Signature golf holes in the Highland Lakes
When picking a golf course’s signature hole, the first question might be: What is a signature hole? Opinions differ on a definition.
The most descriptive answer came from Scott Hazledine at Lighthouse Country Club in Kingsland. He’s a retired PGA golf professional and has worked in the industry for almost four decades.
“A signature hole is one that stands out from the aspect of its beauty,” he said. “It’s just how the hole looks and sets up, how demanding the tee shot is, and the risk-reward aspect of it.”
Llano River Golf Course golf manager Casey Landers succinctly summed up risk-reward.
“If you go for it, you can (get the low score),” he said.
According to Blue Lake Golf Club shop employee James Longoria, a signature hole is "a combination of both challenge and picturesque."
And Hancock Golf Course general manager Van Berry had this to say: “It’s not necessarily the hardest hole,” he said. “It’s the one people are going to remember playing.”
So, keep that in mind as we unveil the signature holes at these Highland Lakes courses. In the end, each golfer has their own definition and opinion.
NO. 2 at HANCOCK PARK MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 355 yards, par 4
Course location: 237 Naruna Road in Lampasas
This hole is definitely the one golfers remember after they’ve finished a round at Hancock.
The green is located on an island coming off of a straight fairway. Sulphur Creek wraps around the green, offering one of several obstacles. The elevated green is a challenge itself. Golfers must use enough strength to clear the water with enough finesse to keep the ball on the green.
“If you hit it too far off the back, it tends to roll off,” said general manager Van Berry. “It looks like an upside-down cereal bowl. The left side of the green is your only bailout. This is a scenic hole, and it’s the hardest hole, to me.”
NO. 6 at LIGHTHOUSE COUNTRY CLUB
Championship tee: 537 yards, par 5
Course location: 118 Club Circle in Kingsland
This hole features a tree in the middle of the fairway, and golfers are still 200 yards from the green.
“You have to drive it to either side of the tree,” Scott Hazledine said. “From the fairway, you’re looking down on the green, and you have trees on the left and granite coming in from the right side. That makes it a narrow opening. Any shot hit on target can bounce anywhere. If you hit a poor shot to the left, you’ll catch a tree, and, chances are, you’ll lose your golf ball.”
NO. 7 at LLANO RIVER GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 412 yards, par 4
Course location: 2835 RR 152 West in Llano
“It’s a downhill shot facing the Llano River,” said golf manager Casey Landers. “It’s a pretty view.”
He noted that those who hit too far to the left might end up in the trees or worse.
“Most people have to tee off with an iron,” he said. “It’s a layup hole with risk-reward.”
NO. 8 at BLUE LAKE GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 189 yards, par 3
Course location: 214 W. Bluebonnet Road in Horseshoe Bay
When standing at the tee box, golfers are faced with a shot from an elevated tee to a green guarded by a hazard on the right. Once on the green, golfers must read the correct break.
Judging the wind direction is a factor for proper club selection due to trees lining the right side of the green and the right side of the tee.
NO. 13 at LEGENDS GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 430 yards, par 4
Course location: 105 Rangeway Circle in Kingsland
The green here looks like a peninsula with water on three sides of it.
“There’s water in front of the green and a sand trap to the left,” said director of golf Ronna Wilson. “And, there’s a tree right in the middle of the sand trap.”
This fits the criteria of a signature hole for Wilson: appealing to the eye but somewhat challenging.
“There’s a lot of different things in that hole that bring it together,” she said.
NO. 17 at DELAWARE SPRINGS MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 310 yards, par 4
Course location: 600 Delaware Springs Blvd. in Burnet
Nicknamed “The Last Temptation,” this hole teases golfers into tapping their natural strength to drive the ball from the tee box to begin play. But they might encounter a nasty competitor: Mother Nature.
“Because of the trees, it makes it difficult to drive it,” said Delaware Springs general manager Doug Fipps.
Most say hitting the perfect tee shot is the key to conquering this hole, but they advise being wary of the water near the fairway. This hole exemplifies risk-reward because of the pinpoint accuracy needed.
Golf Digest included No. 17 in its 100 Holes You Have to Play Before You Die.
NO. 18 at HIDDEN FALLS GOLF COURSE
Championship tee: 535 yards, par 5
Course location: 220 Meadowlakes Drive in Meadowlakes
Water, water, water. That’s the challenge when it comes to successfully playing this hole.
“You have to carry over water off the tee,” said general manager David Klotz. “Your second shot has to go over water, and your third shot is blind. Then, there’s an uphill shot to the green.”
Some have ended the hole in four shots, which is an accomplishment, Klotz said.
“You think, ‘Wow, I just birdied one of the toughest holes here,’” he said. “If you can birdie that hole, you’ve done something good. It’s definitely more of a double- or triple-bogey hole for the average golfer than a birdie.”
To plan your golfing vacation, check out a list of Highland Lakes golf courses on 101HighlandLakes.com.
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