Hidden Springs Golf Course Review
Hidden Springs Golf Course Review
Hidden in the scenic rolling Hill Country between Fredericksburg and Kerrville is a hidden gem - Hidden Springs Golf Course. The original course was built in the 90's as a walking nine on a religious retreat but since you couldn't cuss, drink, or smoke the course didn't last long. In 2004 Bill Lester bought the property and made significant improvements including adding another nine holes. And cursing, drinking, and smoking is now allowed.
Hidden Springs Golf Course was chiseled out 1100 acres of some very scenic Hill Country that is covered with tall trees, cascading streams (if they get any rain), sparkling ponds, and limestone bluffs. And most of the time you'll need to let the deer play through or try and ignore their silent snickers as you duff the ball or encroach on their shade under the trees.
Hidden Springs is short from each of the four tee boxes but that is a good thing because this is a layout that is going to test every part of game - which can make for a very fun or frustrating round. It is going to throw a lot at you and put a premium on your course management, club selection, and accuracy. You'll encounter dog legs, risk reward opportunities, tough and tight tee shots, challenging approach shots, blind shots, dramatic elevation changes, smallish greens, forced carries, water, sand, and lots of trees. On a number of holes we should have left the driver in the bag and on lots of holes we said "if I had known that, I would have played the hole differently." This is definitely a course that will be a little easier the second time you play it - and you will want to play it again, and again, and again. We can't wait to get back!
The Hidden Springs Golf Course website gives a pretty good description of each of the holes, but here are some examples of what you'll encounter:
- dramatic elevation changes on a couple tee boxes as well as a big uphill shot blind shot to an elevated green
- some dog legs as well as horseshoe fairways that will temp you with a great risk reward opportunity to fly the trees to shorten the hole or in one case maybe drive the green - but don't miss
- forced carries over water off the tee box and or to the green
- several holes where trees pinch the landing zone, make you thread the trees off the tee box, or require a very precise shot to the green
- uphill, downhill, and blind shots
But whatever you do, don't let all of that scare you from playing this outstanding layout. This is a fun track that is very scenic and manageable if you take your time, study the shot, and execute. The front nine is very challenging and every hole will throw one and up to things at you to test your game. The back nine is a little more open and forgiving, but still pretty challenging.
The fairways are generally tight, tree lined, and have some contour and slope. Miss the fairway and you're under the trees, so practice your worm burner recovery shot before you head out. If you really spray the ball you'll need to reload.
When we played in early June, Central and South Texas were suffering from a drought which has presented challenges for all the golf courses - no rain makes for some hard dry fairways. The good news is you'll get lots of extra roll. The Hidden Springs fairways were still in pretty good condition when we played.
The tough winter with several days of hard freeze followed by no rain has also taken it's toll on the greens at Hidden Springs. We heard from several people that normally the greens are in very good condition, around an 8 out of 10. When we played they were bumpy and pretty rough with a lot of damage thanks to the freeze and lack of rain. The greens are a little small with very gentle slope and some undulation - reading the breaks wasn't that difficult and the ball seemed to roll pretty true and hold well.
The 13 bunkers ranged in size from small to about average and they were in good shape with soft thick sand.
It's a shame to see what mother nature has done to this fantastic track, but management is doing everything they can to bring the greens and fairways back to their standards. Regardless of the conditions, you'll still enjoy playing here and want to come back again. They also have some fantastic Stay & Play options - so make it a weekend golf outing.
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Bill Lester
- Greens Type:
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Beware of water on 9 holes and the 13 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 8.5 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $21.00 to $38.00
The pro shop has limited golf gear as well as food - microwave hot dogs, chips, crackers, cokes, etc. Service is country friendly and there is no cart service.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.