Boot Ranch Golf Course in Fred­er­icks­burg, Texas

King of Hill Coun­try Golf in Fred­er­icks­burg, Texas

Golf Vacations - - News - by Tim Cotro­neo

You feel a sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion build­ing as you take the 78-mile trek from Austin/ Bergstrom In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Boot Ranch Golf Course in Fred­er­icks­burg, TX. The land­marks are plen­ti­ful as you pass Pres­i­dent John­son’s home­town, the song in­spi­ra­tion for Way­lon, Wil­lie, and the Boys, and no fewer than 16 winer­ies. Your GPS reads five miles to Boot Ranch Cir­cle, and you can’t help but think, “What’s next?”

You feel a sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion build­ing as you take the 78-mile trek from Austin/ Bergstrom In­ter­na­tional Air­port to Boot Ranch Golf Course in Fred­er­icks­burg, TX. The land­marks are plen­ti­ful as you pass Pres­i­dent John­son’s home­town, the song in­spi­ra­tion for Way­lon, Wil­lie, and the Boys, and no fewer than 16 winer­ies. Your GPS reads five miles to Boot Ranch Cir­cle, and you can’t help but think, “What’s next?” The an­swer comes fast as you turn right and head north on Hwy 965 to­ward Boot Ranch. The el­e­va­tions be­gin to soar, the to­pog­ra­phy be­comes horse, steer, and goat friendly, and you ex­pect the car stereo to belt out the theme from Bo­nanza as you keep an eye out for Clint East­wood gal­lop­ing up from the next ravine. Upon turn­ing left at the Boot Ranch sign there’s an­other shift in what you’re see­ing, breath­ing, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. The sur­round­ings are now lux­u­ri­ous, the air is fresh, and you’re just a club­house greet­ing away from en­coun­ter­ing PGA Pro­fes­sional Hal Sut­ton’s dream golf des­ti­na­tion.

In­vest­ing in Hill Coun­try Golf

Ev­ery­thing you ab­sorbed on your way to Boot Ranch played a part in Sut­ton’s Hill Coun­try epiphany. Af­ter more than two decades on the PGA Tour, you’d think Sut­ton had seen it all. The truth is, Sut­ton was so en­thralled with the raw beauty of these cen­tral Texas sur­round­ings he made it his life’s work to cre­ate a multi-gen­er­a­tional oa­sis that is the Boot Ranch Golf Com­mu­nity. In the decade plus since Boot Ranch opened, there has been con­tin­ual in­vest­ment in the real es­tate, the hous­ing, the Club­house Vil­lage, the ameni­ties, and es­pe­cially the golf. Dur­ing the past two years the Terra Verde Group in­vested $6 million into ren­o­vat­ing the bunkers, the rough, the greens, and a 1-acre Putting Park that is the largest of its kind in Texas. Boot Ranch is a Texas-sized prop­erty and this larger than life theme rings true in the op­u­lent club­house, pro shop, mas­sive prac­tice fa­cil­ity, and “how can we help you” service, service, service. Re­gard­less of what you shoot on this chal­leng­ing 7,100-yard lay­out, the Boot Ranch team, as well as the mem­ber­ship, will treat guests with a kind­ness that is warmer than the first bowl of chili on a Fri­day night. Wine and Golf Par­adise Boot Ranch is more than epic el­e­va­tions, wind cal­cu­la­tions, and un­du­lat­ing greens. Sut­ton made his course one in which there is a pre­mium placed on course man­age­ment over grip­ping and rip­ping. Each Par 5 allows for risk re­ward on the se­cond shot. Sut­ton didn’t want his Par 5s to fol­low a bombs-away men­tal­ity when there could be div­i­dends reaped from po­si­tion­ing each shot. Bring­ing a pullover for your golf trip is part of the Hill Coun­try ap­peal. Res­i­dents from Hous­ton and Dal­las have long-fa­vored Fred­er­icks­burg as a va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion due to the area’s cooler temps. This breath of fresh air, along with the plethora of vine­yards po­si­tioned just a stone’s throw from Boot Ranch, had Sut­ton call­ing his mas­ter­piece the “Aspen of Texas.” Wine en­thu­si­asts will thrill to ex­pe­ri­ence Boot Ranch as a golf

and wine dou­ble your plea­sure get­away. The area’s rocky ter­rain, tem­per­ate cli­mate, and acid­ity helps make Texas the fourth largest wine pro­duc­ing state in the na­tion. The beauty of stay­ing and play­ing at Boot Ranch is that the Fred­er­icks­burg vine­yards are all within a 30-minute drive from the prop­erty’s en­trance.

House on the Hill

When Sut­ton de­signed Boot Ranch, the golf course came first, and then the hous­ing. This golf first men­tal­ity is def­i­nitely ap­pre­ci­ated when you’re out on the links. What’s spec­tac­u­lar about Sut­ton’s phi­los­o­phy is that be­cause many of Boot Ranch’s mega homes are perched a fair dis­tance from the course’s perime­ter and set on ex­treme el­e­va­tions, their tow­er­ing rooftops ap­pear to nearly scrape the clouds. In fact, the ap­peal of Boot Ranch home own­er­ship goes well be­yond Tex­ans seek­ing re­lief from the sum­mer heat. Current home own­er­ship in­cludes mem­bers who have re­lo­cated from Louisiana, Ok­la­homa, Colorado, Florida, New York, Illi­nois, and Van­cou­ver. The tri­fecta of pri­vacy, ex­clu­siv­ity, and lux­ury liv­ing amidst small-town friend­li­ness has Boot Ranch ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bur­geon­ing real es­tate mar­ket. On the sprawl­ing land­scape that is Boot Ranch, new home own­ers choose from lots rang­ing from one-half acre to 14 acres. If your tee shots tend to avoid wide open spa­ces, the good news is there’s al­ways plenty of el­bow room for those who re­tire to a Boot Ranch Sun­day House, Over­look Cabin, Vil­lage Home, or Cus­tom Home­stead.

Fall­ing for Boot Ranch

Amidst all the golf holes that could be claimed sig­na­ture, the Par 4, 10th hole is so artis­tic that Sut­ton calls it “the Mona Lisa.” Drive over a ravine, avoid the Palo Alto creek, and then hit your se­cond shot just long enough to avoid twin water­falls be­hind the slop­ing green. If your golf ball avoided the wa­ter on 10, you are re­warded with a com­fort sta­tion that in­cludes food, your fa­vorite bev­er­age, and a hand­ful of Adiron­dack chairs to recharge while see­ing how the next group tack­les Mona Lisa. The Par 5, 18th hole is one of the lone re­prieves at Boot Ranch. At 473-yards this fin­ish­ing hole is reach­able in two. Be­fore you get too ex­cited, re­al­ize that de­pend­ing on the pin place­ment, your putt can be up to 100 feet in length. Once you’ve fin­ished your round there is one last Boot Ranch sur­prise. With a lit­tle luck one of the mem­bers will show you how to nav­i­gate 18 holes in a Texas-style fash­ion. Many of the mem­bers have tapped the ser­vices of renowned Texas boot­maker M.L. Leddy for de­sign­ing cus­tom-made cow­boy boots with golf spikes. Be­fore you can say, “What’s next,” you’re handed a Texas brewed Shiner Bock beer and a hearty “thanks” for spend­ing a day with Way­lon, Wil­lie, and the Boot Ranch fam­ily.

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