The Roy Bechtol & Lee Trevino designed Golf Club of Texas(GCT) course, set in the booming southwest corner of Greater San Antonio, is undergoing a major renovation under the guidance of Bechtol. The GCT will now wow golfers who enjoyed it before and win over newcomers in this underserved section of the ‘Alamo City’. The renovation that stripped the course down to the dirt will cost over $3.5 million.
Roy has reworked the putting surfaces, bunkers and tee boxes and added movement and additional bunkers to the fairways. making a good track even better. The front and back nines have been flipped to create a more dramatic finish, with new water features included. It has been grassed with different strains of Zoysia, including the putting surfaces, and is the first course in Texas to be done throughout with this versatile and hearty turf which makes every shot seem like it is on a tee. Irrigation has been updated even as the rework has reduced the amount of turf that needs water by more than 20%.
The Club originally opened in 1999 and is located on 1,900 acres at the steps of Texas Hill Country incorporating the rugged South Texas landscape where it meets a lush sprawling flood plain. Four holes wide and following a meandering creek, the Golf Club of Texas provides a core-golfing experience at its best. Indigenous plants are juxtaposed against pristine fairways and greens.
“The Golf Club of Texas has always been one of Bexar County’s favorite courses because of its playability and golf is the most important aspect of the Club,” says Bechtol. “Where else can you play a golf course that is four-holes wide with plenty of room between those holes? You stand on the deck of the clubhouse and all you see is golf across the broad plain to the south.” Bechtol Golf Design has designed more than 50 golf courses throughout the United States, primarily in the Southwest, either as the lead architect or as a collaborator with other top designers.
The turf rolled out on the fairways at GCT was grown at nearby Bladerunner Farms, a Poteet, Texas firm that is the world’s largest privately owned Zoysia and Buffalo grass research and development facility. Bladerunner farms is run by David and Sheri Doguet, part owners of the Golf Club of Texas and Outlaw Golf, the facility’s new owner. “The GCT is a completely new design incorporating state-of-the-art turf and advanced technologies that make it the greenest course in the nation and still deliver superb playing conditions,” said Tom Bevans, principal of Outlaw Golf, which also owns the Bechtol designed The Club at Concan in the Frio Canyon in Texas. Outlaw bought the club from Gil Hodge, developer of the sprawling Briggs Ranch development.
“This has to be one of the most environmentally friendly courses ever built,” Doguet added. “We are using Zoysia for its ability to provide a top quality playing surface without the need for a lot of water, fertilizer or chemicals, and Buffalo grass for all the native areas.”
Golfers will also love the expanded and lighted practice area, which includes a duel sided driving range, and a ‘Wedge World’ short game zone- one of Bechtol’s favorite design concepts, as well as a private teaching area. Two new putting greens have also been added in the shadows of the updated clubhouse, one with some challenging undulations that will act as its own place for fun and added competition.
The GCT clubhouse, new practice greens, range and restaurant and bar will open before Xmas, while the back nine is expected for a soft opening New Year’s Day. The front nine is set to open in March and Grand Reopening planned for Spring Break, 2015.
The overwhelming attraction of The Golf Club of Texas is its ability to generate challenge and excitement across a broad range of skill levels. The design was the direct result of the team’s understanding of the different player’s needs and expectations, and strict attention to the palate Mother nature provided for the course. Though unconventional in arrangement, The Club is a classically designed course and rewards traditional skills. the course’s raw South Texas landscape and sophisticated routing are examples of how to extract the most from a relatively flat site. Enthusiasts refer to it lovingly as ranch-style golf at its finest.
“We had a great piece of land to work with at the start and the course has always had great bones,” said Bechtol. “The changes we have made only enhance what was there in the past and address maintenance and conditioning issues that affected the course in the past years. It’s great to see this course back to where it belongs to be and the excitement about this entire project and the game of golf again. Tom and David had a vision to bring the Golf Club of Texas back to life and we are seeing the fruits of their efforts day by day on site. I can’t wait to play the course again.”
For more information go to www.OutlawGolfGroup.com or call 844-can-golf(226-4653).