Accuracy is a key attribute of any good golfer’s game. However, at Deer Creek Golf Course in Overland Park, KS, accuracy is a must. The picturesque course was designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. who utilized the heavily wooded land and wandering creek to create a masterpiece.
The layout has always been described as exceptional, but the true allure of the course is that it doesn’t rely on length to provide challenge. The course stretches to a modest 6811 yards from the tips and can play as short as 5126 yards, offering every golfer an option to find the right distance. But don’t naturally think that a shorter distance makes the course more playable. Some longer hitters may find the second or third tee boxes more challenging than the furthest back tees. With strategically placed landing zones and frequent use of dog legs or the creek, most golfers would do well to match their length to the right tee box.
The course is in fantastic shape for fall golf, as well. “We handled the harsh summer better than most and our course is in excellent conditions from tee to green,” General Manager Jeff Miller recently shared. “We’re excited to showcase our course as the fall weather greets golfers with cooler temps and more enjoyable days outside.”
That shape is due, in part, to re-built greens, a project that began two years ago and was completed in time for some late season golf. The project continued with a complete overhaul of many of the course’s sand bunkers to improve drainage and provide for more consistent play.
Players heading to Deer Creek are greeted with an opening hole that features a sharp dog leg left. Accuracy is at a premium right from the start with a pair of bunkers on the inside corner of the fairway’s bend. A well-placed shot finds a generous landing area that sets a golfer up well for a challenging shot to an elevated green guarded by more bunkers.
From there, the course plays like the ultimate shotmaker’s test. A number of the par-4s call for a club other than a driver, and all holes require a strategy to place the ball in the most likely spot to avoid trouble and set up the next shot. In this regard, Deer Creek is a golf course that should be played frequently. Like other classic designs, it is one that gets more intriguing, and more interesting, the more it is played.
The course continues to throw challenges at golfers by greeting them with the number 1 handicap hole at the third. The par-4 starts from an elevated tee box with a brush-lined creek on the right and bunkers left. After successfully navigating all that, golfers are faced with a tight shot to a narrow green fronted by water. Accuracy.
The fifth hole is another par-4 requiring, of course, accuracy off the tee. The typical play is a long iron or hybrid off the tee to a tight landing area in order to set up a second shot to an elevated green on the other side of the ever-present creek. A tee shot that wanders left will find a heavily wooded hillside and those that leak to the right will likely find trees lining the fairway prohibiting a clean view and an open shot to the green.
The seventh is where most golfers can see the brilliance of the designer. From the tee, the fairway looks wide open, but the trees and out of bounds on the left side of the soft dog leg right often swallow up drives that aren’t hit on the correct line. Again, drives that drift right will bound down a slope and get buried in evergreens. But, find the center of the fairway and a tee shot can land on a sharp down slope, kicking it forward another 30 or 40 yards and setting up a great birdie opportunity.
The back nine starts out on what is perhaps Overland Park’s best known golf hole. Even non-golfers are familiar with the par-4 that runs along Metcalf Avenue, complete with a net that protects traffic from snap hooks. On another hole with no bailout, most golfers would choose their club from the teebox wisely to land in the widest landing area before the creek narrows the fairway in front of the sharply two-tiered green.
The back nine continues in a similar fashion with unique holes demanding accuracy and well thought strategies. The fifteenth is a long, challenging par-3 requiring a tee shot to carry the creek again in order to safely find an elevated green. That’s not the last shot requiring accuracy though. The seventeenth is a short par-4, but the creek crosses the fairway at a distance that results in most drives finding a watery grave. Rather, most golfers would again do well to choose a long iron or fairway wood to hit the widest and safest section of fairway.
A round of golf at Deer Creek ends with a par-5 that, as expected, features the creek crossing the fairway, requiring one of the many scenic bridges to cross before striking (or, maybe even putting) a third shot. From there, it’s on to the clubhouse which is a great place to wrap up a round of golf. But the quality of the venue makes it more than that – it’s also an ideal location for a business meeting over breakfast or lunch, followed by a round of golf in the afternoon. Jeff Miller shared that many groups do just that. “After the meeting’s over, they get out and play some golf together. It adds to the experience. We have everything ready for them. So if you’re a golfer, and a business person, what a perfect day,” he said. With two large banquet rooms, each holding over 225 guests, the Deer Creek clubhouse also makes a great place for weddings and parties.
The course is ready to challenge you today, so come out and your accuracy to the test. You won’t go away unfulfilled. For more information, visit their website at www.deercreekgc.com, or give them a call at (913) 681-3100.