Michael Sombroek

Two days in Hill Country

Two days in Hill Country

I started my day yesterday relaxing and played a round of golf at la Cantera Resort Course in the afternoon.

The layout is pretty nice, but the experience is rather bad. First the greens if you can actually call the burned destroyed terrain you putt on a green. And then the people, there are again playing foursomes with loud music and beer cans. It seems to be a troon golf thing as the course operator Troon Golf is the same that runs Rawls course in Lubbock. They seem just not to care how people behave on course and attract that kind of people. I mean it is no coincidence that I see that kind of things on two courses which are both operated by the same company.

Okay there where nice people as well. At least the flight in front of me with three ladies which the one who was single driver reminded me so much of my student Carolien in the Netherlands. Yes it was a Texan copy of her. I just didn’t dare to ask if I could join them. But the ladies stopped playing after 9 holes as they normally where member of some country club. I can imagine they left because they where not very pleased of the greens and people on the course either. Or they maybe just wanted to play nine. But I can imagine that every normal golfer will think “what the hell is this” when they see what’s going on there.

In the evening I went to Boerne, a small place just 15 miles away from San Antonio which I was told to visit by the waitress at San Angelo as she is from there. she said it’s such a nice lovely place and man is she right. What a fantastic evening. There was live music, the best burger I have ever had and fantastic nice people. This small town is really a place to go. So I enjoyed the music and the atmosphere until I drove back to my hotel late.

So today I checked out early and continued my trip towards Austin. After a quick visit to the State Capitol which is very impressive, I drove about an hour to Barton Creek Palmer Lakeside Course. This private course is about an hour drive from Austin. It sits in such a beautiful area with great views over Lake Travis. The course is perfectly maintained and even not that long is quite a challenging track with lots of forced carries and very difficult sloping tiff Bermuda greens.

Especially the Par 3s are so beautiful with spectacular views on hole 11 and 14. The course is actually private members only, but if you are a guest at Barton Creek Resort in Austin you can play it and if you are in the area I would really suggest to do so. I bet you will like the private hill country golf experience as much as I did today. And then the crew. Gabriella the assistant pro and Luther who checked me in are very friendly and nice.

And then there is Kaya who is the sweet young lady driving the cart that brings you water during play. She was surprised that I was calling in front of the clubhouse when I arrived first speaking German and the Dutch on the telephone. So she stopped on the course and asked me what language that was and we started chatting for a while.

And I took the time to prepare for my US Open qualifying playing a general repetition round. And it actually was quite good. The course is more difficult than the one I play the qualifying on and I shot a 75! So that’s a pretty good confidence boost for Monday.

I made two spectacular birdies. One on the long Par 4 Hole 4 where I hit a 300 yard drive and a nine iron to about 6 feet and one on hole number 12 a Par 5 where I holed a 25 footer.

And yes I missed the 10 feet birdie on 17 unfortunately and still made few little mistakes. So I could easily even have played 5 shots better.

The long game is very stable and I hit most fairways and greens with a few 300+ yards drives averaging maybe around 285 yards. And putting starts to get really good as I start to be used to the greens here.

And after this fantastic round of golf at the Palmer Lakeside I had dinner and now relax at a Brewery at Marble Falls.

You probably have never heard of Marble Falls at the Colorado river as had I. But Kaya told me I should go here as she lives at Marble Falls. And yes Kaya was my guardian angel today bringing me water today several times as it really was hot out there. Even on 17 she came to see if I had enough water whilst I think I was the only one on the course at that point. So yes they take good care of me here in Texas.

It is pretty relax here at Marble Falls with nice people as I am really of the main roads now in the middle of Hill Country. Pretty cool where all that lovely suggestions bring me on my roadtrip. I have already visited three places that you normally maybe wouldn’t go just by getting the tip from somebody.

And as my energy is quite restored I am ready to go on back towards Dallas tomorrow with already 2000 miles driven through Texas and there is more to come. And I already have Wyndham and Best Western Gold Status!

Howdy y’all from Texas, groetjes Michael

By the way, it is funny that at this very small town Marble Falls they serve “Kölsch”, okay I drink a coke as I have to drive, still funny as I can imagine I am the first ever visitor who is actually from cologne at Marble Falls.