Fair but challenging seems to be the ethos of course architect Bill Johnston and The Hideout Golf Club, the 18-hole, 6,981-yard grassy gem sculpted into the scenic area surrounding Lake Brownwood. The par 72 flows through a circuit of wide fairways that let players liberally use their driver. Though treacherously placed, The Hideout?s sandtraps are also fair?most will reward a sound bunker shot. But while golfers will appreciate the player-friendly features, they shouldn?t take the course lightly. Ravines and water hazards come into play on multiple holes, and the course plays to a formidable 74.1 rating from the tips. To make the club even more hospitable, The Hideout has a dynamic practice facility with a 5,000 square-foot practice green and a full-length driving range, where golfers can practice hitting with every club and mastodon fossil in their bag.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course designed by Bill Johnston * Length of 6,981 from the farthest tees * Course rating of 74.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 139 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
In 1885, behind the counter of Wade Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store on the corner of Six Shooter Junction in Waco, Texas, pharmacist Charles Adlerton was struck by an idea. After observing how much patrons loved the combined scent of the many ingredients hidden within the soda fountain, he decided to create a drink that captured all their properties. He wound up inventing Dr. Pepper, and after one sip, Dublin Bottling Works owner Sam Houston Prim knew he wanted to sell it. Though the famous drink and plant have since parted ways, Dublin Bottling Works continues to celebrate that original legacy by crafting pure-cane-sugar sodas in chilled glass bottles, the way their employees have for more than 100 years.
Today, the bottlers' products find their way onto shelves all around the nation, and they invite visitors to come watch them while they work. They lead tours through their historic plant and the memorabilia-laden museum that now occupies their original offices. At the end of the tour, they make a stop in Old Doc's Soda Shop, where visitors can sample their products from an old fashioned soda fountain and buy bottled goods to drink at home or shake vigorously and then offer to neighbors who keep eating your newspapers.
A patio extends from Bluff Dale Vineyards's tasting room, presenting an expansive view of the sun-drenched grapevines and sloping foothills that D Magazine called "impressive." This swath of land grows the succulent grapes used to make the winery's fruit-forward selection of silken reds and aromatic whites. In addition to an oak-aged cabernet sauvignon, crisp chardonnay, and sweet muscat, the tasting room features a Texas cream sherry that is blended with the traditional—and time-intensive—solera system instead of with an industrial-sized cocktail shaker.
Owners David and Theresa Hayes also host live bands at their winery from time to time, inviting visitors to attend for free, bring a picnic, and tap their toes to the melodies of such groups as the Double J-R Band or the jazzy Pearl Street 4.
Tangle Oaks Golf Club stretches 6,382 yards from the tips, but its length doesn't characterize the challenges presented. It's the details that make the course stand out, sometimes with a splash. On the par-three 13th, golfers must carry a high-lofted tee shot over a pond in order to land on the signature island green, which leaves little room for error. However, many fairways are sparsely lined with mature trees and are free of sand traps, providing more forgiving landing zones for errant shots or personal helicopter golf carts.
Maxwell Municipal Golf Course's 18-hole layout provides a challenge for players of all ability levels. A lake threatens approach shots on several holes, and a steam snakes along and across fairways, forcing players to choose clubs wisely. The course plays at 6,129 yards from the back tees and 5,031 from the forward tees; be sure to hit the driving range and chipping area before your round to warm up. Grab a soda and a candy bar at the turn for a burst of energy going into the back nine.
Haunted Abilene revamps its thrills and surprises each Halloween, finding new ways to frighten visitors while honoring the city's past. Each year, the Abilene Preservation League transforms the historic Swenson House into Phantom Manor, coaxing fiendish ghosts and ghouls to terrify visitors and chip in on the Preservation League's historic-site restoration projects.