An ultimate North American Golf Getaway

It doesn’t matter much where you start this Texas Hill Country adventure, San Antonio or Austin, Horseshoe Bay Resort, between the two and about an hour away should be center point.  100 million reasons why?  No, but how about a $100 million renovation, completed in late 2020 and nothing was left untouched.

This did not go un noticed by the golf world, as early as the fall of 2019 Horseshoe Bay Resort was recognized as a “Top 100 Resort in North America” by GOLF Magazine.

Horseshoe Bay on Lake LBJ

Robert Trent Jones Sr., and Jack Nicklaus have left their marks on the 4 courses at Horseshoe Bay.  Three of the courses are considered the resort courses, all Robert Trent Jones Sr. designs Apple Rock, Ram Rock and Slip Rock.  Anyone who knows the work of RTJ Sr., know that they are hardly resort course in style.  The other Summit Rock is the is a Member Only Nicklaus design offering up some of the most stunning scenery in Texas. Nicklaus routed holes along a high ridge, a setting that showcases panoramic views stretch for more than 40 miles over the Texas Hill Country and Lake LBJ. Resort guests can have limited access to Summit Rock during certain times.  Looking for a 2nd home?  Plenty of options for that consideration too!  After all, if Texas is good enough for Elon, maybe you too!

I swear that if old Uncle Jed (of Beverly Hillbillies fame, for those of you to young to remember) where a golfer when he struck gold, “Texas Tea” in them there hills he would have never left for Cal-i-forni-i-a.

Horseshoe Bay Resort is one of the largest golf resorts in the USA, situated on the gleaming shores of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) and meandering through a rugged 7,000-acre expanse of rolling Hill Country.  The only waterfront resort in Texas, tropically adorned with palm trees, bold water features and the most colorful vegetation this side of Hawaii, this resort stands apart, both visually and in the guest experience. The golfing experience matches that uniqueness.

“People know desert golf, mountain golf, links golf and parkland golf, but if you’ve never experienced golf in the rocky, panoramic Texas Hill Country, your bucket list has another line to check,” says Bryan Woodward, Managing Director of Horseshoe Bay Resort, “The restoration of our three championship Robert Trent Jones Sr. courses has elevated the quality of our golf to create one of the most memorable golf destinations in the country,”

Horseshoe Bay Resort was home to three very distinct courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The Ram Rock course, constructed in 1981, has made its reputation as one of the toughest courses in Texas. Slick Rock, the first golf course built (in 1971), features a pleasing parkland setting and quintessential elements of Jones’ renowned architectural sensibility. Wall-to-wall renovations on all three RTJ courses have enhanced playability and fun from the forward and middle tees while maintaining each layout’s legendary challenge for scratch players.  The final course and renovation project, Apple Rock, re-opened in June 2019, having undergone many of the same renovations as its sister courses. The course offers some of the most picturesque views in the region. Jones Sr. strategically routed holes to take advantage of the many higher elevation points that overlook Horseshoe Bay and Lake LBJ.

Punctuating the re-opening of the Ram Rock and Apple Rock courses was the unveiling of the new Cap Rock Clubhouse. Members and guests of Horseshoe Bay Resort will enjoy the new Cap Rock setting with its expansive views of the courses and Texas Hill Country. It will feature a dining room and bar area along with a pro-shop, swimming pool, cabana, pavilion area for groups, and a practice/teaching facility.

How would I plan this trip?  Exactly the same way I did it last time.  From Toronto, we flew into Austin, stayed at the Omni Barton Creek Resort, 10-20 minutes from the airport depending on traffic.

Omni Barton Creek

Omni Barton Creek is a first-class resort in the rolling Texas Hill Country, which also underwent an extensive multimillion dollar renovation.   Four courses await at Barton Creek, two playing out of the main resort, Fazio Foothills and the Coore Crenshaw. The Fazio Canyon’s course is about two miles away and the Palmer Lakeside course, sits hilltop overlooking Lake Travis, is about 45 minutes away.  Omni Barton Creek

You will want to make sure that you make it into Austin for at least one evening.  Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, you would be remiss if you didn’t make it to Sixth Street with its colorful and bustling array of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, it’s a sure bet for experiencing local characters and the vibrancy of the city.  Austin, TX Things to Do

On the back end, after leaving Horseshoe Bay, I would be San Antonio bound.  There is no doubt as to where you would want to play, TPC San Antonio, a private resort only accessible to guests of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa and TPC Members. JW Marriott San Antonio

TPC San Antonio, features two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two of the world’s most talented and respected golf course architects: Pete Dye and Greg Norman. Both courses have played host to PGA TOUR events with The Oaks course serving as the Host of the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open since 2010.

AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio

Not to be missed in San Antonio is the world-renowned River Walk, a 15-mile urban waterway.  You can stroll the sub terrain ecosystem or you can hop aboard a river barge for a guided tour.  The River Walk is adorned with bars, restaurants, shopping and sightseeing!  Something for everyone to explore – what’s old, what’s new!  And then there is The Alamo, a cultural icon where tragically all 180 American soldiers lost their lives.  “Remember the Alamo” The battle cry in the Texans struggle for independence from Mexico will live on forever, immortalized in song and a young lad named Davey Crockett.  The Alamo Plaza is just a short walk from the Riverwalk.

For more information on the fine city of San Antonio

Depart from either San Antonio International Airport or if more convenient from Austin it is only an hour or so away.

If you are like me and can’t wait until the next time I can say “Let’s Texas” With it mild climate, over 800 courses strewn across rugged desert mountains, lush piney woods, hill country elevation changes, and seaside links……… Travel Texas Vacations