Lajitas – Terlingua is a terrific stop on The Texas Bucket List thanks to its one-of-a-kind beauty. One of the most desolate destinations in our state, it’s a part of Texas that you have to specifically be going to in order to get there. Big Bend is a big attraction here but a little bit past the tiny town is an even smaller site known as Lajitas and it’s got one of the most high-end resorts in the whole state in a setting you can only find in the Chihuahuan Desert.
“We have people who come who’ve lived in Texas their entire lives and had no idea the state of Texas could look like this,” said Matt Fawkes, the assistant general manager of the Lajitas Golf Resort. Fawkes has been working at the Lajitas Golf Resort since 2015. Despite being from Buffalo, he enjoys the Texas temps. “I don’t like the cold. Absolutely, this is the perfect example, it’s gorgeous,” said Matt.
Situated on 27,000 acres in between Big Bend National Park and the Big Bend Ranch State Park, you’ll find this one-of-a-kind resort that, even during their busiest times, feels like you pretty much have the place to yourself. “We’ll have 500 guests on property that we got to take care of,” stated Matt. Being there, I never imagined that many people were here too.
Houston real estate developer Walter Mischer envisioned this one-of-a-kind resort back in the 1970’s. “He wanted this to be the Palm Springs of Texas,” said Matt.
The rustic hotel and other accommodations give the Lajitas Golf Resort it’s charm, the quiet dining amongst the mountains of west Texas give it the serenity, the Thirsty Goat Saloon provides a watering hole to quench your thirst, but the one of the kind golf course sitting on the banks of the Rio Grande is truly something to behold. Head golf pro Matt Rippy knows he’s working at one of the most sought-after golfing spots in the state. “There’s a reason it’s the number one public golf course in Texas,” said Rippy.
I can only imagine the difficulties of trying to maintain a golf course in this environment. “It’s challenging, but we have a wonderful Superintendent, Logan Knapp does an incredible job,” said Matt Fawkes.
Here it’s all about the setting, with extreme elevation changes on the course, this Lenny Wadkins designed course is one of a kind. “Normally when you design a golf course, you have a piece of property and you can just design the golf course and drop it in. But I mean I’m sure he had to go out there and find spots for holes and utilize the hills and the elevation changes, and I think he did an outstanding job with it,” said Rippy.
The 14th hole is even more impressive with its incredible bird’s nest view, you’re not entirely sure which way to hit your ball. “You can see the river, you can see Lajitas Mesa. You can see all the bluffs and the Chisos Mountains and it’s definitely the best view in the house, in my opinion,” stated Rippy. “That’s like one of the holes that I’m saying I can take a picture and show you a video, but until you actually are physically on the tee box, looking straight down hill, that’s something you got to see in person,” explained Matt Rippy.
But if you want an even closer look at the border, there’s a hole that plays right up against it. “A little tradition we like to have here, come back to the back tee box and tee one up and hit a drive over the river. So you hit one so far, you hit it in a different country,” joked Matt.Now that’s something worth checking off the list!
So if being surrounded by the beauty of west Texas while enjoying a top of the line Lone Star State resort is the vacation you’re looking for or perhaps hitting a few golf balls is what you prefer, a stop at the Lajitas Golf Resort is well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List. “You can’t really describe it to people. You can try, but we haven’t figured it out yet. It’s something that you have to visually experience and see,” expressed Matt Rippy.