The Fredericksburg, Texas property has completed a major renovation of its 18-hole golf course, with a focus on bunkers and greens, while building a $1 million, 35,000-sq. ft. putting park over the summer.
Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas has completed a major renovation of its 18-hole golf course, which originally opened in 2006, and opened a fun-for-all-ages putting park.
The $1.9 million course renovation project concentrated on the bunkers and greens. The overall effect was to enhance the playability without altering the experience.
No changes were made to the course routing. All the greens—on the golf course as well as three par-3 practice holes, three chipping greens, and one practice putting green—have been converted from bent grass to TifEagle Bermuda, which provides a superior playing surface in the Hill Country climate, requires less water, and better tolerates the reclaimed water used for irrigation.
To balance the faster conditions created by Bermuda grass, many of the greens had their slope and undulation reduced, but are still surrounded by sharp drop-offs and closely mown collection areas.
“With the full support of our ownership and membership, we renovated the bunkers by enhancing their design features and playing characteristics,” said Director of Club Operations Todd Huizinga. “We installed new liners and imported a new Bunker White sand blend that will improve the overall look, playability, and maintenance.”
The number of bunkers, both in the fairways and near greens, was reduced. In nearly every fairway bunker, native grasses and grass islands were removed, and many fairway bunkers were significantly reduced in size or replaced by turf, effectively enlarging landing areas. The base of each bunker was raised about four inches and the flashing removed so balls roll to the newly flattened bottom. As a result, golfers will find a fairer challenge when hitting out of bunkers, particularly to faster firmer greens.
A new intermediate cut of the native grasses was added so that golfers will be able to find balls in the rough and play their next shot. Hole No. 18, which as a dogleg-right par 4 was regarded as a tough finishing hole, has been lengthened and converted into a par 5. The new 18th also changes the course to a par 72.
Boot Ranch spent an additional $1 million this summer to create the new five-acre Metzger Park that includes a putting park designed by Chet Williams for casual competition and family fun. According to Williams, the 35,000-sq. ft. putting park green is the largest in Texas. Boot Ranch already boasts the largest golf practice area in Texas, a 34-acre facility that course designer Hal Sutton created to be “the best practice area in the world.” It features a three-sided driving range, short-game area, putting green, and three-hole short course.