SAN ANTONIO -- It's as if they moved the PGA Tour up the road and didn't tell the greenskeeper.
That's the new tradition at the Resort Course at Westin La Cantera in San Antonio. The Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf design hosted the Texas Open for 15 years before it moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010.
Last year management company Troon Golf decided to set up La Cantera's Resort Course with PGA Tour-like conditions during the week of the tournament, and they're going to do it again this year while the pros are competing at the TPC.
This year the Valero Texas Open is the week after the Masters, April 14-17. La Cantera will begin their tour setup Monday, April 11 and will continue to keep the setup through the month.
The tour setup includes rolling the Tifdwarf bermuda greens as quick as they set them for the PGA Tour event, about 10.5 on the Stimpmeter. It also means firmer, PGA Tour-spec bunkers. The championship tee markers are set up to play as a par 70 norm (the par-5 fifth and 10th are converted to long par 4s). Groups are also given authentic, detailed tour caddie books -- though they're much more difficult to decipher than the colored GPS units in golf carts.
Over the weekend the greenskeeper uses past tour diagrams to set up pin locations similar to where they were placed on the weekend of previous Opens.
While the Resort Course is certainly designed to be friendly in most spots, with some run-up areas and landing zones that are a bit wider than Westin La Cantera's Palmer Course next door, the back tee boxes bring a little spicy mustard to the layout.