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Readers take flight: Cooper's hawk tops pubic course poll.

This year's Internet poll of readers has put a new, daily-fee course on top of the rankings of Arkansas' best public golf courses.

Cooper's Hawk Golf Club, with a Bobby McGee designed course in Melbourne that opened in 1998, edged out the nationally celebrated Big Creek Golf and Country Club in Mountain Home as the state's leading public course.

Big Creek has been a favorite in Golf Digest's readers poll of national courses as well, earning a 4 1/2-star rating in the most recent ranking. It was also Executive Golfer's best-rated public course in Arkansas the past two years.

More than 600 votes were cast, with Cooper's Hawk pulling in 216 first-place votes and Big Creek second with 181.

Cooper's Hawk is situated on Highway 69 in the rolling countryside of the Ozark Mountains in Stone County. The course, with Zoysia fairways and bent grass greens, plays at 7,011 yards from the "tips." The facility also features the Hawk's Nest restaurant, with a broad menu and a full bar and grill.

Golfers will also find a large bent grass practice green, Zoysia-sodded practice range and a fully stocked pro shop.

DeGray State Park Golf Course, which has undergone some renovation in recent years, rose to third in the public course list for 2012 Fairfield Bay's Mountain Ranch, a favorite of state golfers for three decades, was fourth.

The rest of the top 10 was: Course at River Oaks, Searcy; Red Apple Inn & Golf Course (Heber Springs); Stonebridge Meadows, Fayetteville; Hot Springs Country Club Arlington Course (accessible publicly); Rebsamen Park Golf Course in Little Rock and Tannenbaum Golf Course in Drasco, near Heber Springs.

The next 15 were: Country Club of Arkansas, Maumelle; Glenwood Country Club; Hot Springs Country Club Park Course; Harbor Oaks Golf Course, Pine Bluff; Sage Meadows Golf Course, Paragould; Eagle Crest Golf Course, Alma; Belvedere Country Club, Hot Springs; First Tee of Little Rock; War Memorial Park, Little Rock; Stonelinks, North Little Rock, Big Sugar, Pea Ridge; The Course at Eagle Mountain, Batesville; Hindman Park, Little Rock, Burns Park Golf Course (Championship), North Little Rock and Prairie Creek, Rogers.

TOP TEN PUBLIC COURSES

Cooper's Hawk, Melbourne

Big Creek, Mountain Home.

DeGray State Park, Bismarck

Mountain Ranch, Fairfield Bay

Course at River Oaks, Searcy

Red Apple Inn and Country Club, Eden Isle/Heber Springs

Stonebridge Meadows, Fayetteville

Arlington Course, Hot Springs

Rebsamen Park, Little Rock

Tannenbaum, Drasco

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Author:Harris, Jim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Apr 16, 2012
Words:401
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