Plus: RE­SORT RE­PORT: SAN AN­TO­NIO’S TAPATIO SPRINGS

HILL COUN­TRY RE­SORT BO­ERNE TEXAS

Golf Vacations - - Front Page - by James McAfee

Ican re­mem­ber when the Texas State Open was played at Tapatio Springs in Bo­erne 30+ years ago when it was the first des­ti­na­tion re­sort in the San An­to­nio area and one of the top 10 golf re­sorts in the state. How­ever, on a visit five years ago, I found the course had re­ally gone down­hill and didn’t even have grass on the greens. Floods in May of 2015 also caused some dam­age. The good news is that the re­sort course at Tapatio Springs Hill County Re­sort and Spa has un­der­gone a $2 mil­lion restora­tion by Tripp Davis and As­so­ci­ates that has turned an out­dated land­scape of tired holes into a “must play” golf ex­pe­ri­ence again. “There was a time in the late 1980s and 1990s when the Tapatio Springs Re­sort Course was re­garded as one of the best in the state, if not the re­gion,” Davis stated. “The golf course is sim­ply beau­ti­ful with great rolling ter­rain, huge old live oaks and stun­ning vis­tas. Our fo­cus has been sim­ple; to re­gain the best of its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter and add cer­tain unique en­hance­ments for to­day’s playing styles and the re­sort’s many guests and mem­bers. I’m ex­tremely proud of the work we’ve done.” “At­trac­tive bunker­ing is one of the key in­gre­di­ents in defin­ing the vis­ual char­ac­ter of a golf course; the greater the vis­ual and strate­gic char­ac­ter, the greater the ex­pe­ri­ence,” of­fered Davis. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bunker and tee project have as big an im­pact on the vis­ual and strate­gic in­ter­est of a golf course as what’s been achieved here. The new bunker de­signs in­cor­po­rate turf faces and flat­ter bot­toms, which to­gether pro­vide a less sever ob­sta­cle than years past. The re­sult is stun­ning, in­clud­ing less pe­nal­iza­tion for the high hand­i­cap golfers.” My cousin El­don Tarver, a mem­ber of a Texas Golf As­so­ci­a­tion course rat­ing team, and I both liked the new and art­ful bunker de­signs. At least un­til El­don’s drive on No. 10 ended up near the lip and a 9 spoiled an­other ef­fort for the then 74-year-old to shoot his age. It’s a player-friendly course that is short by to­day’s stan­dards at only 6, 504 yards from the back tees. Re­sort guests can en­joy it from 6,114 yards, se­niors at 5,843 and women from 5,185. Mem­bers play a mix of gold and white tees at 5,843. Long hit­ters will have op­por­tu­ni­ties for putts at ea­gles as three of the par 5s are reach­able in two at un­der 500 yards. As part of the ren­o­va­tion, many of the tees were re­lo­cated to pro­vide bet­ter sight­lines, the fair­ways were re-graded to im­prove the playing sur­faces and drainage, three of the greens were resur­faced and a new putting green added. Matt Reams, the di­rec­tor of golf, be­lieves Davis did a great job of restor­ing the playing con­di­tions for golfers of all skill lev­els. “Based on our guest

feed­back, we’re well on our way to re­gain­ing our proud po­si­tion as one of the top 10 golf cour­ses in Texas,” he said. “We now have a solid stand of good turf and guests con­tinue to say they’ve never seen it in as good of shape as it is now. When my wife and I vis­ited, we also got to see a new $1 mil­lion swim­ming pool and re­ally en­joyed our min-suite and the fine din­ing op­tions. Since our visit, golfers are now able to get an even bet­ter prac­tice ex­pe­ri­ence as the range was length­ened, a teach­ing tee added at the other end and new tar­get greens added. The 19th hole also has been up­graded. Davis def­i­nitely brought the course back to life and the new man­age­ment team has made great strides with other im­prove­ments. So if you haven’t vis­ited in a long time, it’s time to re­turn For more visit: www.tap­a­tiore­sort.com

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