Monday, October 22, 2018

10 Amazing Golf Courses in Texas Hill Country

10 amazing golf courses in Texas Hill Country blog cover image
Known for its longhorns, cowboys, and massive state capitol, Texas has always been the epitome of the rough and tumble culture of the Wild West. But these days, golf, a more refined, focused sport, finds quite a suitable home in southeast Texas. Here, there are beautiful rolling hills, rushing rivers, and wildlife - a perfect panoramic place to golf. If you find yourself near the beautiful Texas Hill Country, make sure to check out these golf courses, which not only take advantage of the primal natural beauty of the area, they are also lauded for their challenging, thrilling, and memorable championship courses. Here are ten amazing golf courses in the Texas Hill Country.

green and water obstacle at dawn

Hill Country Golf Club: Par 72   6,940 Yards   132 Slope (Black)

Voted “Best Golf Course” by San Antonio Magazine, this 27-hole golf club is a part of the Hyatt Regency Resort in San Antonio and not only caters to every level of golfer, but they also have a dynamic commitment to the environment. Split into three 9-hole courses (The Oaks, The Creeks, and The Lakes), these courses also feature an express tee specifically tailored for families. Awarded again this year as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Hill Country Golf Club has committed to making sure their beautiful courses provide sanctuary to local wildlife and even recently renovated their bunkers to better suit a more natural feel and improve playability.

rolling hills, trees, and water obstacle

Vaaler Creek Golf Club: Par 72   6,864 Yards   140 Slope (Gold)

Located in Blanco, Vaaler Creek Golf Club, Texas Hill Country’s newest golf community, features an 18-hole championship golf course, a sizable driving range, and a lush putting green, outfitted with bunkers. With a 5,500 square foot deck adjacent to a junior Olympic-size pool, a Grill, and a preexisting ranch-turned-clubhouse, this course is designed to help you relax and really urges you to enjoy the course as well as the panoramic landscape. Though it’s relatively new, Vaaler Creek has already won numerous awards, including “#1 Golf Course in The Texas Hill Country” by Golf Now.

clubhouse overlooking sand traps, green, and water obstacle

La Cantera Golf Club: Par 72/71   7,021/6,926 Yards   134/134 Slope (Black)

Located in San Antonio, La Cantera Golf Club features 36 holes total, divided among the Resort Course, designed for every level of golfer, and the Palmer Course, a championship course designed by none other than golf legend, Arnold Palmer. Besides being rated one of the top ten courses by state by both GolfWeek and Golf Magazine in 2017, the Palmer course features waterfalls, a majestic lake, and a scenic landscape that makes play both challenging and breathtaking.

trees and water at Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course

Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course: Par 71   6,686 Yards   127 Slope (Black)

This newly renovated course in Fredericksburg has been improved to provide peak performance and playability to Hill Country golfers. Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course features 18 holes that are dotted with bunkers and rolling terrain designed to thrill and challenge golfers of every level. Their commitment to the course shows as they’ve quickly started to become one of Texas’ favorite municipal golf courses.

The Golf Club of Texas: Par 72   7,137 Yards   130 Slope (Black)

This awe-inspiring, private San Antonio golf course underwent over 6 million dollars in renovations three years ago and now prides itself on exclusive, selected Zoysia grasses to give you a one-of-a-kind golfing experience. Along with a scenic 18-hole golf course, The Golf Club of Texas also features exclusive venues for weddings and a top-quality restaurant, all for an affordable membership fee.

large sand traps and scattered clouds

Landa Park Golf Course: Par 71   6,205 Yards   136 Slope (Black)

Landa Park Golf Course at Comal Springs is located at New Braunfels, conveniently between San Antonio and Austin. Recently renovated, this 18-hole course offers a serene golfing experience in a natural environment. With wildlife sometimes spotted on the green and sprawling hills, this golf course is perfect for a round or two or even to host a private event at their venue. Come here to relax or up your game with their PGA-rated professionals.

