The Hawk at Rebecca Creek Golf Club's 18-hole course takes golfers meandering across 6,863 yards of pristine fairways peppered with scenic oak trees. Golfers will be put to the test from the outset, as the narrow fairways on the front nine funnel between walls of tall oaks, giving an advantage to players who warmed up their swing at the club's driving range or bribed the course Lorax for favorable treatment. Landing zones expand on the relatively forgiving back nine, which ends in dramatic fashion at the 18th hole, a 360-yard par 4 where both drives and approaches must carry intervening ponds.
After the round, players can retire to the recently redesigned clubhouse and refuel with a nosh of savory grill fare under the flickering glow of high-definition TVs inside the Grill & Pub or while catching a cool breeze at the facility's outdoor cabana seating. The Hawk at Rebecca Creek also boasts an outdoor pool, where guests can zone out to the burbling sounds of a poolside waterfall, look out over a sweeping vista of Texas countryside, or train golf balls to swim their way out of water hazards.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,863 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73 from the back tees * Course slope of 127 from the back tees * Four tee options available * Scorecard
After being ranked 19th on Golfweek's "Best New Courses" list in 2011, the course at Vaaler Creek Golf Club has been stacking up acolytes for its challenging play and picturesque Texas Hill Country setting. The Michael Lowry and JR Newman design stretches through oak forests as well as rocky outcroppings, encountering water on nine holes. Throughout each round, players steer new E-Z-GO golf carts over Bermuda 419 and TifSport grasses, taking advantage of the carts’ automatic braking systems as they stop to smell the flowers or the glorious scent of victory over manual controls.
Though the varied layout presents all manner of challenges, the par 3 12th hole requires a particularly cautious approach. Players must exhibit firm control over iron play as they aim for a peninsula green—discipline that must be then be duplicated four holes later to keep drives dry and on the isthmus fairway. Finally, players round out the round by facing a daunting approach over water, made even more difficult by the tree in the center of the fairway that obstructs flight paths and distracts would-be winners with its self-contained, elf-operated cookie factory.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,864 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73 from the back tees * Course slope of 140 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Tina and Ed Carle, the husband-and-wife team behind this lively cooking school, grew up cooking beside the apron strings of culinary-minded family members. Before heading to New York City to work in five-star kitchens, Tina studied the techniques of her Italian grandmother as she layered lasagna or stirred bolognese sauce. In Texas, Ed developed a knack for prepping wild game, smoked meats, and comfort fare from his family’s butter-centric cookbook. Though he’s become more health conscious through the years, Ed keeps the focus on flavor, demonstrating his know-how in dinner-party-style classes with menus including items such as barbecue brisket or wild venison braised in a dutch oven until it bugles “Taps” and collapses off the bone.
Though their culinary backgrounds differ, Tina and Ed share a passion for top-notch ingredients that elevate dinner to an art. Before teaching lessons on shrimp, for instance, Ed drives to the gulf to pick up a fresh catch. They also share a zeal for cooking tricks and techniques that make dinner simpler and more delicious. To this pair, working over a cutting board or a stove yields a bumper crop of sharable delight.
Perched atop a circular raft, a reddish golden retriever lifts his wet nose from the water and swiftly turns his head in the direction of the riverbank, his tail wagging rapidly and his ears perked. As he stares, a whitetail deer flits between the trees, pausing only long enough to make eye contact with the soggy dog before disappearing into the thick foliage. Defeated, the canine gazes at his owners as they laugh from their inner tubes before he plunges his face back into the cool river to escape Texas’ thick summer heat.
Through its long and short float tours, Tube Haus enables lazy interactions with wildlife throughout the summer. The staff furnishes customers with large inner tubes before sending them on leisurely floats along Guadalupe River’s Horseshoe Loop. It also rents out coolers so participants can enjoy refreshing drinks along their journey or keep their potential organ transplants nicely chilled. To further enjoy the experience, floaters may also bring their dogs and play music.
Lakeside Golf Club's 18-hole layout flows across 6,582 yards of parkland terrain wafted by cool breezes that drift from Canyon Lake, which rests just northeast of the course. Towering oak trees loom over the course's open fairways, impeding the passage of errant golf balls while trumpeting their unrivaled, bird's-eye views of the surrounding topography. Bookended by two 500-yard par 5s, the par 72 invites golfers to brandish their drivers or modified T-shirt cannons and begin and end the round with massive tee shots. An outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts foster alternative forms of recreation, whereas multifaceted dining facilities host all varieties of social gatherings at the club.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,528 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.6 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 127 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
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