another large green with a bunker guarding the front right. It’s a fair and straightforward way to end the outward nine.
The back nine begins with a south to north par four that used to be turned in the other direction and play a part of the old No. 18. If the prevailing wind is from the south, you can carry your tee ball over the crest of the hill mid-fairway and get some downhill run. If you pull it off, you can chase your ball down near the green. For those who don’t clobber it, you can lay back and leave yourself a comfortable wedge distance and a good look at a three to start the back nine.
The par-3 11th is arguably the most intimidating tee shot on the property. Although it plays only 160 yards, the shot is all carry over water, and there is a bunker up front that basically obscures your view of the putting surface. The water curls around long and left of the green as well, so anything pulled left will be swimming with the fish. As was the case with No. 8, you can always bail out right, but you’ll need to get up and down to save your par.
The 12th and 13th holes are both slight dogleg right par 4s, both a little over 400 yards. A two-hole paradise for those that like to play the power fade. The par-5 14th is one of my personal favorite holes on the course. Trees line the left side of this 545-yard par 5, and the downhill tee shot means you will get a little more distance off the tee. Although it may not look like it from the tee, you want your tee shot to hug the right side (think just left of the cart path). If you get a good bounce, you can run the ball through the trees and have a better look at the green for your second. If you do take that route, you can certainly get home in two.
If you choose to play it more straight away, your second will have tall grass that obstructs your view of the green. Hit it too far, and you run the risk of having to try to force your shot through these tall reeds, or basically turning directly to the right and playing a wedge to the layup area.
Fifteen is the shortest hole at Hidden Creek, a mere 140 from all the way back. A good chance to stick one close and get a tweeter before the stretch run. The final three all run parallel to the frontage road of I-35, and face south. On a day with no or minimal wind, these are some scorable holes. However, if the wind is blowing (and it almost always is from the south during peak season), this trio can pile strokes on to your score. The 16th isn’t long at just 371, but the temptation of trying to hammer a driver to get a scoring club in your hand can lead to trouble. Left is bouncing down the interstate headed for Waco, and right can find trees and some gnarly high fescue. It’s best to slap an iron or hybrid into the fairway and then flight something under the wind to the middle of the green.
The penultimate hole is the longest on the golf course (571 yards) and again, often playing back into that southerly wind. It’s three shots for all but those that have tour caliber length. The one saving grace is that it’s pretty wide open, minus one fairway bunker, for both the tee shot and your second.
The 18th rates as the second hardest hole, and although standing on the tee it may not look that way, it can be one final slap in the face if you aren’t careful. Playing 447 yards from tee to green, this one requires another accurate tee shot as again, anything left will be dangerous to passing vehicles, and missing right means either a long approach, or a lost ball in the trees if you really mail one that direction. If you do find the short stuff, you’ll likely be left with somewhere in the 160-190 range. Not a cupcake approach, especially with any breeze. The one thing head pro Mike Krsnak does want to see improved are the bunkers.
Although they are certainly plenty playable, Krsnak wants to upgrade to a system that improves drainage and does away with the antiquated liner filled sand trap.
Hidden Creek is everything you would expect from the local municipal course. It’s playable, fun, affordable and caters to any handicap. It’s also perfect for charity tournaments and larger groups. If you’re looking for your next round, look no further than Hidden Creek in Burleson.
Hidden Creek Golf Course
Address: 555 E Hidden Creek Parkway
Burleson, TX 76028
Designer: Steve Plummer (1997), John Colligan (2012)
Year Opened: 1997
Par/Yardage: 72/7,024 (Black tees); 6,563 (Blue); 5,943 (White); 5,605 (Silver); 5,272 (Red)
Greens: Champion Bermuda
Rates: $34 weekday, $44 weekend
Toughest Hole: No. 7, 448-yard par 4. This hole doesn’t exactly set up for the player that can’t control his driver. Anything right is OB, too far left and you can find yourself stymied in amongst the trees. If you can hit a long gentle draw and find the fairway, the second will still be a mid-iron to a very large undulating green where a three-putt can bite you.
Favorite Hole: No. 14, 545-yard par 5. If you’ve read any of my reviews in the past, then you know I’m a big fan of the five-par. This particular one intrigues me because of the risk reward, not on the second shot, but on the tee shot. You can try to carry the trees taking a line right down the cart path, and if you’re long enough, you can make the getting home in two much more likely. You can choose the conventional route, but you’ll have bit of an obstructed view if you do.
Most Intriguing Hole: No. 3, 402-yard par 4. The tee shot makes this hole interesting. You can lay it up left and still have a legit chance at a birdie, or you can try to smash one to the right of the tree line and carry the rough to get it closer to the putting surface. There’s really no right or wrong answer, so it makes this hole a fun test of golf.