One of Central Texas’ quintessential golf experiences – the Apple Rock course at Horseshoe Bay Resort – has re-opened, marking the completion of the resort’s three-year restoration to each of its three l Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designs. Horseshoe Bay, which encompasses more than 7,000 acres, is 45 minutes from Austin, Texas.
The Apple Rock layout offers some of the more picturesque views in the Texas Hill country, most notably at the start of its second nine. The 10 th and 11th holes, each dramatic downhill par fives, cascade toward the coast of Lake LBJ; and the ¬par-three 12th plays along an intimate stretch of its shoreline.
Jones Sr. routed Apple Rock, which debuted in 1986, to take advantage of the many higher elevation points that overlook Horseshoe Bay and the lake.
Apple Rock’s renovations included the installation of 007 Bentgrass greens, expanding green sizes by as much as 50 percent on many holes, renovating (and scaling down many) bunkers, re-shaping and leveling tee-boxes, improved irrigation, as well as adding stone retaining walls along water hazards to improve aesthetics.
“Our members and resort guests are now enjoying improved playability and conditions on an already-exceptional design and routing,” said Director of Golf Anthony Holder. “Apple Rock has so many scenic Hill Country views and fits so perfectly into that hilly landscape. With these refinements and these luxurious Bentgrass greens, the course has never been more beautiful.”
In 2016, Slick Rock, the oldest of Horseshoe Bay Resort’s courses, (built in 1971) underwent similar renovations. In 2017, Ram Rock course, which opened in 1981, was restored to match Jones’ original vision. On Ram Rock, to improve playability, the greens were enlarged and re-contoured and dozens of bunkers were reduced in size. The result is a more enjoyable course from the forward tees and still an impressively-strategic set-up for skilled golfers.
With all 54 Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed holes in peak condition plus the immaculately-landscaped 18-hole Whitewater Putting Course and the exclusive, private Summit Rock course, Horseshoe Bay Resort is positioned as one of the more attractive and diverse golf destinations in the United States. The new Cap Rock clubhouse village will open later this year with a, 3,360-square-foot structure housing dining, locker rooms, meeting spaces and terraces overlooking views of the Texas Hill Country and Lake LBJ.
An indoor meeting pavilion and golf shop servicing the Ram Rock and Apple Rock courses is now open with a luxury swim park and Pool Pavilion scheduled to debut this month.
“We’re thrilled for our members and guests, and for our ownership who had the vision to make Horseshoe Bay Resort one of the most unforgettable golf destinations in the country,” said General Manager Bryan Woodward. “To be on the ‘fun’ side of this $90-million-dollar resort renovation means the we’re ready for the world to see what a uniquely-rewarding and “complete” experience can be found here. Everything golf travelers are looking for is presented here in an inimitable tropically-inspired Texas Hill Country setting. There’s really nothing like it in the country.”
Photo Credit: Horseshoe Bay Resort