Review of Boot Ranch Golf Course
Wow, Wow, Wow - that just about sums up a round of golf at Boot Ranch! Boot Ranch Golf Course, just a few miles outside of Fredericksburg in some beautiful Texas Hill Country, is as good as it gets and is a must play Texas golf course. Boot Ranch is an exclusive private golf club with a maximum of 475 members and you need to do whatever it takes to play a round on this outstanding course which has won several awards and accolades including Best New Course and #8 in the Dallas Morning News Top 100 Texas Courses.
Hal Sutton, 14 time PGA Tour winner, is the visionary behind this exclusive golf community and golf course and he has designed a unique layout that will test every part of your game. To score well on Boot Ranch Golf Course you'll need to take your mind off the stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, waterfalls, and colorful landscaping and focus on course management, club selection, and shot making. Boot Ranch is fun, very demanding but fair, and requires finesse, some risk taking, accuracy over distance, and good use of a lot of your clubs.
To test every part of your game Hal Sutton designed the course with 5 demanding par threes, an equal number of dog legs left and right, uphill and downhill shots, and holes that play the wind from all angles. And he designed the layout to leverage the natural terrain which means you'll need to manage lots of forced carries, trees, rolling and sloping fairways, natural areas, deep ravines, and ponds plus bunkers, trees, and creeks in the middle of the fairways.
A round on Boot Ranch Golf Course is serene and very peaceful - a scattering of beautiful homes perched on the hills but no airplanes, road traffic, sirens, or barking dogs! With a very limited number of members, you'll get the feeling that you're the only one on the course except for the abundant wildlife. In fact, Boot Ranch is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and your cart comes with a checklist with over 120 mammal and birds for you to spot and add to your card.
You'll be hard pressed to find a more scenic golf course in Texas thanks to huge elevation changes that offer majestic panoramic vistas of the Hill Country - just riding the cart up and down the hills is a real treat. The first time we played, the wildflowers were in bloom and it was stunning with red, yellow, white, and purple wildflowers everywhere you looked. And the contrast of the lush fairways and greens and sand traps with the streams and ponds, colorful wildflowers and native fauna, and the tress makes it hard to focus on your game. Bring your camera!
Every hole at Boot Ranch Golf Course is unique, fun, and will throw something at you that will test your game, for example:
The TIF Sport fairways were in perfect condition when we played and we felt guilty taking a divot. The fairways are rolling, contoured, and most have some severe slope to trouble that you'll need to manage on most shots and most holes have an uphill or downhill shot that you need to factor into your club selection. Hal Sutton did a fantastic job of designing Boot Ranch to compliment rather than confront the natural terrain offering you lots of shot making and risk reward opportunities. The fairways were firm which made for some longer than expected shots thanks to the extra roll and the slope. The first cut of the rough was playable during our round but if you miss it you're most likely lost in the natural areas with dense local fauna.
The bent grass greens at Boot Ranch were also near perfect. Most are raised with nasty false fronts where you'll get to watch your shot that just missed the green roll back down into a deep collection area or the fairway. The false front prevents a bump and run meaning you need to be nail it or play a little long which can in some cases result in trouble and hidden bunkers off the back side. The greens range in size and shape and most seem a little smaller than average and all are guarded putting a premium on accurate approach shots. Once you're on the green they are great - smooth, true, and a good speed of 8 to 9. They range from flat to gently sloping and contoured with a few subtle breaks.
The bunkers were in excellent condition with soft, thick, fluffy sand that is a joy to hit out of. They range from small pot sized with steep backs or faces to some long multi-fingered nasty natural sand areas with islands of tall native grass.
Before you head out you might consider playing a round on the executive par 3 to practice your shot making and putting. The 34 acre practice area is unique and has something of everything to help you practice your total game from hitting elevated tee shots to shaping shots around trees to chips shots to the green.
Once you play Boot Ranch, you're going to want to play it again, and again, and again and I don't think you would ever tire of playing this unique and challenging layout. All it takes to get to play this course as often as you want is to buy a lot or sign up for a non resident membership or make a member your best friend.
Boot Ranch is a very upscale and exclusive golf community that offers first class service, unequaled facilities, stunning scenery, and some great amenities. Read our review of Boot Ranch Golf Community to learn more.
Dr David Clark is a member of Boot Ranch and the author of the book "The Sacred Golfer, Seven Days in Utopia" which was made into a movie staring Robert Duvall and Lucas Black. The movie was filmed at Boot Ranch, Utopia, and Fredericksburg and you'll get a good glimpse of Boot Ranch Golf Course holes #3 and #10. Seven Days in Utopia is now available on Blue Ray and DVD and here is a link to a trailer of the movie.
For videos, photos and more about Boot Ranch and the course there, check out the Boot Ranch Website.
Initiation Fees: $100,001 to $150,000
Monthly Dues: $1001 and up
Service is some of the best we have ever experienced from the guard gate to the bag boys, the pro shop staff, and the locker room attendants. All of the facilities are top notch and very upscale. Everything from the locker rooms to the majestic panoramic views from the restaurant are very impressive. The restaurant is perched on the top of a knoll and has a great bar, outdoor patio, and excellent food.
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.