Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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20170209 GOLF PHOTOS SOUTH PADRE ISLANDYou could win free prizes just by voting

As the voting deadline approaches in the Winter Texan Times annual golf competition, this week we’ll highlight some of the Lower Valley golf courses for our readers to consider as they vote in the Winter Texans’ Favorite Golf Course competition. This year, we’ve added more prizes to make it more fun for our Winter Texan golfers. We’ll have more winners too. You’ll have the chance to win free rounds of golf, cash or other great prizes like dining certificates and discounts. How? Just fill out the ballot in this issue and get it to us before 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1. That’s this Friday, so don’t put this aside for later.

If you use a computer, it’s quicker and easier. Just go online to our website at and click on the banner at the very top of the home page (above the Winter Texan Times logo) and the online ballot form will load up. You’ll probably have to scroll down to see the form after giving it a minute to load.

We invite Winter Texan golfers to look over the listing of golf courses on the ballot and tell us which courses are your favorites in the Rio Grande Valley. If there are some courses you haven’t played, go give them a try. Who knows, you may discover a new “favorite” to add to your list.

South Padre Island....a dreamscape

The sand, the water and the breeze are just some of the things people love when they visit South Padre Island; those elements are seemingly calling out to visitors for a dreamy time.

On the golf course, however, those same three elements can turn a dreamy day into a challenging round of golf at South Padre Island Golf Club.

Annually voted as one of the favorite Winter Texan courses in the Valley, the 6,800-yard South Padre Island Golf Club course can meet a variety of skill levels, from the part-time golfer just looking to go out and “hit the ball around,” to the most avid competitor who wants a challenge with every swing.

With the most picturesque sights from many tees of the Laguna Madre and South Padre Island in the distance, the view alone at South Padre Island Golf Club is enough to get you to go back time and again.

Located at 1 Golf House Road in Laguna Vista, the course can go from a normal to challenging to extremely difficult course when the north wind decides to pay a visit.

Still, if you’re looking to play a course that has plenty of specials for Winter Texans, that has the most comforting of views and gives you a variety of options as far as chal-lenge goes, this is the course for you.

River Bend

20190130 River Bend No. 10For 30 years, River Bend Golf Club in Brownsville just sat there. The place got its name from the huge bend in the Rio Grande that borders the resort and provides the property with a lush tropical setting where golfers can see plants and birds not seen elsewhere in the United States. Golfers who lived there would go out and play a round, especially enjoying the fact that it had no bunkers. The course, which rides along the banks of the Rio Grande, had personality but, like a hermit, very few people saw it.

New owners bought the place in 2015 and it didn’t take long for it to sit atop of the list of Winter Texans’ favorite courses. The course is also home to about 700 Winter Tex-ans and a growing number of permanent residents.

The course went from a 9-hole course to the full 18 in 1985, during a boon in the golf world. Courses were being built everywhere.
However, if you don’t tell anyone, how will they find out? As soon as the Barnard family purchased the course, they advertised, making sure Winter Texans across the Val-ley knew that this course was open to them.

What have the results been like? Two years ago River Bend tied South Padre Island for the Winter Texans’ favorite Lower Valley course.

The course is located at 4541 Military Highway 281, in Brownsville. For more in-formation, call 956-548-0191.

Rancho Viejo Golf and Country Club

You’ve seen that huge golf ball hanging in the sky as you pass the South Padre Island exit and head toward Brownsville on Expressway 83. That means you are approaching Rancho Viejo, where you’ll find great dining, rentals for overnight stays, a spa, an amazing pool – and a terrific golf course. It’s no wonder Winter Texans chose it as a Lower Valley favorite golf course.

The layout and the surrounding trees give this course a comfortable feel. Don’t get too cozy through – it will lull you into a false sense of security.

The small greens make an already-challenging layout even more so. You could be a monster hitter off the tees, passing 300 yards on a regular basis. However, if you don’t hit the approach shot well, you’ll be chipping up onto the green and needing to one-putt to save par. Holes are also well protected by water and numerous sand traps.

It is located at 1 Rancho Viejo Dr. in Rancho Viejo, Texas. Call 956-350-4000 for more information regarding this 18-hole, 72 par, 6,800-yard course.

20181205 Long Island Village Golf Course aerialLong Island Village

“Great things come in small packages.”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

There may be 100 clichés that come to mind when you take your first look – or even your second or third look – at the Long Island Village Golf Course, an 18-hole, par-3 course where most holes are less than 100 yards. You may consider it to be just a quick pit stop to play and just simply cross off your list of courses played. It’s definitely an un-derdog in your mind when you compare it to courses like South Padre Island or Tierra Santa or Palm View Golf in the Rio Grande Valley.

Then you play a round. Suddenly, you start thinking that this may be the toughest course you’ve ever played in your life. You try to shrug the thought off, but you can’t.

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who has had this mental and physical struggle. While the wind is infamous all across the South Texas landscape, it has a personal vendet-ta on the Long Island Village course, blowing and swirling; sometimes you may have to go up two clubs – to hit the ball 120 yards. Golfers have claimed that the wind is a knock-down wind; others say they’ve seen it blow in two different directions, all within the time a ball is in flight from tee to green.

Last year, management at the course was thrilled to hear that Winter Texans had chosen them among one of their favorite courses. Can the tiny course be a big winner again or was it just an anomaly?

Long Island Golf Course is located at 950 S Garcia St, Port Isabel. For more infor-mation, call (956) 943-7520.

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