Mineral Wells course aims to be worth the drive

courtesy photo

Holiday Hills Golf Course

4801 U.S. 180

Mineral Wells 76067

(directly across from the VF Outlet)

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The 18-hole course is a semi-private operation that allows golfers to buy annual memberships or pay a fee per round of golf. Players are encouraged to ride alone for social distancing, subject to availability of carts.

The course is open Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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Golf is still swinging

The June rounds-played report from Golf Datatech showed play was up a healthy 13.9% nationally. Because June is such a high-volume month for play, this equates to approximately 7 million to 8 million more rounds than in June of 2019.

For course operators, this means a related increase of as much as $400 million in operational revenue. June play was up in every state in the continental U.S., including a rounds increase of at least 20% in golf-rich states such as Arizona (+29), Florida (+25%), Georgia (+24%), Texas (+23%), Pennsylvania (+22%) and Ohio (+21%).

Professional golf returned to TV with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club June 11-14.

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– National Golf Foundation

True golf aficionados have sought new options to break the monotony of playing the same 18 holes time and again. Many of them moved from course to course throughout Fort Worth and then even farther afield, to place such as Parker County.

courtesy photo

“I can shave five strokes off your game in four hours,” promises Kirk Horton, owner of Holiday Hills Golf Club in Mineral Wells, who bought the former Holiday Hills Country Club In May of 2019. The course straddles the Parker County/Palo Pinto County line, with four of the 18 holes located in Parker County, while the remaining 14 holes are in Palo Pinto County.

Golfers would rather brag to friends and family that they shot a 78 rather than an 83, an 86 instead of a 91, or that they broke 100 for the first time.

Horton made the commitment to make the course slightly less challenging so his golfers – from low-handicap players who shoot near or below par to the occasional duffer who is more excited about getting outside for fresh air.

The course is  semi-private, meaning its open to the public and also sells annual memberships.

Horton is an avid golfer, as are members of his family that include his son, Bryan, who carries a three handicap. When Kirk Horton purchased the golf course last spring, he decided to invest heavily in the infrastructure so he could offer the type of course he would enjoy playing.

That meant pouring the water onto the course throughout the year, with particular emphasis on the tee boxes, the fairway landing areas for tee shots, and immediate area around the greens, as well as on the putting surfaces themselves.

Those investments are based on five attributes of the course:

Fewer “obstructions” (translated: trees) on the golf course: While trees line many of the fairways, an errant tee shot will often fly past or through the trees and present you with a clear shot from the adjacent fairway.

Generous tee options: Each tee box offers significantly shorter distances for golfers wanting to play from closer tee position.

Smaller greens: The smaller greens improve putting opportunities because the distance of putts is shorter than on more spacious greens.

Consistent sand in the bunkers: This sand offers the right density so that it plays consistently in dry weather as well as wet conditions following rain showers.

Water, water, everywhere – all in the right places: More water to keep the fairways and putting surfaces a darker green in the summer, when most courses dry out; and less water as a hazard.

Earning Repeat Visits

The senior Horton adds, “Golfers from Fort Worth out to Possum Kingdom have so many options on which course to play. We have focused on earning their visit once, and then providing them with such an experience that they will want to return.”

“The most enjoyable golf courses offer something for every level of player,” said Ricky Hardin, Head of Golf Course Operations. “Particularly this time of year, we are pouring the water onto the course.”

Water is important to the Horton family, and not just because of the golf course. The family owns Eventide Waters, a bottled water company located directly across Highway 180 from Holiday Hills.

Making the course fun is important for Horton – and the course’s success.

“We recognize that a golfer driving from Fort Worth drives past nine golf courses to get to us,” said Horton. “We need to be as fun and entertaining as possible and provide just the right amount of on-course promise fulfillment to earn their return visit.”

The par-4 fifth hole is the most popular hole because it yields the most birdies. With the prevailing wind behind the golfer, the distance is just over 300 yards with a downhill tee shot to the green.

The ninth is the signature hole as a par-3 that plays around 150 yards from the front tees and 192 from the back tees. The two-tier green offers an attractive view of the course.

– FWBP Staff