Pedernales Country Club
|Red (W)||36||3030 yards|
|Blue M: 36.0/113||355||165||385||520||415||525||385||170||410||3330||3330|
|White M: 35.0/113||340||150||370||510||390||515||375||160||395||3205||3205|
|Red W: 36.0/113||320||135||360||485||370||495||355||145||365||3030||3030|
A quick nine at Willie's place
There are celebs out there who own (or are part owners of) high-end golf clubs and exclusive privates. Meanwhile, Willie Nelson has owned a rural 9-holer in the Briarcliff community west of Austin since 1979.
The golf operation is all of four people (2 for the shop, 2 for the course). The irrigation system is original, dating back to 1969, and comes and goes. Staff said they just got it working again a week ago. Conditions were pretty rough but some of the greens weren't too bad.
There are some decent holes. The 5th is a standout. And the view from a few elevated tees like the 7th are nice. The ground is firm and unpredictable. A ball hit into the middle of the fairway could disappear.
The course is almost a solid hour from downtown Austin. I certainly wouldn't make the drive to come here. But if you're passing by on Highway 71 near Pace Bend Park and have a little time to kill, it's worth it to just to stop in and see Willie's place. It has some country kitsch with signage & such, and yes there is Merch in the pro shop.
It may be the most casual golf facility I've seen anywhere and Willie-approved substances appear to be welcome. I'm not so sure it makes much sense to play this course clear-eyed and sober.
Make sure to bring your own food & beverage especially if it's a hot day.
Course was in terrible conditions with fairway full of rock, greens bumpy and cart paths were like traveling on a rough terrain. I won't be back
Don't book here thru golfnow
The guy at the clubhouse was an a hole and whined about golfnow giving him 12 o'clock tee times and didn't make money. He said he wouldn't honor it and would have to refund my money. Ended up paying cash and playing and extra 9 but it wasn't worth it at all. Greens are decent and nice 9 hole layout but the drive/money in my opinion are too much to play here again.
All that I did and did not expect
Well, I waited until mid April to finally play this course to ensure some of the better conditions -- green grass, trees, not too hot, etc. Finally headed out to this little community 9-hole course in the hill country and got exactly what I was expecting. This was a course that I wanted to cross off of my bucket list -- only because Willie Nelson owns it. Of course after booking the round for 4/19, I later realized it would’ve been far more appropriate to play the next day ... 4/20. As expected, the rolling hill country can be quite dry with excess dust, little white golf ball sized rocks, and the ever present hard pan ground. There were various grasses making up the tees and fairways but they'd gotten decent control of any weeds. Remember, this place doesn't have the maintenance budget like your regularly played courses. The rough was often a fun mix of rocks and dirt which is one of the reasons Willie's unofficial rules says to "Stroll it till you like it." The greens were okay -- a little dry here and there ... more so than I'd expect in April. Past that, they were all of average size and undulation. The green side bunkers were okay; I believe they'd just recently added in some new sand so they weren't too rocky. For a first time to play this course, it was a little confusing on how far we could hit a ball before a dogleg on #3 and #7. My smartphone app wasn't working so I couldn't use any GPS etc. We only saw one yardage marker -- a 150yd marker that was about 8" square flush with the fairway that'd been painted white about 10 years ago. It would be really helpful if they could put some decent markers for 100, 150, and 200 ... stakes, permanent concrete, whatever. They're not expensive to put in. You'll quickly notice that the cart path comes and goes. It's rarely there for more than 30 yards before you just drive over fairway, dirt, rock. Watch out for some serious bumps all around the course where it's washed out over the years. We nearly had our bags jump out of the cart twice. The carts are gas powered and you'll need that to tackle some of the hills. Bring your own water and any other drinks including beer. They might have a sports drink or two available to purchase but you're on your own for everything else. That goes for food, too. I didn't see any water coolers on the course but didn't really expect them either. And the water fountain at the clubhouse wasn't working at time of our visit; we used the sink in the bathroom. This is one of those courses that I strongly consider not keeping score. When you put it all together, sometimes you should just be happy that you're out playing. Shortly after reading the interesting rules at the clubhouse, the guy working the course said we might encounter a group of about a dozen regulars playing as a single group ... and that they might not let us play through. He advised us to play a few holes to get warmed up and then start our 18 hole round in order to give them some extra room in front of us. Well, we caught them anyway with a couple holes to go on our first 9. We took our time with extra putts etc. They mostly disbanded after 9 but a few carts kept going. We opted to just drive past them to the next hole and come back later to finish the skipped hole. It was just all kind of appropriate. I attached a picture of them on a par-3 ... at least seven carts and 11 people that I could count. Welcome to the Cut-N-Putt! And finally, pick up a t-shirt and/or hat in the clubhouse to commemorate your visit to Willie's golf course and help keep this joint alive for those that follow.
Just rocks and hills
Being new to Austin I thought it would be fun to play golf at Willie's place. I can now check it off my bucket list. No crowds, no waiting, no lines because no one goes to play here.