Horseshoe Bay Resort

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Travel

Horseshoe Bay Resort offers a remarkable experience and an enriched lifestyle in the scenic Texas Lake and Hill Country. The name conjures images of sprawling golf courses, glistening water, and luxurious accommodations. But this Texas oasis on the shores of Lake LBJ boasts a rich history that goes beyond its reputation as a golfer’s paradise.

Horseshoe Bay Resort: The Early Days

Horseshoe Bay’s story begins not with tourists but with cattle. In the 1930s, the land was known as the “Coke Ranch,” owned by the Lupton family, prominent Coca-Cola bottlers. However, the vision for a lakeside resort began to take shape in the late 1960s when Norman and Wayne Hurd, cousins from Texas, purchased the ranch and embarked on an ambitious development project.

The name “Horseshoe Bay” was inspired by the natural horseshoe-shaped bay and the Horseshoe Creek that flowed through the property. Interestingly, a rusty horseshoe found on the dry lakebed during construction solidified the name choice.

The early 1970s saw the construction of key facilities that laid the foundation for the resort’s success. This included the first of three Robert Trent Jones, Sr, designed golf courses, a private airstrip, a marina, a yacht club, and the Hide-a-Way Lodge. Horseshoe Bay Resort quickly gained recognition and established itself as a premier destination in Texas.

In 1975, the resort played a pivotal role in revitalizing the Texas State Open, showcasing a remarkable competition between renowned Texas golfers Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.

Robert Trent Jones, Sr, returned in the 1980s to oversee the construction of two additional golf courses. Ram Rock, a challenging course that acquired the moniker “The Challenger” for being one of the most difficult layouts in Texas and Apple Rock, a course many consider the most beautiful of the three courses.

Championship Golf

Horseshoe Bay Resort is home to three challenging Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf courses: Slick Rock, Apple Rock, and Ram Rock, and a members-only Jack Nicklaus signature course, Summit Rock. These courses offer scenic Texas Hill Country views, including overlooking the iconic Horseshoe Bay and Lake LBJ.

In addition to the championship-caliber golf courses, visitors will find the Whitewater Putting course, a unique 18-hole, par-72 course featuring challenging bunkers and water hazards. It’s great for family fun or for practicing your putting skills.

More Than Just a Celebrity Hangout

While celebrities like Willie Nelson, Clint Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Sandra Bullock have graced Horseshoe Bay with their presence, the resort’s legacy extends beyond Hollywood glitz. Horseshoe Bay has also been a haven for Texas luminaries like former Governor Dolph Briscoe, a champion of environmental conservation. Briscoe’s frequent visits and advocacy helped ensure the preservation of the natural beauty surrounding Lake LBJ. Additionally, Dr. David Lamar Cook, author of Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia, can frequently be found at the resort.

Beyond the Green: Unveiling Hidden Gems

Horseshoe Bay offers a plethora of activities beyond the world-class golf courses. For the adventurous, Lake LBJ beckons with kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and boating adventures. Families can find endless fun at the lazy river, Splash Safari Aqua Park, the unique floating pool, or one of the other resort pools.

Tennis enthusiasts will be excited to visit the first American location of a Mouratoglou Tennis Center, which offers state-of-the-art courts and breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country. Guests and members receive personalized coaching from professional coaches certified in the unique methodology behind Mouratoglou’s global success.

Indulge in rejuvenating massages, revitalizing body treatments, and expert beauty services at Bayside Spa to revitalize and refresh your body.

A Touch of the Unexpected: Lesser-Known Gems Around Horseshoe Bay Resort

For those seeking to venture beyond the resort itself, the surrounding Texas Hill Country offers a treasure trove of hidden gems. Wine enthusiasts can embark on a self-guided tour of the region’s many wineries, sampling unique varietals and soaking in the picturesque landscapes. Art lovers can explore the studios and galleries of local artisans, discovering a vibrant artistic community nestled amidst the rolling hills. History buffs can embark on a journey to the nearby LBJ Ranch National Historic Site and gain insights into the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Foodies can indulge in the region’s distinct culinary scene, from farm-to-table restaurants showcasing fresh, local ingredients to charming cafes serving classic Texan fare.

A Look to the Future: Horseshoe Bay’s Enduring Legacy

From its ranching roots to its current status as a premier resort destination, Horseshoe Bay’s story is one of constant evolution. Looking ahead, the resort remains committed to providing exceptional hospitality, world-class amenities, and a deep respect for the surrounding environment. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer, a thrill-seeking adventurer, or simply seeking a relaxing escape, Horseshoe Bay Resort promises an unforgettable experience steeped in rich history, luxurious comfort, and a touch of unexpected charm.

Photos courtesy of Horseshoe Bay Resort.


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Alan Darty</a>

Alan Darty

Alan is the founder and publisher of Golf One Media and the former publisher of eSouthernGOLF—a second-generation Florida native who loves all things Florida. You can usually find him with his wife, watching their two daughters coaching volleyball at Oviedo (FL) High School or Mississippi State University when he's not golfing, hunting, or fishing.