Course Review and Comments
I played Emerald Falls for the first time on Saturday, November 1, 2008. The most important thing about this review is that I can't wait to play it again, if you want to hear more read on.
Service was great; golf pro was friendly and informative. Carts have coolers stocked with water and large cooler sits outside the clubhouse with extra bottles to grab. Routing takes players past the club house after #4 and #9. There was very little play so I'm sure its easier to treat each guest as the most important when there aren't that many.
Price was even better. Their "winter" rate started mid October and its $45 any time. Go play this course for this price. You can't get on many municipal courses for less than this (note the rate includes cart, range balls and bottled water).
Facilities were solid. Practice range was large and balls were waiting on the range. I didn't see yardage markers to the targets, which would have been nice, but I might have missed them. Chipping area was only serviceable. The practice green for chipping/sand play was in pretty bad shape. It looks like they pull strips from this area to move to other greens. Practice green was relatively small, but did a great job of mirroring course conditions: very true and very quick.
Golf course design was interesting and challenging. Be sure you pick the proper tees. I played one up from the tips and it was a little more than I really needed to play. From middle of the front nine through #10 there are a trio of par 4s that are 430+ yards from the tees I played (#8 is 492 from the tips). The design is interesting though and keeps you thinking about where to hit tee shots. I found the par 5's particularly interesting in deciding on a lay-up position (only one was reachable for me). Each par 5 give you wide, easy lay-up locations around 130 to 140, but the lay-up areas get smaller and misses more penal as you get to 100 yards and in. My suggestion for first timers: get a yardage book and ask for pin position info (if you don't have a range finder). I did the first and not the second. Several greens have multiple tiers and being on the wrong one is trouble.
Course Conditions were 'Jekyll and Hyde'. The Fairways were amazing the ball sat up perfectly. They had some trouble spots in the fairways from what looked like drainage paths, but if you play those as ground-under-repair you'll be fine. The tees and rough were in nice shape as well. Rough was not particularly penal, but 'native areas' would catch any really bad misses and often result in a lost ball or unplayable lie. I like the 'graduated' penalty for mistakes off the tee. The greens were amazing with a true, fast roll, but they have some real trouble spots from #5 through #9. Most of these greens have areas that aren't really playable at all. The day we played the set-up did a decent job of keeping the pin placement away from these areas. Several other greens have small trouble spots, but aren't too bad.
When they get all 18 greens healthy and in the same playing conditions I would easily rate Emerald Falls the best public access course in the Tulsa area. Give it a try, even now and you’ll have a great time.
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