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Bella Vista Golf

Bella Vista Golf

Golfing in Bella Vista

by Matt Ginella, Golf Digest 

Add Bella Vista,  to the list of buddies-trip destinations offering value and a variety of good golf worth writing about.

Take it from Ken Ray of Ponca City, OK, who has led a group of avid golfers to the Natural State's northwest quadrant for 20 years. "We can't play this cheap at home," says Ray, an 8-handicap. "We've only been rained out of one round in 20 years -- and there are streams, waterfalls, lakes, little mountains, birds and foliage."

The area's six courses, all within 15 minutes of each other, charge $42 ($29 after 2 p.m.). There's everything from undulating, narrow and demanding to flat, open and forgiving -- and all in good condition. Only 14 miles from the Bentonville, Ark., airport and a four-hour drive from Ponca City, Bella Vista is comparable to St. George, Utah, Michigan's Garland Lodge and Resort and some of the spots on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in terms of price and quality of golf.

When his group first started coming to Bella Vista, it was a small retirement community, Ray says. "We've seen this area explode." In large part, that's because of the growth of Walmart and Tyson Foods, headquartered there. Fifteen minutes down Highway 71 is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

 

As if Ray & Co. were in town for the paintings. They come for three days at the end of May, two nights in two four-bedroom condos, four rounds of golf, meals, drinks, poker and, of course, the camaraderie. All in, it's $447 a man, including gas and $30 a round of side bets. (As part of this Ambush, Golf Digest covered one dinner, drinks and handed out $100 worth of gift certificates.) The group plays a combination of two-man better ball, scramble, alternate shot and individual low net. The most anyone wins is $240; the most they can lose is $120. "If you think your handicap is too high we'll lower it immediately," Ray writes in his pre-trip memo. "If you think it's too low, you have two weeks to practice. We strive for fairness, not compassion."

Ray sent around another email the day after the 20th trip in which he summarized scores and money and asked for feedback on how he could improve the annual gathering. As the old friends from Ponca City Country Club in OK prepare for their third decade of diminishing laws of debauchery, Ray reminded the group to stay focused on the soul of buddies trips: "Golf is the thing that keeps us going, and the friendship is the key to success."

 


BELLA VISTA COUNTRY CLUB GOLF COURSE

The oldest course in Bella Vista, The Bella Vista Country Club Golf Course, can best be described as a classic design.  The golf course rolls mildly through the valley along US 71.  While the course is long and challenging, the course can be walked.  The course is serviced by the Tanyard Creek Driving Range.  Golf carts & rental clubs are available.

98 Clubhouse Drive, (479)855-8130


BERKSDALE GOLF COURSE

The Berksdale Golf Course is an 18 hole facility that is combined with Kingswood Golf Course to make up the 36 hole Kingswood Golf Complex.  Golfers of any skill level will enjoy this course.  Golf carts and rental clubs are available.  The largest inventory of golf merchandise in Bella Vista is available at the Kingsdale Golf Shop.

1 Riordan Drive, (479)855-8123

Berksdale Golf Course

Branchwood Golf Course

BRANCHWOOD GOLF COURSE

The Branchwood Golf Course is a 9 hole par 3 facility.  This course is a trip back to nature that is especially beautiful in spring and fall.  The course is carved out of an old Bella Vista "holler".  This is a walking only course. Rental clubs are available. 

222 Glasgow Road, (479)855-8181


DOGWOOD HILLS GOLF COURSE

The Dogwood Hills Golf Course is combined with the Brittany Golf Course to make up the 27 hole Bella Vista's Metfield Golf Complex.  This is a "links" style golf course.  The golf course features a gentle terrain, but has several long stretches from the green to the next tee.  Golf carts & rental clubs are available.

1 Euston Drive, (479)855-8160


Highlands Golf Course

HIGHLANDS GOLF COURSE

The Highlands Golf Course is carved out of Bella Vista's rolling terrain offering beautiful views and bountiful trees.  This course is definitely a test shot making ability.  Many a golfer has lost a ball or two on this course.  The course is serviced by the Highlands driving range.  Golf carts & rental clubs are available. 

500 Glasgow Road, (479)855-8150


KINGSWOOD GOLF COURSE

The Kingswood Golf Course is a part of the 36 hole Kingsdale Golf Complex.  This course is combined with the Berksdale Golf Course.  Kingswood Golf Course is a "links" style course.  Golf carts & rental clubs are available.  The Kingsdale Golf Shop features the largest inventory of golf merchandise in Bella Vista.

1 Riordan Drive, (479)855-8123


Scotsdale Golf Course

SCOTSDALE GOLF COURSE    

The front 9 on the Scotsdale Golf Course has a gentle rolling layout, which offers a fair test but is far less demanding than the back 9 holes.  Holes 11-15 take you on a roller coaster ride.  This course will challenge all whom dare challenge Scotsdale Golf Course.  Golf carts & rental clubs are available.

50 Scotsdale Drive, (479)855-8140


TANYARD CREEK PRACTICE CENTER

The Tanyard Creek Practice Center features two indoor bays & a launch monitor to assist with club fittings, 28 uncovered & 8 covered hard surface stations & a grass tee surface, along with a putting green and practice area with bunkers and chipping stations.  The Tanyard Creek Practice Center Pro Shop offers Bella Vista's largest selection of golf clubs.  Call for lesson information.

275 Lancashire Boulevard, (479)855-8133

Tanyard Creek Driving Range