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May 21, 2024

The Hideout: A Serene Texas Hill Country Getaway

By Dan Vukelich, Alabama Golf News Online Editor
The Hideout

Texas golf resort aims to make its mark

If you throw a dart at a map of Texas, aiming for the heart of the Lone Star State, with  decent aim, you’ll likely hit near the town of Brownwood, not far from The Hideout Golf Club and Resort.

And The Hideout is an apt name, indeed. Until recently, little was done to spread the word about this remarkably friendly, down-home and affordable golf resort with first-rate service and cuisine.

Hideout clubhouse
The Hideout’s clubhouse (Photo: The Hideout)

But word about The Hideout is getting out as Matthew Weeks, general manager, Sam Brookman, director of golf, and Prashanth Ramphal, executive chef, work to boost the resort’s prominence outside of Central and West Texas.

“We want to elevate the guest experience and we want continue to add amenities,” Weeks said. “The ultimate goal is we spread the word that, hey, we’re out here and we have an amazing team that’s ready to serve you, and some of the best hospitality professionals in the world.”

The Hideout, a Troon Golf-managed property, is seeking to expand its reach beyond its historic markets – Midland-Odessa, Lubbock, San Angelo and San Antonio – to include the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and beyond, Weeks said.

The Hideout: Emphasis on quality service

“We want the food and experience and the serenity that you get from coming here to be such an experience that people don’t mind spending a little extra time in a car,” he said.

Upping the resort’s culinary game is on the front burner, so to speak. Chef Ramphal came to The Hideout from the Horseshoe Bay Resort, a four-star property with six restaurants north of San Antonio. He’s set about developing a farm-to-table menu using locally sourced ingredients, including vegetables and herbs from the resort’s own garden.

Brookman, a veteran of Troon Golf, is upgrading conditioning of The Hideout’s 6,981-yard 18-hole course to make it a worthy destination for people outside of Texas. The parkland-style course traverses gently sloping terrain that is easily walked, and its generous fairways are framed by live oaks and Ashe junipers.

The Hideout Clubhouse
The main room of the clubhouse at The Hideout is dominated by a huge Texas longhorn steer head mounted high on one wall. (Photo: The Hideout)

The Hideout’s golf course opened in 1989 as nine holes and was expanded to 18 holes in 2010. Its designer, Bill Johnston, was the rare PGA club pro who won in the early days of the PGA Tour, twice actually, including the 1958 Texas Open. He competed in the 1950s and 1960s against superstars of the game that included Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Johnston’s other golf designs include the Links Course at the Arizona Biltmore and the Troon-managed Lookout Mountain Club in North Phoenix.

The Hideout’s par-72 golf course has a front nine with three par 5s and a back nine with just one. The course is Bermuda and its bentgrass greens roll true. With five sets of tees, the course can play anywhere from 6,981 yards from the tips to 4,203 yards from the shortest tees. From the white tees, it has a course rating of 68.9 and a slope of 126.

An array of lodging options

The Hideout cabin
One of the resort’s two-bedroom loft cabins with full kitchen (Photo: The Hideout)

The Hideout has six hotel-style rooms in its clubhouse and 17 two-bedroom cabins and ranch houses with porches and full kitchens to serve its chief clientele, which consists of families, family reunions, wedding parties, and corporate and wellness retreats.

Recently, the resort has seen groups of between 30 to 60 menbooking weekend golf getaways. Stay-and-play packages, which include unlimited golf, cart and range balls, start at $249 a night.

“The way the [cabins] are set up, it’s been perfect for corporate retreats because everybody has their own kind of private space, their cabins, they can all be separated, so to speak, at night and then come together in the morning for either wellness retreats or business corporate retreats,” Weeks said.

A huge swimming pool makes rhe resort especially family-friendly, offering adults a serene setting to relax in the sun, watch over the kids or read a book.

A sunset at The Hideout
A serene Hill County sunset (Photo: The Hideout)

The resort lies less than a mile from Lake Brownwood, an 11-mile-long body of water known for boating, kayaking, paddleboarding and bass, perch and catfish fishing.  The Hideout’s clubhouse deck has a commanding view the surrounding North Hill Country, the lake and Lake Brownwood State Park.

. The clubhouse features a cozy Texas-themed grille, a coffee shop and a high-ceiling dining room dominated by a huge Texas steer head mounted high on one wall. The clubhouse doubles as the social hub of Lake Brownwood’s 1,500 residents.

The larger nearby town of Brownwod, population 20,000, celebrates its down-to-earth atmosphere with its official slogan, “Brownwood, Texas: Feels like Home.”

Brownwood’s downtown is being revitalized with brewpubs and bookstores, and the town’s population is growing, swelled by an influx of high-tech workers from Austin who can work from home, with an occasional commute to offices in the state’s bustling capital city two and a half hours away.

Lucille + Mabel Staff
The staff at Lucille + Mabel (Photo: Lucille + Mabel)

For visitors to the Hideout with a hankering to dine off-property, among the options in Brownwood is Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, a cafeteria known for its Texas-style barbecue. You can’t miss Underwood’s – its multi-story cowboy ringing a dinner bell is among the tallest structures in Brownwood. The restaurant’s wood-paneled dining room features several vintage Winchester ’73 lever-action rifles mounted on one wall.

The clear favorite for a fine-dining option is the Lucille + Mabel Kitchen, which offers seafood and premium Wagyu beef and gourmet burgers, served impeccably in what once was the lobby of the Brownwood Bank; a massive, ornate steel vault dominates one end of the bar. The family-run restaurant offers an incredibly eclectic selection of cocktails. Among its signature drinks are fruit-infused liquors made in large glass carboys towering above the bar.

The Hideout is admittedly a hefty drive for Alabamians – about 12 hours by car from Birmingham. Although Abilene is closer, a flight to Austin offers the most airline options. But for golfers or families looking for quality golf, food, a serene setting and terrific service, the Hideout and its Texas hospitality are well worth the trip.

Dan Vukelich is the online editor of Alabama Golf News

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Featured image courtesy of The Hideout

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