Although city courses can be convenient and have a multitude of amenities at your fingertips, sometimes you just need to venture outside of town for a relaxing round of golf. Wildhorse Golf Course at Robson Ranch in Denton is the perfect solution – pristine conditions, friendly staff and a remarkable watering hole for you to visit after you finish.
Designed by native Texan Gary Stephenson, Wildhorse Golf Club is a wonderful place for golfers old and young, as well as those of all skill levels. The golf course, clubhouse and private activity facilities are situated in the center of the Robson Ranch Community development, about a half-hour north of Fort Worth. A pleasant surprise is that the neighborhood envelops the course in a quiet calmness instead of the noisy side effects that usually accompany community courses. You won’t have to yell to your playing partners over cars, kids, dogs, etc. The serenity is one of the factors that make the drive out to Denton definitely worth your time.
Taking a look at the course itself, Wildhorse Golf Club has two nines – the Wildhorse and the Mustang. Although they have some individual characteristics, they come together to create a fun and challenging course time and time again.
One of my favorite features you’ll see throughout your round is the rippling topography of Wildhorse. The land is practically oceanic in the way it rises and falls dramatically in some areas and only bubbles up in others. For example, hole No.1 on the Wildhorse side is a 366-yard par 4 that has two fairway bunkers on the left and one bunker in front of the green. Although the hole plays straightforward more or less, the flowing hills provide a nice visual as well as a chance for a challenging lie.
Compare that with hole No. 1 on the Mustang side: a 390-yard par 4 with three strategically placed mid-fairway bunkers. This hole, also straightforward, has a few wrinkles in the fabric of the fairway instead of the larger swales on the other side. Neither of the holes play perfectly level, and give you a different challenge to focus on.
The rolling hills also provide some great dramatic views that give Wildhorse its visual appeal. Coming into hole No. 9 on the Mustang side, you’ll see the clubhouse perched on top of a hill with a sweeping hillside leading down to the green. This hole only measures out to be a 360-yard par 4, but the layers of bunkers encircling the green and the folds of rippling fairway add some treacherous territory for an errant shot. Precision is key on this one, but it makes for a wonderful finishing hole.
Wildhorse Golf Club is unique in that there are definitely hazards scattered about, but instead of meandering streams or groves of trees, large sections of natural grasses, bunkers and lakes steal the show. If you’re worried about getting caught under some branches, you’re in luck. The trees are still young at Wildhorse, so they don’t threaten to scoop up your wayward shots.
However, the waist-high environmental areas will creep up on you if you’re not careful. Hole No. 4 on the Mustang nine is a par 4, dogleg-right layout that measures just shy of 450 yards. Gazing off the tee, you’ll see large swaths of natural grasses in front of you and a bunker at the end of the fairway. The grasses then reappear along the right hand side of the hole and curve in front of the green. As a result, you have to hopscotch your shots between the hazard sections without straying too far left or right of the hole. This hole is designated as one of the tougher ones on the track, and you’ll definitely agree.
The staff at Wildhorse is not only one of the friendliest in the Metroplex, but they have done a fantastic job with keeping the course in tip-top shape during the brutal summer heat. When we played, the greens were a brilliant shade of kelly and had just been rolled for a club tournament. It’s refreshing to play a public course with such quick greens – we were not let off the hook once we got onto the green, that’s for sure.
One of the buzzwords at Wildhorse is “renovate,” because there are some awesome new features that deserve to be bragged about. One of which is the new bunkers. Wildhorse has redone all of the course bunkers and transformed them into dazzling white sand additions on virtually every hole. While I never recommend intentionally wandering into the trap, it’s worth a gander as you walk or drive by.
Another exceptional face-lift was given to the bar and grill area. The warm color palette mixed with a busy bar scene and massive patio area make this place the spot to be after a round or for weekly events, such as Sunday brunch or live music nights. Members of the Robson Ranch community also gather there as well so it’s quite the social watering hole.
It might be a bit of drive for Dallasites, but Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch is an incredible getaway spot for an equally incredible sticker price ($85 for a prime weekend round with cart). The conditions rival the best courses in the area, and set the stage for a fun round for all. Here’s hoping we have a quick winter so we don’t miss out on more rounds at Wildhorse.
Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch
Address: 9440 Ed Robson Circle
Denton, Texas 76207
Designer: Gary Stephenson
Year Opened: 2001
Par/Yardage: 72/6859 yards (Black); 72/6409 yards (Blue); 72/6043 (White); 72/5536 (Gold); 72/5068 (Red)
Toughest Hole: No. 3 Mustang, 549-yard par 5. Designer Gary Stephenson really pulls out all the stops on this hole by including everything short of water. This slight dogleg to the right layout starts off with a tee area encased in natural prairie grasses and then has more prairie grasses dissecting the fairway in half. If avoiding the grasses off the tee wasn’t enough, the two large greenside bunkers dare you to go for it in two. This is a fun hole because if you manage to dance your way around the hazards, it will reward you in spades. If you miss slightly off the tee or entering the green, your scorecard is going to feel it.
Favorite Hole: No. 4 Wildhorse, 162-yard par 3. Perhaps one of the most scenic views on the course, hole No. 4 on the Wildhorse track is a par 3 that juts out into the large lake on the property. The green is buffered by a large bunker on the back to collect any shots hit with extra gusto. It’s not one of the more difficult, long, or quizzical holes, but sometimes it’s nice to take a moment and enjoy the natural landscape. When you step onto the tee, you’re lulled by the sounds of the lake and can remember why you came out here to play golf in the first place.
Most Intriguing Hole: No. 9 Wildhorse, 434-yard par 4. Talk about a finishing hole with fireworks! OK, there aren’t real fireworks, but this dogleg-left layout curves around the large lake that greets visitors upon their entrance to the property. Complete with a spectacular fountain, the lake is both stunning and scary in that the hole elevation angles from right to left. In other words, everything funnels into the lake. This hole isn’t particularly long, but club selection is key to avoid your tee shot painfully bumbling into the water. No. 9 is one of the tougher holes on the Wildhorse side, so you’re not off the hook before making the turn.