Delaware Springs: Par 72   6,891 Yards   127 Slope (Black)

In Burnet, cradled within acres of trees and rolling hills, Delaware Springs is a scenic natural getaway that helps you focus on your golf game. Strategic water hazards and sand traps in this 18-hole championship course are all designed to challenge players of every level. There is top notch quality all over this course. From professional lessons to championship grass greens, to delicious meals at their restaurant, Delaware Springs is easily a favorite among Hill Country golfers.

Silverhorn Golf Club: Par 72   6,922 Yards   129 Slope (Gold)

Considered one of San Antonio’s most treasured golf courses, Silverhorn’s beautifully contoured greens, tree-lined fairways, and strategically placed sand and water, make this a majestic, upscale 18-hole course to play. Keeping in line with its upscale image, Silverhorn regularly accommodates weddings and private events at its pavilion and venues. It’s been rated among the “Top 25 Courses” in Texas by the Dallas Morning News.

The Club at Concan: Par 72   7,333 Yards   138 Slope (Black)

At Concan, near the Frio River, this 18-hole golf course is a scenic drive away from San Antonio. The Club at Concan is a thrilling golf getaway, with picturesque views and a quality, well-maintained championship course. The Club also features a “Stay ‘n Play” package, so you can turn a one-time getaway into a fulfilling weekend and enjoy the beautiful landscapes from a rented home in Concan.

Legacy Hills Golf Club: Par 72   7,088 Yards   131 Slope (Black)

Located in the city of Georgetown, Legacy Hills Golf Club takes advantage of the natural environment to create an 18-hole course that offers true balance with the environment. Look out over gorgeous views as you strategically place your shots from alternating elevations. Part of the “Top Ten New Courses” list, by Dallas Morning News, when it first opened, Legacy Hills was lauded for its playability and its active golf community.

Whether you want to spend the weekend at a quiet getaway or just an afternoon at an upscale course, Texas Hill Country has the course to fit your golfing needs. Since so many of these courses are near one another, take your time and find a favorite. Challenge yourself to play them all. Whatever you do, just make sure to take advantage of this time to knock a few strokes off your game and either relax or compete at one of these championship golf courses. Book a tee time today and enjoy the best game of golf you’ve ever played.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Eight Texas Hill County Wineries Worth Visiting

Being the second most visited wine region in the United States, Texas Hill Country AVA is second only to Napa and the region stretches across a distance of about 15,000 square miles. Texas Hill County is home to about 30 different wineries and it is difficult to decide which one of these wineries to choose from as they all have remarkable scenes and excellent wines. The following, however, are the best 8 of the wineries that are worth visiting:

gift shop at Torre di Pietra

Torre di Pietra

Owned and operated by the Maxwells over ten years, Torre di Pietra happens to be one of the warmest wineries in the region; it makes sure that its guests get a homey experience and also allows pets. Ken Maxwell, the owner of this winery, was taught by his grandfather and his great-grandfather. He currently partners with his son, Ben, and they both have succeeded in turning their grapes into great creations.

The top picks of this winery include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret (both Cabernet and the black Spanish blend)

It costs $15 to taste six wine samples and also obtain a souvenir wine glass.

Torre di Pietra hosts special dinner events all through the year whilst featuring live music on Saturdays.

Becker Vineyards farmhouse exteroir

Becker Vineyards

Becker Vineyards was established in 1992, making it one of the oldest wine vineyards in Texas Hill County and it is the third largest wine vineyard in Texas. Stretching across 46 acres, the Vineyard is filled with lavender fields and a late 19th-century reproduction German stone barn that houses the tasting room amongst other things. Now a 100,000 case-per-year winery, Becker Vineyards has received several awards for its wines.

The wines are produced purely from Texas fruit and are labeled Texas symbols such as the "Rawhide" of the Malbec label. 

The top picks of this winery include: Reserve Malbec and Viognier. 

It costs $20 to taste six wine samples and also obtain a souvenir wine glass.

main entrance of Messina Hof Hill Country Winery

Messina Hof Hill Country Winery

Another one of the multiple-award-winning wineries of the southwest. Messina Hof stretches across 1,050 acres, with the one in Hill country sitting across 10 acres. Messina Hof also makes its wine from 28 vineyards, producing 85 wines from 27 varieties. There are more than 50 options available in this winery and they are all mind-blowing. It is family owned and operated.

