Readers opt for mix of old, new in vote.
It seems no one is going to knock Cooper's Hawk from its roost.
For the fourth consecutive year Executive Golfer readers have selected the 7,011-yard course in Melbmourne as their favorite public or semi-private course in Arkansas.Cooper's Hawk was the clear winner, with 4,643 votes, while runner-up Big Creek, located in Mountain Home, claimed 977 votes to move up from its No. 7 finish last year.
But wltat's not to like at Cooper's Hawk?
Look no further than No. 17, the "Barn Hole" with the cart path running through a wooden barn, to get an idea of how picturesque the course is Course designer Bobby McCee gives Cooper's Hawk its pedigree, with a challenging, 18-hole layout replete with traps and water hazards.
Zoysia fairways and bent grass greens, a large practice green and range, pro shop and full service restaurant help complete Cooper's Hawk's lineup of amenities.
Big Creek, which has earned multiple, Golf Digest Five-Star rankings, offers fives sets of tee boxes ranging from 5,068 to 7,320 yards and large greens to alternately provide challenges and fun for golfers of all skill levels.
Tannenbaum, at Fairfield Bay's Mountain Ranch Golf Club, breaks into the top 10 this year at No. 3 and also has Golf Digest credentials. With its tree-lined holes and sharp elevation changes from tees to greens, it was selected by the magazine as one of Arkansas' best places to play.
Hot Springs Village, whose courses took six spots in last year's top 10, has a representation again this year, with its Diamante course coming in at No. 4. Greystone (Mountain Springs), located in Cabot. moves up from No. 6 to No. 5 in this year's poll and the Course at River Oaks, in Searcy, jumps from No. 10 to No. 6.
The Arlington course at Hot Springs Country Club cracks into the top 10 this year at No. 7, followed by Fairfield Bay's Mountain Ranch (No 8), Greystone (Cypress Creek) (No 9) and The course at Eagle Mountain, in Batesville, at No. 10. None of the final four appeared in the top 10 last year.
The Arlington Course is 36 holes--renovated to their original, classic look by fomier Master's champion Ben Crenshaw--of rolling hills and steep and narrow fairways. Mountain Ranch, selected the No. 4 best valued course by GolfLink and the No. 2 best public course in the state by Golf Magazine, features a 395-yard, par-4 uphill on No. 15 that is considered one of the toughest holes in the state.
Designed by Kevin Tucker. Cypress Creek offers a par-72, 18-hole course offering golfers both scenery and challenges. Opened in 2004, the Course at Eagle Mountain was designed by John C Floyd and is a 7,009-yard, par-72
BY TODD TRAUB
Caption: BIG CREEK
TOP TEN PUBLIC/SEMI-PRIVATE COURSES 1 Cooper's Hawk GoIf Course 4643 2 Big Creek 977 3 Tannenbaum 329 4 Diamante of Hot Springs Village 325 5 Greystone IMountain Spings) 298 6 Course At River Oaks, The 297 7 Hot Springs Country Club (Arlington) 267 8 Mountain Ranch 253 9 Greystone (Cypress Creek) 236 10 Course at Eagle Mountain, The 190