Texan Golf – 3 o’ The Best
By: Colin Knight, Guest Contributor*
Forgive me if I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’m an Englishman and I’ve only ever been to the States a few times. Twice I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Texas, and both times I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in a game (or ten) of golf. I’d heard that everything is bigger in Texas, but I didn’t think it applied to everything. Endless, rolling horizons are punctuated by the skies which appear overwhelming and embracing simultaneously. As outdoor sports are a perfect fit for this atmosphere, it should come as no surprise that Texas plays host to some of the best golf courses that the country has to offer. So, it proves beneficial to take a quick look at three of the top lesser-known courses and some of the features that set them apart from the rest.
Whispering Pines Golf Club
This club may very well be one of the best-kept secrets in all of Texas. Open for 15 weeks in both the spring and the fall seasons, this course sits in the midst of no less than 450 acres of pinewood forest. In fact, in the year 2000 The Whispering Pines Golf Club was ranked as the third best private club in the country by Golf Digest. This has much to do with the excellent and challenging conditions presented, as in the 463 yard Par 4 13th hole. This is a small example of the sheer size of this course. Let us also not forget that this course offers a choice of private cottages with all amenities included, thus enabling the golfing enthusiast to enjoy an early start to those crisp spring days that Texas is so well-known for.
Fazio Foothills, Barton Creek
This course was ranked number one out of all of Texas for offering the most beautiful 18 hole landscaping. There are a few notable features that make this verdant green course stand out. Fazio Foothills offers those who wish to golf in style fabulous cliff-lined fairways and long drive shots which are complimented by rolling aprons and perfectly placed bunkers. While aesthetic beauty is important, this course also provides challenges for those wishing to better their drives. For example, the 18th hole is rated as Par 5 with a withering 10 handicap.
Although many may have not heard of this gem, the esteemed course designers Niklaus Design professionally crafted this amazing course. One of their lesser known works, Cordillera Ranch Blends challenging fairways with environmental beauty; qualifying it as one of the most visually pleasing courses in Texas. In fact, with its perfectly shaped bunkers and built-in waterfalls, the 16th hole is rated as the most beautiful Par 3 in the state. Notwithstanding the wonderful amenities that the course itself provides, the “Men’s Grill” which is located at the nearby Cordillera Social club can give golfers a true taste of Texas cuisine. No meal is too big and no service is too small; providing a relaxing atmosphere after a long day on the greens.
These are but three examples of some of the lesser-known yet undeniably exquisite golf courses in Texas. With rolling fairways and professionally-designed landscaping, these courses can truly be called a golfer’s paradise.
*Author: Colin Knight is a caretaker and player at Belmont Lodge, a golf course appearing little more than minute in comparison to the Texan giants. When Colin isn’t manicuring the greens to the millilitre, he can be seen fishing his ball from the rough, sand, lake or anywhere else he didn’t intend it to be!