ConCan Proves to be Exacting Test

Bechtol-designed golf course in Frio River Valley draws rave reviews as it matures.

ConCan Proves to be Exacting Test After a year and a half of maturation and a whirlwind of rave reviews from golfers of all skill levels, the golf course at The Club at ConCan Country Club in the south Texas Frio River Valley has become a must-play for visitors to the vacation-friendly area.

The region – which has earned fame as a place to beat the Texas heat by swimming and tubing in the ice-cold, spring-fed Frio River – now has a bona fide attraction for golfers looking for all the challenges of a top daily-fee golf course and the feel of an exclusive resort. But with this 7,333-yard, par-72 gem, linksters are getting so much more.

Designed by Austin-based architect Roy Bechtol in collaboration with Randy Russell, the golf course at The Club at ConCan is nestled in the valley formed by the Frio River. Hills, with elevations of up to 1,500 feet, surround the course and are a constant presence, adding to a feeling of isolation in a place where the deer, the rabbit and the armadillos far outnumber the human population. This one-of-a-kind setting, with its Hill Country backdrop to every green, makes ConCan a substantially different, unique and refreshing stay-and-play option.

“The area is just beautiful, the views are spectacular and the golf course is amazing,” said John Junker, ConCan’s director of golf operations and principal in Southern Golf Properties, Inc., which manages the course and the club. “The course bestows that traditional feel and experience. This is a track that fits today’s players and blends traditional and historical style design.”

After playing ConCan just one time, golfers are able to vividly recall the layout and spectacular views. This track is an unbelievable challenge, yet it is an extremely fair test of golf for all levels of play.

The golf course has been a lifelong dream for Kenneth and Barbara Arthur, who own a huge part of the Frio River Valley. The execution of the Arthurs’ desires was put to paper by Bechtol and Russell and brought to life early in 2007.

Bechtol – a specialist in fashioning courses while taking advantage of a property’s natural surroundings and environments – has built a track that brings to use every club in the bag. He expertly routed the course in an inside-out fashion reminiscent of old-school design, using the sequencing of the holes hand in hand with nature to enhance the site’s majestic and natural setting.

“The natural environment was just crying out to be turned into a top-notch golf course,” Bechtol said. “When we first walked the site, we found a valley with gently rolling appearance in an all-world, Hill Country setting. As the routing evolved, we were able to find subtle natural features that we could expand on and enhance.”

ConCan Proves to be Exacting Test

Harper Ray, ConCan’s head golf professional, said the course at ConCan fits the canyon perfectly and already feels like it has been there for years.

“The track suits golfers of all realms because it can be stretched out and you can make it as challenging as you want,” Ray said. “I think this is a must-see course for everyone. So far the positive and complimentary feedback on this facility has been incredible. It is such a unique experience. The synergy of nature and the game of golf come together here, like no other place I have been.”

Among the most memorable holes at ConCan are its final four. The 15th, a 356-yard par-four, can be attacked on the drive or played conservatively and sets the table for No. 16, a short (519 yard) par-five. You go to the tee on the 16th thinking four or even better, but a wayward shot can leave you with a high score and shaking your head about what could have been.

The 17th – a 202-yard par-three – draws on all your skills to bring home par and is followed by the picturesque par-five 18th, which (playing uphill at 553 yards to a green that runs left to right and downhill) can result in feast or famine.

Add to those four holes the 450-yard, par-four second; the 212-yard par-three fifth, the 507-yard (wow!) par-four eighth and the 620-yard, par-five 13th, and you know you have been on a course that asks for your best game.

Panoramic views of the Hill Country are found on every fairway and premium Zoysia grass under foot will make the course at Con-Can Country Club one you will want to play again and again.

“We were able to accentuate the natural features of the site’s environment and create a very special place,” Bechtol said. “The trained eye will see that we aimed shot lines at surrounding features to expand the visual golf experience and make you feel on every hole that you are in your own little golf world.”

From the unbelievable golf course, to the House Pasture Restaurant just up the road, to the Spa at Mountain Valley (located in the wood-lined clubhouse at ConCan Country Club), to the quaint cabins on the Frio River and the luxurious rental homes and lodges (some with private swimming pools and hot tubs) within walking distance to the course, the whole experience at ConCan is one to remember.


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