Nicklaus Design pulled off a rare and impressive 1-2 punch in the golf-rich state of Texas, when the Dallas Morning News recently selected The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course just outside San Antonio, as the Best New Course in Texas, and recognized Whispering Pines, a Nicklaus Design project led by Chet Williams and Bill O’Leary, as the state’s top course for a third straight year.
Dallas golf writer Bill Nichols called Cordillera Ranch, which officially opened last May, "a minimalist’s masterpiece" that accentuates the stunning Hill Country and takes advantage of dramatic elevation changes and the rugged Guadalupe River Valley terrain.
“The course’s design came naturally from the lay of the land and the elements that were present on this site when we first tackled this project," Jack Nicklaus said. "The property’s rolling hills and canyon walls produced a great mix of holes that make the course challenging for all levels of golfers. This is simply a beautiful piece of property that we were fortunate to come across and evolve into a spectacular course.”
Whispering Pines Golf Club is tucked away in the town of Trinity, which is less than 90 miles north of Houston and had a population of just over 2,700 when the course opened in 2000 and was voted in the top three Best New Private Coures in America by Golf Digest. The course immediately began to earn acclaim in its home state and by 2005 was named The News’ top course in Texas. In winning the honor for a third straight year, Whispering Pines topped Dallas National and Colonial Country Club’s classic venue for top honors. The top 13 in The News’ rankings were separated by less than one point.
"We keep looking at ways to make it a better place," Founder Corby Robertson Jr. said. "I notice they are continually improving Augusta National and Pine Valley, and those are two of the best courses in the world. So you have to keep working to stay current."
The News also rates the states best holes, and five holes at Whispering Pines were among the 18 voted best in Texas, and four were voted most beautiful.