Wind and Water Galore Bluebonnet Hill is One of Area's Top Golfing Values

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

The land east of Austin is little more than open prairies and the occasional rolling hill and would seem the last place in the area where golfers would find one of the Central Texas region’s most playable and fun courses.

But on Decker Lane, about two miles south of Hwy 290 before it heads into Manor and virtually hidden from site except for an inauspicious small sign and a quick view of one of its toughest holes, is the Bluebonnet Hill Golf Course, a diamond of a track that you will enjoy playing and wonder afterward why you never played before.

Built on one of the area’s highest vistas and sporting a stunning view of Lake Walter E. Long (formerly Decker Lake) to the east and downtown Austin to the west, Bluebonnet Hill is a complete golfing facility with an 18-hole course, a large practice facility with a picturesque driving range and chipping, sand trap and putting areas as well as a pro shop and a snack bar.

Bluebonnet Hill is a no-frills course, but after you have played the track, you will know the secret of its success – the greens are the best and truest rolling surfaces in the area, at any price.

“We know where our bread is buttered, and we work very hard to make sure our greens and fairways are the best they can possibly be at all times,” said Dylan Lemke, Bluebonnet Hill’s general manager and head golf professional. “Our course offers an experience comparable to most of the area’s higher-priced courses, and we take a lot of pride in making sure everybody who plays here wants to come back and play again.”

Bluebonnet Hill was designed by Jeffrey D. Brauer with help from Horseshoe Bay resident Buster Craegh – one of the course’s ownership group – and has seen a bevy of improvements and increased attention to care and condition in the years since it opened for play in 1991.

The track plays to just 6,590 yards from the back set of three tees, but don’t think you can just grip and rip it to score at Bluebonnet Hill. Fourteen of the holes run north and south, meaning that you are the mercy of the winds that can batter the exposed routing. During the summer, with winds predominantly from the south, most of the course’s hardest holes – including the much-feared 195-yard par-3 17th – play into the wind.

The round at Bluebonnet Hill begins with a 536-yard par-5 that is one of the four holes that play on an east-west direction. Hit it hard but keep it in the fairway as there is out of bounds on the left and trouble on the right. Big hitters can try for the large green in two, but shots short will find a collection area without a flat lie and a hard, low shot to the green may not stay on the putting surface.

No. 9 sends you back to the clubhouse with a 547-yard par-5 test that again has you at the mercy of the breezes. Your tee shot should avoid the left side and an elevated ridge cuts diagonally across the fairway at about 150 yards, making your third shot seem even further uphill that it looks. Again take an extra club because the putting surface is huge and the green is challenging.

The daunting 195-yard 17th, Bluebonnet Hill’s signature hole, is all carry over a small lake from tee to green and is one of the hardest putting surfaces on the course to hold and putt. If you are long, there are mounds to catch your ball and you are left with a tough, downhill chip shot with the water looming. This hole, which can vary up to 30 yards either way depending on the direction and strength of the wind, can make or break your round at Bluebonnet Hill.

Bluebonnet Hill offers players of all skill levels a challenging and enjoyable round on the links. Keep this in mind as well: at Bluebonnet Hill, speed of play is a main emphasis ensuring a pleasurable round of golf for everybody. You’re almost guaranteed a steady pace of play lasting just around four hours, and fivesomes are not allowed on the course.

 

Please Share