Re­sort Re­port: Omni Bar­ton Creek Re­sort

Golf Vacations - - News - by David R. Hol­land

Just imag­ine how the land west of Austin looked 150 years ago. Spring-fed Bar­ton Creek served as a rest stop on a dusty trail for set­tlers, ranch­ers and cat­tle head­ing to the rail­head in Austin from 1866 to 1886 from western coun­ties.

Just imag­ine how the land west of Austin looked 150 years ago. Spring-fed Bar­ton Creek served as a rest stop on a dusty trail for set­tlers, ranch­ers and cat­tle head­ing to the rail­head in Austin from 1866 to 1886 from western coun­ties. The wa­ter was cool and thirsty longhorns stopped to re­fuel and rest un­der live oaks, madrone, red­bud, elm, cedar, pecan, cot­ton­wood, and hack­berry trees and lay on grasses of wild grama and bluestem. To­day that land­scape in­cludes lime­stone cliffs, thick fo­liage and the beau­ti­ful creek that snakes through and recharges the Ed­wards Aquifer. And from this Texas Hill Coun­try beauty sprang Omni Bar­ton Creek Re­sort & Spa -- a golf get­away in the Lone Star state that boasts four rocky, rugged out­stand­ing golf cour­ses you won’t for­get.

Be­gin­ning of an ac­claimed golf re­sort Omni Bar­ton Creek Re­sort & Spa’s doors of­fi­cially opened Septem­ber 5, 1987, with for­mer First Lady Lady Bird John­son in at­ten­dance for the grand open­ing. The vi­sion of an up­scale coun­try club was shared and aided by for­mer Texas Gov. John Con­nolly and for­mer Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Ben Barnes. Golfers from around the globe got in­tro­duced to its beauty when the Lib­erty Mu­tual Leg­ends of Golf (Cham­pi­ons Tour) Tour­na­ment was tele­vised, mak­ing Omni Bar­ton Creek an even more pop­u­lar travel golf desti­na­tion. Leg­endary Univer­sity of Texas foot­ball coach Dar­rel Royal was a found­ing mem­ber and was of­ten seen drink­ing his morn­ing coffee in the lobby en­joy­ing the day’s news­pa­per. The ball­room is named in his honor. For­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush of­ten said Bar­ton Creek was his fa­vorite place to play and his dad also teed it up along with Wil­lie Nelson and Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner Earl Camp­bell.

Fazio, Cren­shaw and Palmer put stamp on up­scale golf In 1986 Omni Bar­ton Creek Re­sort & Spa opened the first Tom Faziode­signed course in Texas, now named Fazio Foothills, and added a se­cond, Fazio Canyons, in 2000 to be­come the only re­sort in state with two Fazio cour­ses. “The Fazio Canyons course de­sign meets en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards while of­fer­ing chal­leng­ing lay­outs set against the back­drop of the panoramic Texas Hill Coun­try,” said Tom Fazio. “We be­lieve it has great po­ten­tial as a na­tion­ally ranked con­tender and is a great com­ple­ment to Bar­ton Creek’s three ex­ist­ing cour­ses.” It also has golf cour­ses de­signed by Austin na­tive Ben Cren­shaw named Cren­shaw Cliff­side in 1991, and Arnold Palmer named Palmer Lake­side in 1986, which is 25 miles away. So what are the char­ac­ter­is­tics that make the two Fazio cour­ses, built more than a decade apart shine?

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