Cordillera Ranch Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.9

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Hole4 Hole16 Hole7

Cordillera Ranch Golf Club Review

Review of Cordillera Ranch Golf Course

We did it - we found and played a course in Texas that we rated each of the nines a perfect 10!!! Cordillera Ranch in Boerne takes top honors on our list of the Best of the Best Courses in Texas

Located a few miles from downtown Boerne, Cordillera Ranch is an exclusive, master-planned community offering the very finest in resort-style living on some beautiful Hill Country terrain.  Cordillera Ranch is over 8700 acres of trees, bluffs, limestone cliffs, creeks, waterfalls, and five miles of waterfront along the Guadalupe River.  The property consists of some huge beautiful homes dotting the hillsides and seven clubs: the Golf Club, Tennis & Swim Club, Spa & Athletic Club, Social Club, River Club, Rod and Gun Club, and Equestrian Club.

The Golf Club at Cordillera Ranch is a classic Hill Country thrill ride designed by Jack Nicklaus and it takes advantage of the rolling terrain and makes terrific use of the creeks, native stone, elevation changes, natural areas, and plentiful oaks.  As mentioned above, Texas Outside rated the course a 9.9 out 10, the Dallas Morning News ranked it as the "5th Best Course in Texas," and it won “Course of the Year” honors from the National Golf Course Owners Association.  Some of the reason that we gave the course such a high rating includes:

  • each hole is unique and no two holes resemble each other thanks a fantastic Nicklaus layout that takes leverages the natural terrain and throws a lot at you - you'll encounter forced carries over natural areas, dog legs left and right, uphill and downhill shots, rolling contoured fairways, stratecially placed bunkers, plus creeks, ponds, and waterfalls,
  • near perfect conditions from the tee box to the cup
  • a layout that require some excellent course management and club selection skills, yet it's fair and a blast to play
  • colorful landscaping, beautiful scenery, scenic vistas, several water features, cascading creeks, lots of trees, and what is considered the "most beautiful hole in Texas"
  • top notch service and first class facilities
  • and it's loaded with some fun, unique, scenic, and challenging holes

Some of the holes that were most memorable to us included:

  • #16 is the signature hole that was rated by the Dallas Morning News as the "most beautiful hole in Texas" and we certainly agree - here's an attempt to do it justice: from the tee boxes you have an uphill shot of 91 to 172 yards over a deep ravine and a pond filled by several cascading waterfalls that start at both sides of the green, which is small and surrounded by 4 pot bunkers
  • #3 is 345 yards and it will temp you with a great risk reward shot to go for the green but you'll need to miss the 7 bunkers on the way
  • the #1 handicap #5 is a 613 yard par 5 that requires some target golf and strategy all the way thanks to a tight fairway, a creek and trees that split the fairway giving you two paths to the green, and the same creek with waterfalls that runs from the back to around the front of the green
  • #14 is a 325 yard classic Jack Nicklaus par 4 where long hitters will be tempted to go for the green but you'll need to carry the natural area, avoid the tree bunkers, and stuff it on the green with a creek crossing the left and front edge

In addition to some fun, scenic, and demanding holes what makes playing Cordillera Ranch Golf Course a real joy is that the course conditions are perfect.  The Zeon Zoysia fairways are like velvet and at first you might think that it's artificial turf - I felt guilty taking a divot!  The greens, tee boxes, and bunkers were also in excellent condition when we played and the entire course is well maintained and meticulously manicured!  The front nine is a little more open and easier while the back is more scenic, has more challenging greens, and is a little less forgiving.

The fairways at Cordillera Ranch vary from wide open and let-er-rip to tight and treacherous.  Plus they have slope and contour you need to manage and creeks, natural areas, trees, and bunkers you need to avoid.  You'll face lots of forced carries over natural areas and if you miss the first cut (which ranged from a little thick to playable) you're in the dense natural area and either lost or facing a tough recovery shot.

The greens are a variety of shapes and sizes, most being about average size and most are raised.  They run fast (10 to 12), are very true, hold the ball well, and have slope, contour, and some valleys and tiers most of which are on the back nine.

The Cordillera Ranch bunkers range in shape and size from some small steep and deep pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters that dominate the fairway.  Most are steep faced with sand that is somewhat thick making for a good sand shot.  Several of the bunkers have been redone with white soft and thick sand that is a joy to hit out of.

Bottom line - a spectacular and exclusive golf community with first rate amenities and facilities and one of the best golf courses in Texas - you need to find a way to play this course.

Hole13 Hole10 Hole18

Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,816 73.7 145
White 6,197 71.1 136
Gold 7,464 76.4 150
Red 5,028 71.5 124

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jack Nicklaus
Greens Type:
Zeon Zoysia
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Yes but challenging
Course Map
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 81 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.9 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Initiation Fees: $55,001 to $70,000
Monthly Dues: $601 to $800

Service is top notch, the 40,000 square foot club house is perfect and upscale with a locker rooms, grills and a restaurant, pools, fitness center, and well stocked pro shop. The practice range is very good with everything you need to warm and be prepared for the course.



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! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

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.