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.
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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.
Shane Sharp set it up Shane Sharp