Purists insist that walking is the best way to experience a golf course. While the romance of feeling the full largesse of a course’s undulating curvature under one’s feet is dandy, I have learned that a layout’s topographic subtleties fully reveal themselves once elevated four or five feet above the ground…on horseback.
The Cowboy awakening came while clippity-clopping alongside a few holes of Austin’s Wolfdancer Golf Club aboard a 1,250-pound, doughnut-loving gelding named Dakota. The club is among the Austin Hyatt Lost Pines Resort’s plethora of amenities and enticements, which also include a butterfly sanctuary, pet longhorn steers, and hybrid elliptical bicycles, and the Renegade Trailhead, saddle-up central for riding adventures.
A foursome on the sixth green here got a kick out of me tipping my Tilley hat in appreciation and applauding “It’s in the hole, partner,” just as a 15-footer was about to plop right in the cup. Provided a caddy or stablehand could follow along to rake up droppings, and a way to fasten fourteen clubs to a steed was devised, I wouldn’t mind galloping after balls on a sure-footed trotter like Dakota. Riding on cart paths might chap traditionalists, but it would shave half an hour off of a round.