More than just your grandfather's course

By Steve Habel, Special to Golfers’ GuideSun City Texas Legacy Hills GC combines character and challenge.

By Steve Habel
Special to The Golfers Guide

It’s hard to believe that it’s been15 years since the debut of Legacy Hills Golf Club – the first track routed and opened for play in Georgetown’s Sun City age-restricted community.

Built to challenge the neighborhood’s 55-andolder clientele, Legacy Hills GC has always been known for its combination of character and challenge; each of those aspects are evident in this course that strives, and exceeds, in being much more than a golfing version of a walk in the park. Plenty of folks – even those younger and stronger – enjoy the course and its multiple trials.

Legacy Hills GC welcomed its first players in the autumn of 1996 and immediately gained the respect of the whole gamut of golfers in Central Texas. Fashioned by PGA Tour legend Billy Casper with help from renowned golf course architect Greg Nash, the course weaves its way through stands of cedars, live oaks, native pecans and red oaks and over rolling hills and across ravines. Berry Creek and its tributaries are prevalent throughout the course, making sure shots too wayward are punished.

There are a number of elevation changes on the track, which plays to a par of 72 and at 7,088 yards from its back set of five tees. Several forced carries and occasional uneven lies boost Legacy Hills GC’s rating to 73.9 and slope to 131, a healthy and testing set of numbers for any golfer.

Character abounds at Legacy Hills GC, which has its share of well-placed bunkers and water hazards and putting surfaces that are sectioned and undulating. Even the club’s members – many of whom play the course three or four times a week, will be challenged by the track’s options and versatility. The course’s raised green are surrounded by grassy swales, bunkers and collection pockets which make up and down recoveries a formidable task.

“The layout at Legacy Hills is not trying fool anyone – what you see is what you get,” said Andy Miller, one of the course’s PGA professionals. “To have success you have to hit good shots, to hit approach shots to the right part of the greens and to make putts.”

Legacy Hills GC is really two kinds of courses in one – the front-side is tighter and has an interesting mix while the back-side is more open, longer (by 228 yards) and prone to be more affected by the area’s swirling winds.

Players will love the options Legacy Hills GC offers, including a distinctive split fairway on the 387-yard par-4 second hole (playing to the left side makes the approach shorter); the demanding 211-yard par-3 eighth (with a small valley in front of the green to catch run-up shots) and the need for accuracy on the 357-yard par-4 ninth due to the proximity of stream on the left side on the fairway.

On the back-side is defi ned by its tough twoshotters, beginning with the massive 472-yard 11th and continuing with the 437-yard 13th (which moves slightly to the right off the tee and uphill to the green), the 442-yard 14th (with Berry Creek beyond the tree line to the starboard side) and the 425-yard 15th, which sports a rock ridge that must be played across.

The 520-yard par-5 18th is Legacy Hills GC’s signature hole and gives golfers with long and accurate play a chance to get home in two shots. Fairway bunkers loom ominously, and the long green is extremely prone to a three putt if the approach is not on the correct level.

Legacy Hills GC sports its own nine-acre practice range, putting green, clubhouse, pro shop and lounge. The staff at Legacy Hills is able to excel at hosting.

Legacy Hills Golf Club is a beautiful course, fitting in superbly with its natural surroundings. Tees and greens were incorporated into the existing Hill Country landscape and the flora and of vegetation on the track’s edges were selected to blend with the surroundings while creating color and visual excitement. A cascading stream alongside the ninth tee area is one of the course’s most aesthetically pleasing sections.

 

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