It was a glorious return to Texas Hill Country golf. I worked in the golf business in Austin in the early ’80s, and played most of the courses in and around Texas’ capital city, though the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa had not opened back then.
So when the time came, in early 2019, for my first rounds at the two courses surrounding the resort — the Fazio Foothills and the Coore Crenshaw — I savored a memorable return to the region.
“What you find at Barton Creek is true Hill Country beauty everywhere you look,” Director of Golf Phillip Marburger said. “It’s why people come here.”
“Most think of Texas as kind of flat … they picture West Texas, cows and tumbleweeds. But they get here and they see all the change in terrain, the hills and the canyons, and they find it just beautiful.”
While the Coore Crenshaw and Foothills courses lie adjacent to each other around the resort, they are distinctly different.
“Each designer has a different look and feel,” Marburger said. “The Coore Crenshaw is more of a links style with the rolling hills, the large greens and running shots into the greens … while the Fazio course is more target-oriented and has smaller greens.”
“They both provide holes which players feel show the tremendous variety of Hill Country golf.”
The two courses have been retooled as part of a $150 million renovation project at the resort, to be complete with May with reservations available now for dates beginning May 5. Course renovations included the removal of hundreds of trees and the addition, removal and renovation of bunkers.
I played both on successive days in January, the Crenshaw course first.
While the first day was, shall we say, blustery, the old adage, “if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes and it will change,” came to fruition on the second day, when we played in near 70-degree weather.
Not bad for golf at the height of the winter.