The first vintage wine was produced by Paul Bonarrigo and his wife, Merrill in 1983. 

The top picks of this winery include: Gerwurtztraminer, Primitivo (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, Pinot Noir), Rose of Sharon, 2014 Tempranillo Private Reserve.

It costs $10 to taste five wine samples.

pouring Hilmy Cellars wine into a flute in front of the vineyard

Hilmy Cellars

With the team including guinea fowls, Great Pyrenees, sheep and other animals whose jobs range from keeping the insects down and protecting the vines from deer. All part of the plan of the owners; Erik and Neldie Hilmy to do what is best for the land in order to produce the best wine. This biodynamic approach employed has certain effects on the grapes grown on the vineyard and the wines they produce. 

The top picks of this winery include: Erik Hilmy a.k.a. Viognier and Hilmy Cellars Sangiovese. 

It costs $20 to taste six wine samples.

patio seating looking out to the grounds at Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars sits atop 145 acres of land in Hill County. Its presence on the highway provides commuters with great views. The presentation at this winery is a formal one and it includes the overview of the wines during tastings. 

Pedernales Cellars was established in the 1990's by a Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken when they planted a vineyard near Fredericksburg. 

Their wines are 100 percent Texan. They offer two options for tasting depending on whether it is general wines or reserve wines you are interested in tasting. 

The reserve wines tasting are made available exclusively for the wine club members. 

The winery is popular today for its Spanish and Rhone-style wines.

It hosts special events like cooking demonstrations which feature live music on Saturdays. This happens all throughout the year.

The top picks of the winery include: Tempranillo Reserve and GSM (a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre)

They charge $15 for wine tasting and a souvenir glass. 

Reserve Room and barrel tastings are also available.

Grape Creek Vineyards

The Vineyards opened their doors in the mid-1980's, making them one of the first vineyards to be opened in Fredericksburg. The first two things that welcome you on your arrival to the vineyard are the bell tower and the banner that tells you of your arrival at "Tuscany in Texas." The Tuscan-style villa overlooking the Vineyards is the site where you can try the 14 varieties and blends that the winery offers.

The current owners of the winery, Brian and Jennifer Heath acquired and expanded the winery in 2006 and it is owned and operated by their family. 

On the weekends, there is live music that can be enjoyed on the patio with a glass of wine. 

The top picks of the winery include: Viognier, Bellissimo (Super Tuscan) 

It costs $18 for six samples and a souvenir wine glass. They charge $35 for a cellar tour and barrel tasting.

William Chris Vineyards

This vineyard is a super premium, boutique winery that is family owned and also deals in 100 percent Texan wines.

The owners of this vineyard, Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett are winemakers that grew grapes and also produced wines for other companies till the time they broke out and started their own Vineyards in 2008, naming it William Chris Vineyards. The tasting room of this vineyard used to be in a small barn but it has since been upgraded. The new tasting room offers you an amazing view that overlooks the outside seating area and vineyard. 

The top picks of the winery include:  2014 Cinsault Rose, 2013 Skeleton Key, and 2013 Artist Blend.

Woodrose Winery

The first vines of this Winery were planted in 1999, about 13 miles east of Fredericksburg. Winemaker and Owner Mike Guilette took charge of the winery in 2005 and since then, has groomed the grapes steadily, expanding the production. 

The guests of this winery sit at tables and make their selections from one of four menus that include sweet wines, whites, reds or a mix of red and white varieties and blends which is also known as Mike's flight.

The top picks of the winery include: Seven (Cabernet and Zinfandel) and Zinfandel. 

It costs $10 to taste and an extra $2 for the souvenir glass.

The wineries in Texas Hill Country own being Texan with their live music and Texas hospitality as well as their heavy reliance on the grapes that grow well in the Mediterranean. These wineries are regarded as some of the best wineries in the region with their exquisite and delicious tastes.