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But tardy or not, the sports limbo that is the few months before the start of another football season leaves many Wacoans with more time on their hands. Many choose to fill a lot of that time on the golf course, braving their way through the elements and forever chasing their best round.

Cottonwood Creek is located in the heart of Waco, boasting beautiful greens and fairways from 1 18. With just a few trees lining the majority of the holes, bad tee shots aren’t a punch in the gut, but the course is long enough that wayward drives can leave long irons to the greens. Water hazards come into play on two of the four par 3s. The average golfer can putt for eagle on two of the par 5s with a good wood or hybrid approach shot.

The course winds its way through central Waco and presents itself as a fair but daunting challenge. Like any good golf course, Cottonwood Creek offers the golfer several holes to attack and many more to proceed with caution.

The greens were punched for aeration months back and re punched just recently due to the rain, but are in pristine condition and rolling as smoothly as any course around.

Address: 7900 Concord Road, Waco

Course type: Public, memberships available

Amenities: Pro shop, snack bar, driving range and putting green

Originally an extension of the Air Force Base of the same name, James Connally golf course was opened on the northeast side of Waco in 1955 by course designer Ralph Plummer. Contracted through third parties for a number of years by Texas State Technical College, the college regained control of the course in 2010 and began a long term course enhancement project.

Waco’s oldest public course, Connally offers a choice of three tee boxes, ranging from just 5,800 yards to nearly 7,000. The course has a wide open feel on most of its holes.

The front nine features two par 5s that provide a relatively easy chance for an under par score if the tee shot finds the fairway. The back nine throws a bit of water in the mix, as several holes have some form of pond or creek in play.

Still, it fits the mold of a true municipal course relatively inexpensive rates mixed in with the need for overdue course improvements. The greens are large and have seen improvement since TSTC took control five years ago.

“Our goal when I started here was to make quite a few improvements,
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” Connally head golf professional Joel Williamson said. “We got a late start because of the rain, but we are still going to address the cart paths and fix the infrastructure of the lakes. It’s just taking us a little longer than we expected, but changes are coming.”

Overall, Connally seems committed to improving itself, aiming to put itself back in the mix as one of Waco’s best deals.

Address: 4443 Battle Lake Road, Mart

Course type: Public, memberships available

Amenities: Pro shop, snack bar, driving range and putting green

Located 15 miles east of Waco, Battle Lake Golf Course rivals Connally for the most golfer friendly setup.

Originally a nine hole course developed in the 1970s and just a short drive off of Highway 84 on the outskirts of Mart, Battle Lake Golf Course does not provide nearly as many of the longer, more challenging holes that some of the in city courses do, though does possess several dogleg holes that dare the longer hitter to take a shorter route to the green.

But hitting the fairway isn’t a must. The rough is usually not a stroke taker, as the possibility to reach the greens in regulation without significant trouble is a signature of the course.

Battle Lake does pride itself on being a course for the average golfer, but does provide somewhat of a challenge on approach shots and shorter chips, with the greens being a bit smaller than average.

Currently searching for a new general manager, the course will always possess a small town charm that keeps many loyal golfers coming back.

“It’s a fairly wide open forgiving, something that’s great for the average golfer,” interim GM Tommy Roberson said. “It’s a fun course to play. Our fairways are really coming in and our greens have been nice for over three years now, so we like the direction it’s heading.”

The back nine sees its borders seep into Battle Lake,
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an 80 acre body of water that can be seen from several of the final nine holes.

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