One of Texas’ most desirable private golf club communities has somehow gotten even better.
Fredericksburg’s magnificent Boot Ranch community is quickly blossoming into the thriving Hill Country community its original developer- former PGA Tour star Hal Sutton- envisioned. Living there, or joining Boot Ranch Golf Club, is discovering the difference between having it all and having more than you could have ever envisioned.
Since purchasing Boot Ranch in 2015, Terra Verde Group and Wheelock Street Capital has invested more than $6 million in posh community amenities, striking golf course improvements (overseen by Sutton) and alluring real estate offerings.
“A dozen years into this luxury community’s history, it feels like the beginning of a wonderful new era,” says marketing director Barbara Koenig. “We’re seeing record real estate sales thanks to our ownership’s commitment to making Boot Ranch the premier private golf club community in Texas.”
A family-friendly Lake Club opened in 2017 on the spring-fed Longhorn Lake, complete with treehouses, jumping platforms and plenty of room to fish and swim. A two-mile hike and bike trail leads from the Lake to Ranch Club, its four pools and resort-style gathering spaces. The new five-acre Metzger Park greenspace will be the centerpiece of the community’s newest residential enclave. “Our latest amenities are in-tune with the family-focused desires of our members,” Koenig adds.
Only a couple of miles from charming and historic downtown Fredericksburg and famous Enchanted Rock, Boot Ranch’s 2,050-acre luxury community has been artfully etched into the quintessential Texas Hill Country splendor surrounding it. The 55,000-square-foot castle-like Clubhouse Village sits high on a bluff, revealing 25-mile views of alluring hills, creeks, meandering oaks, stone formations and rapturous panoramas that somehow exhilarate and soothe your senses all at once.
Originally opened in 2006, Boot Ranch was conceived as a destination club and residential community that combined the best elements of all the greatest clubs Sutton had visited and admired (and he’s seen them all). Today, Boot Ranch is widely considered one of the top 10 layouts in the state and the club’s amenities, unique infrastructure and concierge-level service make the community stand tall as one of the most desired zip codes for golf-minded homebuyers and anyone who’s dreamed of living the ultimate Texas Ranch lifestyle.
The panoramic Hill Country setting gives Boot Ranch Golf Club an almost-unfair advantage in comparison to other elite golf designs in the state. Legend Jackie Burke once told Sutton “God sure used a lot of paint brushes when he painted this landscape.” The 7,155-yard Hal Sutton signature design winds through a setting so hilly and picturesque, you feel as though you should be taking all that beauty in on horseback. This is the rugged, inspiring beauty that’s made the Hill Country famous.
“The first time golfers play this course, it seems more about taking in all the natural beauty than shot values, but they soon discover this is an exceptional championship layout that challenges you and holds your attention for all 18 holes,” says director of golf Emil Hale. “Whether you’re a scratch player of a 30-handicapper, the golf course is fun to play and the setting is just one-of-a-kind.”
The golf course is the essential blend of everything experienced golfers have come to love about playing in the Texas Hill Country. Plunging elevation changes, vistas that go on for days, rippling creeks and rock outcroppings pull you into nature like few other settings can. The memorable par threes, elevated approaches and strategic fairway designs (that are generous but demanding) make Boot Ranch a great shotmaker’s course.
The native areas have been thinned out and the bunkers have been reshaped, re-lined and filled with an attractive new White Bunker sand blend. “The golf course is more playable for the average golfer now,” says Hale. “Many bunkers have been reduced in size and the roughs have been reduced so it’s easier to find and play your ball when you miss the fairway.”
The green formation on the short par-four 4 10th, with its waterfalls and cavernous creek fronting the putting surface, will you wanting to stay around to chip and putt there for hours. A new stocked fishing station just beyond the green supports that notion. This hole was the filming location for a pivotal scene in the golf film Seven Days in Utopia, based on the popular book by local and Boot Ranch member Dr. David L. Cook.
Three meticulously-appointed Comfort Stations have been added along the course to enhance the round and show off the local cuisine.
An unbelievable spot on the course where you can spend hours is the 34-acre practice park. Inclusive of a finely-groomed short course and massive driving range, this practice area is the envy of every club, or even golf academy, in the nation. A 35,000-sq-ft Chet Williams-designed Putting Park (the largest in Texas) recently opened at Boot Ranch in the Metzger Park section, which features greenspaces and will be the eventual home of Boot Ranch’s General Store.
Boot Ranch marries the best of ranch living with modern luxury, with three an array of options for discerning homebuyers. Home sites range in price from around $250,000 to $2,500,000 (1/2-acre – 18 acres) inclusive of club membership, with custom floor plans ranging from 2,500 to 15,000 square feet.
One of the newest offerings within Boot Ranch is the Village Homes, which each comprise three luxury condominium residences priced from $1,250,000 to more than $2 million.
House-Lot Packages from preferred builders, who specialize in the coveted local architecture, start at about $1.25 million.
An innovative, multi-structure offering, the Overlook Cabins are on 1/2 to 1-1/2 acres properties with floorplans ranging from 1,800 to 4,000 sq ft, including lot, membership and completed structure of from one to four bedrooms. These homes are designed in the traditional Fredericksburg architecture, mirroring the native stone and beloved farmhouse design seen in the area’s historic homes.
Fractional ownership is available in one of several “Sunday Houses,” built as an homage to the small homes that area settlers built in Fredericksburg for use on their visits into town to attend stock up on food and supplies Saturdays before attending church on Sundays. Each Sunday House at Boot Ranch is actually a five-building complex clustered around a central courtyard, with four individual bedroom suites and a central “Gathering House.” Each Gathering house features a fully-equipped chef-designed kitchen, a fireplace, room for large family gatherings, and large wrap-around porches for taking in the stunning views and sunsets.
Far ahead of its time and Texas’ current population boom when it first opened, Boot Ranch recently reported record highs for home and property sales. “We’re passionate about the notion that Boot Ranch is the most beautiful place in the Texas Hill Country. It’s the perfect setting for this resort-caliber community where owners can golf, fish, dine, swim, relax and generally enjoy the Texas outdoors,” says Koenig. “Many people say they just want to get their kids and grandkids out of the city, even if for only a few days or weeks at a time.”
Owner and member privileges include access to the immaculate 55,000-square-foot Clubhouse Village (beautifully designed in rustic native stone and hand-etched timbers that recall Tuscan village elegance), casual and fine dining with Executive Chef Casey McQueen, a fully-stocked wine cellar, golf shop, ReStore Spa & Fitness Center, the 4.5-acre Ranch Club with pavilion, pools, tennis and sports courts, 10 member/guest lodge suites, a trap and skeet range overlooking Longhorn Lake, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and fishing.
Fredericksburg is growing in exciting directions. Still one of the most captivating and charming small towns in the South, this German village-inspired town is home to a thriving art scene, a farm-to-table culinary movement and, most noticeably, it’s become home to a wealth of high-quality and popular wineries, including the award-winning family-owned Messina Hof Hill Country Winery. “The quality of life here is hard to describe without sounding like you’re exaggerating, but it’s really incomparable,” says Koenig. Just 75 miles from San Antonio and 85 miles from Austin on scenic routes, Boot Ranch is easily accessible and worth the drive.
Just as it does on island time, the clock ticks noticeably slower in the intoxicating Texas Hill Country. And, man, those sunsets… If you think you’ve seen one finer than the ones enjoyed from the fireside terrace of Boot Ranch’s Clubhouse Village, you owe it to yourself to get there and compare.
Visit BootRanch.com to learn more about the singular Hill Country experience offered at Boot Ranch.
By Carl Mickelson