Getting To Know: Eagle Crest Golf Course
An Insightful Interview With Julie Turner, Manager
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Julie Turner who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Opened in 1997, Eagle Crest Golf Course is the centerpiece of the approximately 450 acre master planned Eagle Crest community. The heavily treed 6,869 yard, Par 71 Golf Course was designed by Mark Hayes, a three time PGA tour winner from Oklahoma. Eagle Crest received a four star rating from Golf Digest in 2008 for "Best Places to Play", making it one of the top public courses in the State. We are one of 13 courses included on the Natural State Golf Trail of Arkansas.
In the foothills of the Ozark mountains, overlooking the Arkansas River Valley and the Ouachita mountain range, the varied topography of our lush Zoysia grass fairways will challenge your game and provide breathtaking views. Just off Interstate 40, in the city limits of Alma, our community is just minutes from Fort Smith and a short scenic drive from Fayetteville and Bentonville. The quiet natural beauty and abundant wildlife of the area, along with the superb Alma School district, makes our community an excellent choice for your family or for your retirement years.
Come see us at Eagle Crest Golf Course, where you will be welcomed by our friendly staff, enjoy beautiful views, and have a wonderful golfing experience.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
An 18 hole golf course in NW Arkansas with vistas of the Arkansas River and Ouachita Mountains! We have 6869 yards of lush Zoysia fairways on our par 71 course. Come play a challenging course with views that are guaranteed to take your breath away!
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Eagle Crest Hole Descriptions
1. A good starting par 4 that requires a solid drive to the right side of fairway. A good drive will set up short to mid iron to an hour-glass shaped green that slopes back to front. Don't go long on your approach shot or par may be out of the question.
2. A long and very challenging par 3 surrounded by trees that demands a solid tee shot. Anything short will leave an uphill pitch from the rough or the bunker guarding the left side. Par here is a great score!
3. A straightforward par 4 with a wide fairway but still requiring an accurate tee shot to avoid trees on the left side of the tee. A good drive leaves a short iron shot into a well bunkered green. The green slopes back to front but anything on this green is a birdie opportunity.
4. The showcase hole at the entrance to the subdivision - a beautiful mid to short iron par 3 with a lake around the front and left sides of the green. A tee shot a little to the right of the green can kick off the bank and give you a birdie putt! Just tell your buddies that you meant to hit it there.
5. A risk-reward par 4 that can be very short if you dare to cut the corner of the dog leg. The right fairway bunker is a good aiming point for longer hitters - but short hitters can hit left of the bunker to a generous fairway leaving a mid to long iron into green. There are no flat putts on this green - leave an uphill putt if you want a birdie or even a par.
6. A reachable par5 with an uphill drive followed by a downhill dogleg right. Long hitters bomb it over the pine trees on right and short hitters play it left to open-up the second shot. Incredible views of the valley await as you walk up to your drive. A creek spillway runs along the left side to catch errant layup shots. Be thankful if the flag is in a front left pin position, otherwise the bunker will add another challenge. Get your birdie here as it is about to get tougher.
7. A long par 5 with a wide-open tee shot. However, that generous fairway on the drive narrows quickly as you approach the green with trees left and right. Your drive should favor the left side of fairway to open-up the tight second shot. The layup must be accurate because any shot off the fairway slopes hard toward the woods. With a good layup, the 3rd shot is to a generous green with no major undulation.
8. A signature par 3 hole. A mid iron tee shot over a beautiful ravine and rock cliff to a narrow green. Anything short will catch up in the thick rough. However, don't go too long unless you would like a challenging downhill chip to green that slopes back to front. Par is great score here.
9. The hardest hole on the front nine. A long par 4 that requires both accurate and controlled distance off the tee. The generous fairway is deceiving as you need to be on the left side to avoid having a blind second shot over a tree-filled ravine. Long hitters might hit 3 wood off the tee because a deep ravine can catch a drive that carries too far. Short hitters may have to bail out to the left of the ravine or layup short. Par is a great score here.
10. A straight away par 4 with trees on right and left. A good tee shot sets up mid to short iron into a large green that slopes back to front. A right-side pin position means a good chance to start the back nine with a birdie. In the evenings, you will often have an audience of a few deer on this hole.
11. A great dogleg left par 4 starting high up on the hill. A creek runs on both the left and right sides of fairway that creates a great challenge for long hitters who must be accurate if they want a wedge into the green. The second shot is both pretty and demanding! The narrow green is protected by a deep rock wall that covers left front of green. You can always bail out right, but the long and narrow sloping green makes for a difficult up and down. Par is a tremendous score here.
12. A long uphill par 5 unless you have the length to challenge the dog leg right and carry over the trees. The number 1 handicap hole for good reasons. After a safe tee shot you should lay up in the right side of the fairway that slopes hard left to right. The 3rd shot is short iron to an elevated green with a ridge running right down the middle of green. Errant approach shots can find creeks on left and right side of green. Watch out for the deer that love to play in the fairway in the mornings and evenings.
13. A short downhill par 3 secluded in the trees. The green is protected by a front bunker and slopes from back to front. Stay below the hole and you have a chance to walk away with a birdie. Before driving up to 14-tee, pause and take in the expansive view of the valley and mountains in the distance!
14. A great view of trees and two lakes from the tee of this par 4. A birdie hole for long hitters who can carry over the lake and avoid the two fairway bunkers - that are good directional targets for the tee shot. Short hitters need to play left of the lake and bunkers, but this leaves a long uphill second shot. The multi-tiered green provides good birdie opportunities.
15. A mid iron par 3 that requires a full carry over a lake with green guarded by a deep bunker on the front right. A bail out to the left is safe. Anything on the green here gives you a good birdie putt.
16. The easiest par 5 on the course. Hole 16 is a straight away hole with a generous landing area for the tee shot. A decent drive will have long hitters looking at a hybrid approach shot with no major hazards around the green. Short hitters can lay up close enough to the green for a short pitch shot. Birdie or eagle chance here.
17. A mid iron par 3 that plays slightly uphill. The green has a deep swale in front that catches many short tee shots. The green is long and slopes back to front. Keep the ball below the hole and you can make an easy par.
18. A stunningly beautiful finishing par 5 that overlooks the Arkansas river valley. The tee sits on top of the cliff well above the fairway that is in the valley below. Long hitters can bomb it with a tee shot that carries forever and makes this reachable in two. While trees on the left and native grasses on the right can catch errant shots from shorter hitters, don't let that cause you to lay up. After a good tee shot your approach must navigate 3 bunkers that guard the front and right side of fairway and green. Don't go long with your approach shot as there is another steep slope behind the green. The green is fairly flat and provides an excellent birdie or eagle chance to finish your round. Head down to the pro shop and pick up an Eagle Crest t-shirt with a colorful drawing of the 18th tee view!
Any recent changes to the golf course? Or any upcoming changes?
The course reopened under new ownership with an enthusiastic management team. Improvements are being made throughout the course, including newly replaced greens. Renovations are being done on the pro shop and clubhouse facilities.
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
The 18th tee box is our signature hole. The views show off the Ouachita Mountains, Mount Magazine and the Arkansas river.
Back Tee Stats
Eagle Crest Golf Course
3926 Golf Course Dr
Alma, Arkansas, 72921
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Revised: 03/01/2021 - Article Viewed 10,654 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
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