The Hideout course is another brilliant design by Bill Johnston of Phoenix, Arizona. Below is a description of many of his trademarks, while giving a hole-by-hole design of this scenic, yet playable, golf course.
This 502 yard Par 5 will offer you the chance to rare-back and bust it. Cutting the corner will not benefit you much, so play to the left and get into position to layup for a wedge approach into this narrow green. Why double trouble? You see the water to the left, but you can’t see the water 20 yards right of the green. This pond is in play especially for the long hitters attempting to reach the green in two.
We might have called this The Ravine but I will let you in on a little design secret. When Bill Johnston and Jim Martin were standing on the hill, next to the deer blind, on Bill’s first visit, the hole was already there. In Bill’s mind that is. Many holes are often thought to have just naturally designed themselves. This hole may have done just that, but placing it into perspective with the other 17 holes takes the work of a true and dedicated designer. Go ahead, take a picture of the hole toward the ravine, but also turn to the left and take a panorama of the beautiful valley. It used to be a farmed field. The gold tee does make a nice pedestal for viewing the lakes. The flag tends to blow in all directions making club selection difficult from any of the tees ranging from 187 to 121 yards. Don’t over club; there is water and the ravine beyond the green. Pars won’t come easy on this classic hole.
When the course was first designed there was a caboose used for a rest station. This is a long 462 yard, down-wind par 4. The big rocks next to the tee were there, we didn’t try to get that effect, we inherited it. Johnston has used the natural look of rocks throughout the construction of the course. They are the natural look, at least at the Hideout. The big hitter will let it fly over the trees on the right and curve it to the center. This will open the green up nicely. The little draw across the fairway is also natural, so we kept it in play.
This difficult 449 yard par 4 traverses through the winding trees on either side of the fairway. This hole requires artistic trajectories of both your tee shot and your second shot if you want to hit the green in regulation. A birdie on this hole will have you saying “so long” to your competition.
As the narrowest green on the property, a slight fade with your mid to long iron is the ideal tee shot. This green has very little depth to work with on the front and is fairly generous on the back. A 1/2 club more is always a possibility off the tee box due to the unnoticeable wind above the tree lines. When the pin is located in the back right portion of the green you may want to aim for the middle of the green and two-putt for par.
Look to the left, see the umbrella tree. A tree lined 386 yard gem. The draw runs across this fairway. Hit it to the left and you might not reach it. It is not a lay-up hole so hit it hard. Look at the bunkering and mounds around the green, they look like foothills. You might notice this feature in many locations. Also, have you noticed the sand bunkers are not impossible to play? That’s fair, and that’s Bill Johnston.
As the most difficult hole at The Hideout, a good drive on this Par 5 will still leave most with a wood or long iron to carry the hazard. This will leave you with a short wedge shot from inside 100 yards. The green is generous in the deep portion but the greenside bunkers left and right pinch off the front.
A mid to long iron is needed off the tee to position yourself in front of the creek that runs across the fairway. Only the extreme long hitter can carry the creek from the gold tees. Shoot for the center of the green for your approach to avoid the greenside bunker right. Front right is the most challenging pin position.
This long par 5 measures 565 yards from the back tees. Giant oaks stand and sentinels in the fairway offering two routes along the meandering creek on the left side of the fairway. Dense groves of oaks are to the right, so the ample fairway may be the only way to traverse this monster. Johnston designed this to play with the wind so on many days in Brownwood we might get a share of good fortune in making the hole manageable. The elongated green is protected by sand bunkers standing watch and the dreaded creek on the left.
The perfect tee shot is a fade to the right center of the fairway, leaving yourself a short iron to the green. The only place for the second shot is on the green avoiding the greenside bunkers guarding this green. The most difficult pin position is front right.
For most a 3 wood is needed off the tee to avoid the fairway bunker on the left. A short iron approach should be aimed to the center of this elevated green. The back of this green is about three feet higher than the front, which makes a back left pin the most challenging.
One lone tree remains in the fairway, and though most will not find it a problem, the low draw player will. A drive to the left center of the fairway leaves you with a left-to-right second shot to one of the course’s flattest greens. A bunker at the front right of the green makes the middle to back right of the green the most difficult pin position.
As our signature hole, this 224 yard Par 3 from the tips leaves no room for error off the tee. A pond catches any tee ball to the right and the sand trap left is the only bailout. When the pin is located on the front portion of the green, the best play is to aim for the middle of the green and two-putt for par.
A slight dog-leg right par 4 at 420 yards will again test the mettle of al players. A large fairway bunker will make the drive to the left imperative. This will leave you a mid-iron approach to a well guarded green that slopes back to front. Stay below the hole to leave yourself a makeable birdie putt. The most difficult pin position is front right, near the bunker.
For most this lengthy Par 3 requires a fairway wood or hybrid off the tee. The longer-hitter may choose to take a long iron and chase it up to the green. Stay clear of the bunker on the right and play to the middle of the green. Par is always a good score here.
In Bill Johnston tradition, each side will be finished with an eagle opportunity. This par 5 may be just too hard to yield many scores so low, but for the intrepid golfer…who knows? Going for the green in two can make or break this hole. For most, a long second shot will still place you short of the water in front of the green. A wedge is all that is left for you. But, the fun hasn’t stopped yet; the gigantic green on this hole has some of the most dramatic undulations on the golf course. You will have to emphasize the importance of placing the ball on the same level as the pin.
In West Texas many of the courses are rather flat, but here at The Hideout Golf Club & Resort your ball may be above your feet. Play your drive to the right and let nature bring it back to the center. The green is deceptive, do not let Stonegate Hill fool you on lining up your putt. This is a relatively long 412 yard par 4 and it will play into the wind through most of the year.
An impressive view from the Gold Tee, this Par 4 will challenge you off the tee. A 155 yard carry over the water on the left from the back tee. Do not go right — that’s OB. Once over the first body of water, more awaits you to the left of the green. A 1/2 more club for your approach is needed due to the elevation change from the fairway to the green.