Delaware Springs GC's new greens elevate already great experience

By Steve Habel, Special to Golfers’ GuideBy Steve Habel
Special to The Golfers Guide

The golfing experience at Delaware Springs Golf Course has always been so good that players headed to the seat of Burnet County to challenge on of the state’s top municipal tracks. And here’s the good news – thanks to new turf on its putting surfaces and its collars, Delaware Springs GC is better than ever.

Nestled into the rolling hills and oak trees along the Highland Lakes, Delaware Springs GC opened for play in 1992. The course plays 6,829 yards from the tips, but don’t be fooled by the track’s lack of length – there are more than enough challenges to keep even low-handicappers on their toes. That said, Delaware Springs GC, when played from the correct set of tees, is fun for all levels of golfers, which is a hallmark of any great golf course.

Almost 20 years of constant play and the wear and tear of a score of Texas summers and winters had taken their toll on Delaware Springs GC’s greens. So the course this spring converted its putting surfaces to Champion Bermuda, which took about 10 weeks to complete. Champion Bermuda requires higher maintenance than other strains of Bermuda, but yields more normal irrigation, especially in summer heat.

“We couldn’t be happier with the way greens have turned out,” said Doug Fipps, Delaware Springs GC’s director of golf. “The changes have taken away some of the graininess of the greens, so our regular golfers are working to learn the greens’ breaks all over again.”

The layout at Delaware Springs – designed by architects Dave Axland and Dan Proctor, protégés of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore – fits the rolling terrain seamlessly. There is not a lot of mounding and, because the budget for the course was limited and the site was interposed with rock, there was not much digging when Delaware Springs GC was fashioned.

Eight of the track’s holes have no bunkers, but where bunkers are utilized, they are used to great effect, both artistically and strategically. Axland and Proctor also used the site’s trees to their advantage and on several of the course’s holes strategically placed trees become the focal point for the player.

During a round, players will encounter numerous chances to bump and run shots to the putting surfaces and even a few par-4s (namely the ninth and the 17th – both of which are carded at 310 yards) that can be offer risk/reward options. The meat of the challenge at Delaware Springs is its long two-shotters, as the course has four par-4s that play at 425 yards or more.

Delaware Springs GC’s toughest stretch is its third, fourth and fifth holes – par-4s of 425 and 477 yards, respectively, and a tougher-than-it-seems par-3. Golfers that get through this stretch at par or better can take a lot of momentum into the sixth, a reachable-in-two 490-yard par-5.

Named after the springs that snake through the layout, Burnet’s municipal course is a scenic links-style tract that is one of the better values in Texas golf. The low prices and friendly service, combined with a picturesque and challenging golf course, make Delaware Springs GC a Hill Country favorite and well worth the drive.

 

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