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Tapatio Springs in Boerne: Laid-back golf in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio

Brandon TuckerBy Brandon Tucker,
Managing Editor
Tapatio Springs golf resort - Lakes course - hole 5
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Tapatio Springs golf resort is set in the scenic Hill Country north of San Antonio. (Brandon Tucker/TravelGolf)

BOERNE, Texas -- Thirty miles from San Antonio, the Tapatio Springs golf resort sits in its own little world.

This tucked away Hill Country resort and conference center, four miles from historic Boerne, isn't out to compete with the more nationally recognized golf resorts such as TPC San Antonio or La Cantera Resort nearby.

There are just over 100 guest rooms at Tapatio Springs, plus a conference center. The best part -- it's all very affordable.

Sharp, limestone rock walls and larger hills surround the golf course, making it feel at times like you're playing within a bowl. The more I play Hill Country golf, the more it astounds me how a course can be built at all. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to plot holes through thick bush, rock outcroppings and rocky soil, especially if the budget isn't there for major earth moving.

Because of such severe terrain, it makes sense that the best holes are the par 3s, which don't need a long stretch of flat fairway. All three par 3s on the Ridge nine play downhill and have postcard-worthy vistas. The third hole on the Lakes feels the most like you're in the middle of springs, with cooling water running beside from tee to green.

I've found most of the less-expensive Hill Country courses are going to have a few holes that are crazier than your Uncle Pete after a few stiff ones, and Tapatio Springs has its share.

The par-5 sixth hole on Tapatio Springs' Ridge course is the no. 1 culprit. Because some of the fairway is blind from the elevated tee, you may not realize until it's too late that driver is a bad play. A rock wall lines the left side of the fairway, while a ditch hugs the right and eventually pinches the landing zone pretty tight. That's followed by a second blind shot over trees and downhill to a tucked away green.

The par-4 fourth hole earns a scratch of the chin or two before figuring out where to hit your tee shot. A couple of irrigation ponds sit before, and higher, than a hidden fairway well below it.

But you can't blame Tapatio Springs for building some holes with a wow factor, and the course does have some great variety. Lower-handicap golfers may yawn at the shorter length of the course, but shot-making skills are definitely needed here -- and the greens are as good as I've played in Texas this winter.

Boerne after golf at Tapatio Springs

Boerne -- a small, historical German-settled town along the banks of the Cibolo River -- is home to some small shops and restaurants. Today, you can still find a beer garden or restaurant serving up kolaches and Shiner Bock beer for a great 19th hole. I stopped into the Soda Pops on Main Street, a little diner that serves up hamburgers, hotdogs and delicious milkshakes. If I didn't have to make the winding drive back to Austin that night, I may have imbibed on a few of their $2 longnecks.

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Tapatio Springs golf resort - Lakes course - hole 3Tapatio Springs - Ridge golf course - hole 2

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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