Dallas Morning News’ Texas Golf tabs Cordillera Ranch the fourth-best overall course, par-3 16th among best and most beautiful golf holes

By Robert Rodriguez

Every May, the eyes of Texas golf are upon Dallas, but it’s not because of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Rather, everyone is focused on the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News, and the golf course rankings inside its annual Texas Golf special section. Long considered the most respected authority on golf in the Lone Star State, this year’s Texas Golf rankings listed Cordillera Ranch as the fourth-best golf course.

This showing matches Cordillera Ranch’s best ranking, having achieved top-4 status three other times (2009, 2010 and 2014). The lofty standing also made the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design the top course in the Hill Country / San Antonio / Austin region since inception. A year ago, Cordillera Ranch ranked sixth overall.

“The Dallas Morning News rankings are held in high regard in the Texas golf scene, and we are honored its panel tabbed Cordillera Ranch the fourth-best golf course in the state,” says Marc DeWall, Director of Golf. “Our staff has done a remarkable job ensuring the golf experience rivals that of the most prestigious clubs in the country.”

Just as prestigious, Cordillera Ranch’s par-3 16th was listed among the state’s “Best” and “Most Beautiful” golf holes. An exclusive few have received honors in both categories each of the past nine years; in fact, according to the Morning News, No. 16 has received the highest point value among the four par 3s listed each year in the “Most Beautiful” category since 2009.

“I really enjoy when someone walks to the 16th tee for the first time,” Charlie Hill, President and Chief Operating Officer for DH Investments, developer of Cordillera Ranch told the Morning News. “There’s a few seconds of speechlessness as they soak in the multiple waterfalls and the overwhelming scene.

“When you step onto the 16th tee, it’s as if you are in a theater of golf course beauty because of the way you walk slightly down into the canyon and hear the splashing water down the cliffs around the green. I remind people this was primarily created by Mother Nature, and that’s what adds to the intrigue. We merely ‘peeled back the layers of the onion’ as Nicklaus said during his meticulous design of the hole.”

For the Texas Golf rankings, nearly 100 panelists from across Texas — PGA professionals, high-ranking amateurs, golf-design experts, golf journalists and other industry luminaries — annually evaluate 800-plus courses using criteria such as shotmaking, versatility, design, memorability, beauty, maintenance and enjoyment. 

Since its debut in the 2009 rankings, Cordillera Ranch has been listed among the top seven layouts in the Lone Star State. Newer courses have been built since then, including some at higher-end private clubs, but Cordillera Ranch continues to shine in the eyes of the Dallas Morning News Texas Golf raters.


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