Quicksand at Woodcreek Golf Resort: New Ownership Brings Promising Future
WIMBERLEY, TX - "Good things come to those who wait." "Patience is a virtue." Those two oft-used sayings are very appropriate when describing Quicksand at Woodcreek and its patrons.
The golf course has experienced some turbulent times since it first opened in the mid 1970s. Since the first ball was struck back in 1977, Quicksand has gone through multiple owners including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, when it was repossessed from one of its owners as the result of a faulty loan.
The shuffling of ownership through the years has also resulted in a lack of consistency in course management. The two 18-hole courses went through numerous name changes. From Brookhollow to Eagle Rock on one course to Dancing Indian and Cypress Creek on the other, each course never achieved a true identity. Maintenance also lacked. One of the courses, Cypress Creek, was in such bad shape it was closed earlier this year.
All these factors combined have not been conducive to a large clientele on a regular basis. Add in the fact that the drive from downtown Austin to the course in the Texas Hill Country can take almost 45 minutes, and you have a lot of reasons not to make the drive to the resort golf course.
Everything changed in May 2001 when Quicksand Golf Corporation purchased the properties.
Quicksand, which built what is recognized as one of the top 15 courses in the state in Quicksand Golf Course in San Angelo, took over the course and unlike many new owners who opt to make improvements immediately, Quicksand decided it was wiser to shut down the target Cypress Creek Course than to make improvements.
The decision to close Cypress Creek was twofold. It not only focuses the important requisites of course maintenance and general improvement on one course, it also provides those who play it with a more enjoyable all-around experience as opposed to playing two lackluster courses that wouldn't be given the appropriate resources and care.
Woodcreek is the 18-hole layout open today and according to head pro Terry Lester, it wasn't in the best condition when new ownership took over. Lester, who has been on board since June, said in just five months there has been considerable improvement to an already solid layout. "Quicksand has some great plans and with what they built in San Angelo, I know this course will only get better."
That layout can be summed up in two words - trees and doglegs. And the former definitely results in the latter.
Woodcreek, which was formerly known as Brookhollow and Eagle Rock under its previous owners, is laced with trees and houses on almost every fairway. Seven out of the first nine holes are doglegs created through resourceful removal of trees. The only reason all nine aren't doglegs, I assume, is because of the two par threes.
The eighth hole is the prototypical dogleg at Woodcreek as far as hole layout is concerned. Off the tee you must avoid the trees that border the right side of the fairway that form the dogleg. Unlike the other holes on the front side, there is a considerable change in elevation off the tee, which makes the 408-yard, par 4 quite picturesque. A solidly struck low iron or a lofted wood will get you to the corner. If you choose to cut the corner by clearing the trees, don't be too long as the slope will funnel your ball down toward the small pond with a small waterfall that sits in front of the Tifdwarf Bermuda green. The overall layout of this hole makes it a hole to remember and consequently, it is recognized as the signature hole.
On the back side, doglegs aren't as frequent, but the trees are. If you do happen to find the trees with any shot on the Woodcreek Course, don't get greedy. Just try and get it back onto the fairway. Otherwise, you're staring a bogey or worse in the face.
In addition to trees, elevation is more prevalent on the back nine. Most notably, hole Nos. 12, 13 and 17 feature drops and rises that put shot placement at a premium. Like No. 8, the par-4, 377-yard twelfth hole is a launch pad off the tee and allows you to watch the trajectory of your shot as it falls back down to earth. Also like the signature hole, No. 12 is a slight dogleg. The key on this hole is placing your tee shot in the middle-left of the fairway. If you successfully do this, your second shot will be between a narrow alley of trees and over a ravine to the green.
No. 17, a par 4 of 358 yards, also has a panoramic vista off the tee box. Your tee shot must clear a ravine in order to have any chance at hitting the elevated/blind green, which is located approximately 30 feet above, in two.
Appropriately, the finishing hole, a par 4 of 331 yards, is a dogleg-right with trees lining both sides of the fairway. However, Lester said that could change in the future.
He said there have been talks about reversing the hole order so that the current no. 1, which features a small pond off the tee, might become the finishing 18th hole where the pond sits in front of the green on your final approach. "We're in the preliminary stages and just talking about it right now, but I think it would definitely make it more enjoyable and challenging for the golfer."
Regardless of what is decided, Quicksand at Woodcreek is headed in the right direction with a stable owner that understands the importance of care for the course and the customer. This is a welcome change to locals and now provides those in Austin with an opportunity and the incentive to experience quality Hill Country golf south of the city.
From Austin go south on IH-35 to the Highway 290/Highway 71 exit. Go right heading west. Go 35 miles on Highway 290 until you reach Ranch Road 12 and turn left. Travel 12 miles on Ranch Road 12 and turn right at the Wood Creek sign. Turn right at the second three-way stop.