The Natural State, as it is so aptly nicknamed, has a wonderfully varied terrain from the mountains of the north to the dense forests of the Arkansas Timberland. The Mississippi also runs through the state and its location close to the Gulf of Mexico gives it a great climate. The culture of the state is very much centred around sport, and with John Daly being a graduate of the University of Arkansas it will always have a colourful golfing ambassador.
Not far from the state capital, Little Rock, and overlooking Lake Maumelle are the sumptuous rolling hills of Alotian Golf Club. This Tom Fazio-design is incredibly reminiscent of Augusta National, a course of which the owner is a member, with the high pine trees, undulating fairways and bright white sand bunkers. This is not the easiest course to get access too but it is a gem if you get the chance!
Robert Trent Jones Jr. is responsible for the fantastic course at Blessings Golf Club which, from the back tees, is one of the hardest courses, by rating, in the US. This course is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks golf team and with these top-class practice facilities they have no excuses. A stand-out hole is the par-3 tenth, a short hole with a green sitting perilously close to the lip of a quarry so you better control your spin on approach to this flag.
Hot Springs Village is an area in Arkansas with a glut of top quality golf courses. One of the best tracks here is Diamante Golf Course, a course that from the back tees plays into the hands of the big hitters out there. If you may not be as much of a power player don’t worry as this course has six sets of tees to ensure you can play a course you’ll enjoy. One of the highlights here is the view from the practice tee that looks out onto the Ouachita Mountains.
Another great proposition in Arkansas is the Country Club of Little Rock. This course began as a dream for Little Rock and in 1902 this became a reality when it opened. The course sits on a remote hilltop bluff and from this vantage point players get a great view of the town. This is a beautiful parkland course with bentgrass greens and unsurpassed off-course facilities in the clubhouse.