Apple Rock Golf Course Image courtesy: hsbresort.com
The Texas Hill Country describes not only a region (the gently rolling south-central portion of the state), but an entire attitude, the kind that says, Howdy, yall. Come on down, kick back and enjoy life. Thats precisely the outlook youll find at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott, where a new hotel has raised the bar on relaxation in these parts.
Opened in 1973, Horseshoe Bay has long been recognized for its trio of diverse, immaculately maintained Robert Trent Jones courses. But for years, the on-site accommodations and amenities were merely serviceable, preventing the resort from being a must-see destination.
Enter Marriott, with a 349-room hotel that debuted last May. Cloaked in muted earth tones that blend seamlessly with its surroundings, the seven-story structure affords panoramic views of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson and serves up a whole enchilada of luxuries, including a spa and fitness center, foot and bike paths, lush Oriental gardens, a marina and a private beach.
So serene are these surrounds, many visitors never leave the premises. Oh, they might venture to nearby Marble Falls and its Blue Bonnet Cafe, a monument to meringue that celebrates homemade-pie happy hour every afternoon. But the Marriott caters to guests with dining options ranging from casual to elegant. Highly recommended are the imaginative Trans-Pecos stylings at the Lantana Grill, where the chicken-fried lobster tail is a conversation piece.
Jones three courses'Slick Rock, Ram Rock and Applerock'are a showcase of Hill Country golf. In fitting with the laid-back lifestyle, fairways are framed by soothing oak, elm and mesquite trees, and crisscrossed by babbling brooks. Wildflowers and native vegetation line playing corridors, providing camouflage for herds of foraging deer.
Slick Rock is the most user-friendly course and receives the most play, about 30,000 of Horseshoe Bays 70,000-plus collective rounds. With tight fairways, strategic bunkering and smallish, well-protected greens, Ram Rock is the most penal.
Applerock sits between its siblings in difficulty'and its the most scenic. The three-hole stretch beginning at the elevated 10th tee (back-to-back par 5s and a 179-yard par 3 over water) ranks among the states most photogenic acreage. Because of the hilly terrain, club selection can be problematic on all three courses, and golfers will face a number of uneven lies.
I like to say we have the toughest resort course, the prettiest resort course and the resort course thats the most fun to play, says director of golf James Rolls. Thats a great package to offer.
Thats not even considering the impressively landscaped Whitewater Putting Course. With holes ranging from 50 to 150 feet and featuring doglegs, bunkers and swales, this 18-hole Bermuda grass track would be a challenge even for nearby resident Ben Crenshaw.
Unlike some get-away-from-it-all retreats, Horseshoe Bay is conveniently located'only 45 minutes northwest of Austin and its renowned music scene. The resort is a favorite getaway for favorite son Willie Nelson, as well as country icon George Strait and state football legends Darrell Royal and Roger Staubach. When one is on the road as much as Willie, theres no place like Horseshoe Bay to decompress.
by Russ Pate, LINKS Magazine
Travel Horseshoe Bay is Texan Gem
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.
Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.
As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.
"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."
Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.
Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.
Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.
But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.
Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.
Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:
Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180
Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70
Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5
Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450
Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200
Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.
Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.
“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.
“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”
Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.
“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.
Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.
Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim.
Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.