Everything is said to be bigger in Texas, but not the bunkers at The Vaquero Club in Westlake. Those are smaller now after a renovation by Andrew Green, although there are more of them.
The private club has just reopened the layout after Green’s makeover, which introduced several new holes, removed acres of bunkers and rebuilt every green.
The course at Vaquero was first designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2001 between Dallas and Fort Worth. The layout makes use of varied topography, including a giant hill that offers long views from two greens.
In a media release announcing the completion of the project, Green called it a “brand-new golf course.” He aimed to make the layout more enjoyable for a wider range of players while still challenging low-handicappers.
The work introduced more variety off the tees, added width and rerouted several holes to increase flexibility. The total acreage of bunkers was reduced from 6.95 to 2.58 acres, but the number of bunkers actually increased from 61 to 92. Green hopes the smaller but plentiful traps will force players to more carefully consider shot placement and strategy.
The greens were totally redesigned, with the media release saying the new putting surfaces feature unique contours and shapes that give each green a distinct personality. Most of the greens are now accessible along the ground, allowing players to bounce shots onto the putting surfaces while promoting greater variety in short-game options.
“The goal was to encourage members to play the golf course more than they ever did previously, while making them better players,” Green said in the media release. Each day, the course should be “a wonderland of variety, fun and challenge, so even if their score doesn’t reflect it, they’ll have a ton of fun.”
Among notable changes was rerouting the par-5 opener to play in the opposite direction, removing 70 percent of the sand on the par-5 seventh and introducing a new par-3 16th that is only 130 yards but that features what the architect calls a “devilish” green.
“As the club president, I am delighted to announce the triumphant completion of our new golf course, a masterpiece crafted in collaboration with the visionary Andrew Green,” Mike Bevill said in the media release. “The course stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence, and we take pride in providing our esteemed membership with a world-class golfing experience.”
Check out a selection of photos of the reworked…