The course at Canyon West Golf Club pays homage to Texas’s frontier days through vintage accoutrements and an Old West vibe. Golfers set off on an anachronistic excursion as they herd golf balls over 419 Bermuda fairways and Champion greens carpeting the foothills of Parker County. During searches for runaway balls, they may happen upon one of the 21 Western scenes strewn about the course, complete with rustic wagons and tack. Though lakes and plenty of bunkers also lie about the course ready to snag errant shots, the terrain was designed to help golfers keep the ball in play rather than allowing it to roll out of bounds or hitch a ride on a passing tumbleweed. The terrain’s natural undulations hoist golfers up for panoramic views from eight elevated tee boxes, where they can see four counties stretching out toward the horizon.
Course at a Glance:
After four years in the US Army's 3/504 Airborne Parachute Infantry regiment, Tommy Taylor continued serving his country and community by joining local law enforcement. Seeing firsthand how essential it is for officers to possess tactical skills to protect themselves and those around them, he founded Texas Tactical in 1997. At his facility, the now-retired patrol officer, alongside training manager Gary Fitzgerald, teaches fellow police and members of the military basic and advanced skills such as moving while shooting and close-quarter combat. For civilians, he imparts more-basic knowledge such as firearm safety and upkeep, reloading, and, in a low-light shooting class, how to fire a weapon while holding a flashlight in one hand.
Nestled on more than 35 bucolic acres, Stone River Farms entices equine enthusiasts of all ages with comprehensive lessons and scenic trail rides. Expert trainers conduct lessons that cover the essentials of horsemanship, including grooming, equipment maintenance, safe riding, and how to distinguish between a unicorn and a horse eating a carrot. Trainers also lead fun trail rides through the woods, giving visitors a chance to bond with their horses and marvel at local flora and fauna.
Nestled along the banks of Lake Bridgeport, The Golf Club at Runaway Bay spans 7,032 yards of tree-lined fairways and bent-grass greens. As players make their way through the course, they'll occasionally spot the sprawling lake from hillcrests or places where the trees have parted to dodge errant balls. Though there are challenging holes throughout the entire course, golfers should save their best swings for the turn. Both lengthy par-fours with a slightly bending fairway, the 9th and 10th holes are the course's most difficult. To prepare for their round, golfers can rehearse their swing at the driving range or get a feel for the putting surfaces with a picnic on the practice green.
Course at a Glance:
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.
In 1995, architect Jeffrey Brauer cast a series of 18 holes over the hilly, forested acres adjacent to Ash Creek inside Cross Timbers Golf Course. Mr. Brauer choreographed the layout’s turns and gyrations to take advantage of the site’s natural attributes, such as its numerous changes in elevation and absolute lack of active volcanoes. Today, players cruise over the meticulously kempt fairways en route to Champion bermuda greens. On the front nine, players must tackle the 484-yard, par 4 fifth hole and the course's signature ninth, where tee shots soar over a treacherous ravine onto a green teetering on the precipice of a cliff. At hole 18, a par 5 is reachable with calculated risk-taking and precise execution.
Course at a Glance: