Everything is bigger in Texas, and that’s especially true when it comes to real estate. Think about the King Ranch. Large communities boast plenty of room, vast acreage and spacious floorplans. Still, Texas residential offerings are all about reasonable costs. In terms of price per square footage, the state is often regarded as one of the best values in the country. Remember: no state income tax.
Texas also offers some remarkable golf communities, with many in the central part of the Lone Star State. Leading the way is Cordillera Ranch, which five-time PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker calls home. Also high up in this sector are Comanche Trace in Kerrville, just west of Austin and Traditions Club in Bryan, northwest of Houston.
If you’re thinking about a move to Central Texas, here are three golf homes for three budgets.
The property: This four-bedroom, 5,877-square-foot home offers an open floor plan, travertine and wood-plank flooring and trowel-finished walls that merge into uncased, hardwood doors. Overhead, the beams of Douglas fir and varied, elegant ceiling treatments provide individuality to each room. The owner’s retreat provides stunning 20-mile views and outdoor spaces to take in warm sunrises and cool breezes. The back yard features an infinity pool adjacent to outdoor living areas that include an outdoor fireplace, kitchen and swim-up bar. The buffer of surrounding lots further protects privacy and envelops the home in a natural setting.
The golf: Set on pristine land in the Texas Hill Country, Cordillera Ranch serves up a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that meanders through valleys and oak-studded terrain. Many holes enjoy vistas of the Guadalupe River Valley and feature strategic bunkering, craggy limestone canyons and thought-provoking risk/reward shots. Most memorable is the par-3 16th. Playing 172 yards from the tips, the hole embraces a limestone gorge with natural waterfalls fronting a small putting surface carved out of a hill. Bunkers front and back frame and guard the green.
The property: This French Country home was designed to take full advantage of the Hill Country and golf views for entertaining and family life. At 4,777 square feet, with a two-and-a-half-car garage, the four-bedroom home also holds an additional detached garage/studio. The chef’s kitchen is custom-designed and the hand-glazed cabinetry is adorned with numerous upgrades. The sophisticated master suite features a vaulted ceiling and a luxurious bath with upscale fixtures. The layout is ideal for families, with a game room, study, planning office, large utility room and mudroom. Taking full advantage of the southern exposure, the outdoor living room has a stone fireplace and summer kitchen complete with gourmet grilling station.
The golf: Situated in the heart of the Comanche Trace community, the golf club rolls out 27 holes designed by Texans. Tom Kite, Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell created the original 18 holes -- the Hills/Valley nines -- that take full advantage of the mature oaks and splendid Hill Country terrain. An additional nine holes designed by Jay and Carter Morrish, called the Creeks, opened in July 2008 and features a network of lakes and streams.
The property: This neo-classic, three-bedroom home features hardwood flooring, granite countertops, separate master suite and a gourmet kitchen that is sure to please any cook. At 2,813 square feet, this home offers a spacious floorplan with 10-foot ceilings and solid eight-foot doors. Located in the heart of Traditions Club, the home is just minutes from the Texas A&M campus and the newly renovated Kyle Field.
The golf: Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II, the 7,146-yard Traditions Club layout is the home course of the Texas A&M golf teams and has hosted numerous marquee tournaments including the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. The routing navigates thick stands of hardwoods while traversing rolling terrain unique to the Brazos Valley. President George H.W. Bush and Jack Nicklaus are honorary founding members and other prominent members include head football coach Kevin Sumlin and retired NFL referee “Red” Cashion.