This Beau Welling-designed course in Texas will have stunning lakefront views

LAKEWAY, Texas — Beau Welling stood on a spot perched high above Lake Travis on Tuesday and talked very little about what will likely be a breathtaking golf hole.

The architect of the Travis Club, which officially broke ground this week in Lakeway, Welling insisted what drew him to this project was the idea that a golf course can do more than just determine a handicap. In fact, he said in his first meetings about the property, the conversation had more to do with experience than it did layout.

“We didn’t talk about golf holes. We talked about what this project could mean to the community, even the greater community of Austin and the Hill Country and I immediately was attracted to that,” Welling said during his introductory speech on Tuesday, noting that at 54 his best playing days are behind him, but he still finds happiness on the golf course.

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“The light bulb that went off was that golf was something that attracts people together to have these human moments, create memories and be together. And I think we all learn kind of going through the pandemic that we as a species like we need to be around other people. Well, golf is an incredible fosterer of that. And that’s kind of what we talked about in some of our initial conversations.

“I think about my life and half the memories of my father on the golf course, half my friends come from the golf course. And I think what’s driven our practice really is trying to take our craft, the golf course design and create golf experiences that allow people to have these human moments.”

Although he hails from South Carolina, Welling is familiar with the Lone Star State, having crafted one of the two golf courses at Fields Ranch, the PGA of America’s new masterpiece in Frisco, as well as Bluejack National outside Houston and Escondido near Marble Falls.

And while he talked primarily about relationships, he did add that the piece of property where the signature fifth hole sits — the site of Tuesday’s groundbreaking — should be special. The hole will likely max out at about 221 yards from the back tee, offering a spectacular view of the lake and its surroundings.

“You look here at this setting like this, when the lake fills back up it’s going to be super dramatic. It’s super dramatic right now with this big ravine, this big canyon,” Welling said. “Alister MacKenzie, the designer of Augusta National, Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne, he said that the chief consideration of any good golf hole is this idea of drama or overcoming a hazard and that all good golf holes have that. And so we will have tons and tons of drama throughout the experience that will be the Travis Club.”

Architect Beau Welling speaks on what will be the fifth tee at the Travis Club in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Errich Petersen for Travis Club)

The first phase of the project, which includes 106 home sites, is about half-sold and the remaining sites, which range from a half-acre to just under three acres, start at about $800,000.

“We are thrilled to introduce this new lake and golf community on Lake Travis. What sets this project apart is the unique natural beauty and recreational opportunities that Lake Travis offers. We have designed Travis Club intentionally by taking great care to preserve and complement the local environment and surroundings, with over 50% of the property dedicated to golf, open space, or conservation areas,” said Leisha Ehlert, CEO of Travis Club. “We have integrated the stunning lakeside views and lush landscapes with the development of exceptional facilities, providing members and their families the ability to enjoy the serenity of lakeside living while having access to a world-class golf and recreation experience.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek