(ARLINGTON, Texas) - Two tracks designed by Arlington, Texas-based architect Jeffrey D. Brauer were recently named to Golfweek's list of Best Municipal Golf Courses for 2009, continuing a history of acclaim for Brauer and his work, especially on public, municipal and resort golf courses.
The Brauer-designed Sand Creek Station Golf Course (pictured), in Newton, Kansas near Wichita, is ranked No. 29 on the Golfweek list while Brauer's work at Tangle Ridge Golf Club in Grand Prairie, Texas (a suburb of Dallas and Fort Worth) claims the No. 44 spot.
"Given my background growing up as a public golfer, being able to provide great public golf experiences has been my goal for as long as I can recall," Brauer said. "I strive to give my clients and public golfers better golf courses than they expect, and I am happy when they enjoy the course. To have two courses recognized as among the best in the country is always an honor, for me, the city and the management of the course, since all contribute to the perception of quality."
Sand Creek Station opened in 2006 and immediately ascended to a spot as the second-best public course in the state in Golfweek's rankings behind only Colbert Hills in Manhattan - which was also designed by Brauer (in association with Champions Tour professional Jim Colbert).
Sand Creek Station was also voted by Golf Magazine as a "Top 10 New Courses You Can Play" for 2006 and in February 2009 was recognized by the National Golf Foundation as having the highest approval rating in 2008 in its Seventh-Annual Customer Loyalty Awards.
Sand Creek Station is a links-style, 18-hole municipal track and several unique features including an active railway running through the course, Sand Creek bordering four holes and eleven ponds. A wooden cart bridge spans Sand Creek and a concrete underpass allows carts to travel under the BNSF railroad tracks.
"We have recreated the famous Road Hole green on our 16th Hole, which once sat adjacent to a railway, and another replicates the famous "Redan" from North Berwick, Scotland," Brauer said. "Other holes have characteristics of early American holes, which also fronted railways at one time."
The 12th hole is similar to the fourth at the National Golf Links of America, one of the nation's early classics. The ninth features a small platform green, typical of early American courses, while the green on the par-5 fourth has some wild contours, the like of which are seldom built these days.
The par-72 course spans 7,357 yard from its back tees and incorporates the property's native grasses. The course is currently seeking to hold the national USGA Publinks championship and Brauer is now expanding the practice areas to host the competition. For more information, visit www.sandcreekgolfclub.com.
Tangle Ridge is nestled between Joe Pool Lake and the Mountain Creek Escarpment and has the feel of a Hill Country course with elevation changes of more than 50 feet, gently rolling hills and trees guarding every hole. The magnificent panoramic views differentiate the course from any other in the D-FW area.
Tangle Ridge's 250-acre track is bisected by a stream that runs east to west along the northern portion of the property. Approximately 60 acres of tangled natural vegetation remains as construction minimized the impact to existing wetlands. Players rarely see other holes while making their way through the layout.
Tangle Ridge - which plays to a par of 72 and at 6,835 yards from its back set of four tees - is a strategic course requiring the player to use every club and shot in his or her arsenal. The fairways are generous but poorly hit shots may find the native areas. The variety of grass and sand bunkers, creek crossings, dramatic mounding, berms, doglegs and tree-lined roughs provide plenty of challenges.
"At Tangle Ridge, we wanted the golfer to have a feeling of seclusion while enjoying a peaceful round getting away from urban stress," Brauer said.
Tangle Ridge opened in 1995 and has since been a constant on the State's "Best of" lists. The course was ranked No. 16 in Texas by the Dallas Morning News in 2007, as a Best of Texas by Texas Golfer in 2005 and a Top 10 by Avid Golfer in 2005. For more information on Tangle Ridge, go to www.tangleridge.com.