A gentle breeze ripples the waters of Pat Cleburne Lake before continuing eastward across the fairways of Cleburne Golf Links, rustling golfers' hair along the way and holding downwind drives aloft for an extra second. The lakeside breeze is a constant challenge at the 7,068-yard, par 72 course, testing players' ability to counteract crosswinds, adjust their yardage for shots hit into the wind, and ignore sand wedges' pleas to fly kites. Water hazards also come into play on multiple holes, including three par 3s where tee shots must clear water to make it to the green in regulation. The Links Grille awaits just beyond the 18th green, catering to hungry golfers with burgers, adult libations, and patio seating, from which guests can look out on the course and daydream about domesticating golf carts as housepets.
Hidden Oaks Golf Course, a leisurely nine-hole, par 27 course designed by 51-time PGA Tour winner Billy Casper and owned by PGA pro Dave De Heras, bursts with foliage and boasts magnificent views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Amateurs and pros alike can chip and putt their way across the scenic 107 yards of the second hole, and use mind control to wrangle rogue golf balls roaming the grassy 152-yard ninth hole. Throughout, club-swinging duos are accompanied by the sultry breezes of the Pacific Ocean, swaying trees, and hungry sand traps scheming to swallow any golf balls or circus-grade swords that should fall into their grips.
Blue Sky Media leverages a bevy of strategic marketing partnerships with premier Texas courses to grant golfers access to some of the state's finest fairways. Between putts and drives, discounts on pro shop gear and fare refuel hard-swinging golfers and caddies exhausted from polishing the dimples of each ball.
Cleburne Golf Ranch cultivates short-range skills with a nine-hole course and lighted driving range. Golfers enjoy the 1,073 yards of the par 27 course without needing to schedule tee times, allowing for impromptu games with last-minute houseguests and midnight sleepgolfing to a personal record. Players sip upon supplied water, cruising along in carts through rolling greens and rival players’ games. Studious athletes partake in a pre-tournament workout on one of 18 bermuda-grass hitting stations while their sweltering comrades bask in a shaded seating area. Those seeking additional skill refinement may take advantage of the complimentary chipping and putting greens. Although not included in the price of this deal, Cleburne Golf Ranch’s professional club maker ensures that game-ravaged gear plays on after a boo-boo with deft club-repair services and golf-club-size Sesame Street band-aids.
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: