The Texas Golf Bible Review
By Jason Stone
Whether you need a place to play your Sunday round or if you are planning a major golf pilgrimage, The Texas Golf Bible helps you make the most of your golf experience in Texas. Writer Jason Stone's love for the game of golf shines through every one of the book's well researched 801 pages.
Stone explains in the book's introduction that the Texas Golf Bible is designed to be used often, kept in the glove compartment of the car, or in the golf bag. The author wishes that reader's copies will soon become dog-eared and dirty from use. Every attempt has been made to make the book useful. Because now all these interesting golf courses have been collected under one cover, it is easy to make enjoyable day trips around the state to take advantage of the state's 900+ courses.
Until now, visiting a golf course, particularly in a new city could be a hit or miss situation. Stone details every golf course with golf notes, prices, very useful driving directions, and related information like restaurants and accomodations.
There are details on municipal golf courses, and private ones. He covers country clubs and resorts from cities as central as Austin or as remote as the West Texas hamlet of Alpine. Golf course desiger Roy Bechtol writes in the book, "There are so many great courses in the Lone Star state - including some we didn't design. The Texas Golf Bible is your bet for tracking then down and teeing it up."
A good example of a typical entry is the book's entry on the Squaw Valley Golf Course in Glen Rose, Texas. Stone opens with a introductory paragraph explaining the town's charms, and how to drive to it. Afterwards is a complete entry on the golf available at Squaw Valley. The course opened in 1992, designed by Jeff Brauer. No. 9 is the best hole on the front because "of its split fairway. Macho men can go over the green by aiming over the lake...." He details other noteable areas, as well as the newer Apache Links course. He summarizes Commanche Lakes as -
18 holes. Par 72. Back - 6,731 (71.9/125). Middle - 6,284 (69.6/119). Forward - 5,014 (70.0/113).
He also lists the price of using the course, plus personal food and lodging recommendations. (For food, the options in Glen Rose are impressive.
Stone even makes it point to anticipate anything that might relate to the golf experience for the book. It's helpful to know that the new course outside of Waco, Bear Ridge Golf Club, doesn't sell cold beer. The book includes that warning and mentions the HEB grocery store nearby that can accomodate.
The book includes interesting sections on a history of golf in Texas. There are numerous interesting photos, like golf pro Jackie Birke plaing Houston's Memorial Park golf course in 1960. There are further explorations on subjects like Hunting, Fishing & Golf and Romance & Golf.
Stone makes it a point not to rank the courses in the book. Nor does he muddy it up, as he explains, "we were determined not to regurgitate volumes of generic golfspeak regarding hole after hole after hole. Our focus is giving you a feel for the course."
The result is a highly useful field guide that any golfer can immediately sink his teeth into.
The golf: The self-proclained "Golf Capital of Texas" is not only the premier golf destination in the state, but one of the most outstanding golf destinations in the world, Four championship golf courses grace the property of this four-star resort that is located just 20 minutes west of downtown Austin.
Palmer Lakeside Course
The former Hidden Hills Country Club opened in 1986m but was taken over by Barton Creek in 1989 abd actually resides 25 miles west of the resort itself. The Arnold Palner-designed course overlooks Lake Travis, with plenty of panoramic views of the lake and surrounding countryside.
While Palmer's design is surprisingly flat considering the terrain, No. 1 is an anomoly as it drops over 70 feet down to a tree-lined fairway, The remainder of the front is dominated by holes that require forces carries, including holes 2-4 that all force shots over water hazards. No. 3 plays 162 yards over water, and No. 4 doglegs downhill over water off the tee. Hole 6 is 565 yards, but No. 7 is the toughest hole, playinf 403 yardsm doglegging right into a canyon off the tee, and forcing a lay-up. The longish approach must carry the canyon to a green surrounded by trees.
The forced carries continue on the back, highlighted by the popular 201-yard No. 11, considered one of the most beautiful holes in Texas with its scenic tree shot over a pond and creek-lined fairway. The view on No. 14 is nice as well, and you'll have the added bonus of being able to choose which green to hit into (the one on the right is shorter but the target is smaller).
The 17th is the last of the Palmer's five par 3s, and carries 163 yards over water. The 18th is interesting because of the blind approach shot.
For excusions to Barton Creek, don't forget about Lakeside. If you've been tortured by being holed up at the resort for a few days, it's worthwhile to make the road trip into Spicewood for the day.
The book also includes similar information on the Crenshaw Cliffside Course, Fazio Foothiills Course, and Fazio Canyons Course.
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