Review of Wolfdaner Golf Club at the Hyatt Lost Pines in Bastrop
Paying tribute to the Tonkawa Native American Indians of Central Texas who celebrated life through their wolf dance, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa has named this outstanding course Wolfdancer Golf Club. This very scenic course takes advantage of the natural Hill Country terrain and beauty as it traverses three distinct environments - rolling prairie, a heavily wooded ridge line, and the Colorado River Valley covered with native pecan trees. With such diverse terrain, excellent conditions, good service, and fun and challenging holes, it's not surprising that Wolfdancer has won a number of awards and accolades, some of which include:
The first 12 holes are on the ridge line and rolling prairie with majestic views for miles of the surrounding country side. The remaining holes are along the Colorado River in the river valley which is heavily landscaped with old, broad-canopied oak, cedar, and pecan trees. The front nine, which is fantastic, plays more like a links style with terraced open fairways and undulating greens. The back is more traditional as it plays through the Colorado River flood plain - more straightforward with what you see is what you get holes, tree lined fairways, and elevated greens.
A round of golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club is like playing three different courses and it doesn't get much better than that! Each hole has a name which will give you an idea of what to expect, for example:
The first hole tests your nerve and gives you a very good feel for what you're up against for the next several holes. It is a 420 yard par 4 with a carry over a pond to an uphill dog right fairway with trees along the left side, a minefield of six bunkers carved into the natural terrain about where your drive wants to land, and then a blind shot to a green complex with a large hollow short and left. And it only gets better from there - you'll encounter panoramic vistas, tight to wide open let-er-rip fairways, bunkers ranging from pot sized to huge monsters (the sweeping fairway on the par 5 603 yard #3 has 16 bunkers), forced carries, lots of ups and downs on roller coaster fairways, lakes and ponds and waterfalls, gorges and ravines and ridges and depressions, challenging approach shots, tough putting surfaces, and more. You'll need your "A" game with good course management, the right club selection, and great putting to score well on this nine. Make sure you pick the right set of tee boxes if you want to score well - there are 5 sets of tee boxes to choose from with yardages of 4953 to 7205.
On the back nine, holes 10, 11, and 12 remain on the ridge line before descending into the Colorado River Valley. In fact, one of the prettiest and most challenging holes is number 12 (appropriately called Top of the World) which is a par three along the top of the ridge with 180 degree views looking down on the remainder of the course, the Colorado River, the Hyatt Resort, and a small 30 yard oval green with no room for error 155 yards down the hill. A fun hole and a Kodak moment.
Holes 13 to 18 are pretty straightforward and your opportunity for some pars and birdies - if you can stay out of the trees and putt. The fairways are straighter, flatter, and a tad narrower. The greens are elevated on the back but seem easier and the bunkers are smaller, but no less dangerous.
The entire course is well manicured and maintained from lush tee boxes with few to no broken tees all the way to the pin. The fairways range from wide and sweeping to narrow and tree lined and from flat to rolling, sloping, and heavily contoured. When we played in May, all of Texas was suffering from a severe drought and as such the fairways weren't quite as lush and plush as normal, but they were still in very good condition.
The greens range in shape and size (24 yards to 40 yards) and are very challenging thanks to lots of slope, undulation, tiers, and ridges. Some are elevated and most are well guarded with swales, depressions, or grass and sand bunkers. They were in very good shape when we played, held the ball well, ran true and smooth, and were a little fast, around an 11. Practice putting before you head out for your round on Wolfdancer.
You should also practice your sand shots before you play because you will most likely find several of the bunkers during your round. They range in size from small pot bunkers to some that are big enough to swallow three tractor trailer trucks - and most are steep faced including the 15 foot deep "Big Mouth". The sand is great - soft, thick, and fluffy.
To accompany this outstanding course is a 21,000 square foot clubhouse with a grill (Major Neighbors) and well equipped pro shop. Make sure you stop in for breakfast or lunch at Major Neighbors Grill. After your round, tell the bartender your score and that is the price of your first cold beer.
Wolfdancer is part of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines which we rated 5 stars and it is a marvelous place to stay for outdoor enthusiasts - read our review here.
Bottom line, Wolfdancer Golf Club is a challenging course with a slope of 118 to 137 but there are 5 sets of tee boxes (do not bite off more than you can chew) and if you take your time, study the yardage card, and think your way through each hole, you'll have a fun round and a pretty good score. This is one of those course where you hate for your round to end and you can't wait to play it again.
Rates: $79.00 to $145.00
The clubhouse is great with a well stocked pro shop, locker rooms with showers, and a good grill and bar. The practice facilities are very good and service is excellent.
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.