Pecan Valley Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas ? A Texas Golf Treasure, Restored to Its Former Glory

Pecan Valley Golf Club is considered one of golf's treasures, the very same course on which Arnold Palmer missed capturing a PGA Championship in 1968 when a 12-foot putt on the final hole wouldn't go down. The course has also been home to a number of Texas Opens in the late 60s, but over the years it slowly began losing a battle to flooding and neglect.

In 1998, however, golf architect Bob Cupp undertook the project to renovate Pecan Valley, and the "new'' Pecan Valley course has gotten rave reviews. Situated on 200 acres of historic land, the course is a picturesque layout, with huge, native pecan trees and live oaks. In fact, the trees and their long arms are such a hazard that many golfers might find themselves often punching shots out from beneath branches during the course of a round.

Salado Creek comes into play frequently as well, winding through the front nine five times and three times on the back nine. The course also features strategically placed bunkers and some dogleg holes that have been known to frustrate golfers.

The course, which was once a jungle, is located near the historic Goliad Road, constructed in 1720 by Spanish explorers. There's also a historic marker on the course which celebrates the "Burnt Oak,'' a 100-foot-tall live oak with a girth of 22 feet. Estimates place the age of the tree at around 800 years, and it is such a significant landmark that it was once used as a navigational guide.

The 18-hole, par-71 course plays to 7,010 yards from the longest (Professional) tees, with a USGA rating for that length is 73.9 with a slope rating of 131 on Bermuda Grass fairways and Tifeagle greens. From the Club tees the course plays nearly a thousand yards shorter.

Some of the most noteworthy holes on the course include the award-winning No. 2. This par-4 plays to 453 yards uphill and it ranks as the most difficult on the course. The real difficulty is on the approach, however, which must carry an elevated green with a false front, making club selection key on this hole.

Hole No, 14 is the unofficial signature hole, a par-4 that plays to a length 467 yards from the back tees. The tee shot must carry water to a tree-lined fairway that doglegs right. The lake continues along the right side as players approach a huge green, which is again elevated, calling for precise club selection and accuracy.

Since its renovation and re-opening, Pecan Valley has re-established its place in Texas golf. Local media and golf professionals even rated it the #1 upscale golf course in San Antonio, and Hole No. 2 the best in town. Golf Digest also recently ranked Pecan Valley one of the Top 25 Courses in the State.

The course also features an enclosed air-conditioned and heated pavilion for events and gatherings.

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