Former PGA Tour architect Bobby Weed is highly regarded for his groundbreaking designs and Spanish Oaks is no exception, having been hailed as one of the best private courses in the country shortly after it opened and for its sensitivity toward the landscape. Best known for his character-driven courses, Weed describes the unique personality at Spanish Oaks as a property set in the Hill Country. It’s an environmentally sensitive area and people are conscious and cognizant of protecting the land. When Weed and his team initially inspected the site, they found that the soil had washed away, having eroded from the hillsides over the past 100-plus years. All the native grasses had disappeared. “We determined that over the years all the grazing had facilitated the erosion of the soil, which all ended down in the creek beds. One of our objectives was to try to bring all that soil back up and incorporate it into our golf course.”
The property uses reclaimed water, which is recycled, allowing it to be used over and over. The trees are integrated into the course design or transplanted rather than removed. As Weed attests, from an environmental standpoint, it may be the most environmentally friendly golf course built in the state of Texas.
Another aim was to try to bring back some of the native grasses (there are more than a dozen). This concept fit in with the routing plan that Weed developed. Keep the houses up and the golf course down in the valley. The core around the golf course was pretty much the housing. That is what sets the course apart, when you have a core-routed golf course, and it certainly lends more integrity to the golf experience.
Unlike the flat courses typical of the area, Weed’s design takes full advantage of the sites hillsides. Weed explains, “With a combination of the routing and step-riser topography, we basically routed and laid the golf course over the existing topography. This way, the golf course just rumbles and tumbles over the existing terrain and makes it feel like it’s always been there.
From the golf club website.