|"GAMBLER WITH HEART" by Mac Abel . . .|
1975 - 1981
Since reviving the Texas State Open in 1975, the Horseshoe Bay Country Club made the $35,000 showcase attractive for players and spectators alike. Played at the Slick Rock Course, the tournament was open to Texas residents, both professional and amateur golfers. Profits benefited the Buckner Boys Ranch. Ben Crenshaw won with a 20 under par 268, five strokes ahead of second place Homero Blancas. This was Crenshaws first win since the Texas Open at San Antonio in 1973. But he went on to win more after Horseshoe Bay.
Excerpts from the Texas State Open program read as follows: "Credit Bob Putt, the likeable, hard-working Horseshoe Bay professional, with providing the catalyst which returned the Texas State Open to the competitive field." Putt also negotiated the crucial liaison between the Northern and Southern Texas PGA sections, which represent an over-whelming majority of professionals in the sate. The Texas PGA groups agreed to jointly co-sponsor the tournament with the Horseshoe Bay developers.
The return of the tournament was as welcome as the return of Sam Houston to the Alamo. It attracted a glittering field of some of the finest club professionals, amateurs and a dozen tried-and-tested tour players: Ben Crenshaw, Homer Blancas, Don January, Miller Barber, John Schlee, Babe Hiskey, Bobby Walzel, Marty Fleckman, Fred Marti, Tom Kite, Jackie Burke and Don Massengale, the 1972 Club Professional Champion and Playoff loser to Don January in the 1967 PGA.
It was a field that drew an unexpected 5,000 gallery for its four-day running in perfect weather on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. The golfers provided the spectators with many thrills. The field broke par a total of eighty-eight times during four treks over the magnificent 6,839-yard course set in the famous hill country.
No one triumphed with more authority that day than Ben Crenshaw, the former University of Texas champion and three-time NCAA Winner. Ben ripped the layout with rounds of 6, 67, 70 and 64 for a 20 under par 268 win by five strokes and collected the $5,000 first prize. His total was a record and so was his final round of eight under par 64.
Blancas, with a birdie on the seventy-second hole, edged Massengale by a stroke off round of 68, 69, 69, 67 for 273 to earn $2,750. Massengale, who had the misfortune to bogey the seventy-second hole, shot 70, 67, 69, for 274 to realize $1,967.
The victory ended a two-year drought by "Gentle Ben" and provided him with the kind of confidence to be a consistent winner on the big tour. He went on to win four tournaments in 1976 and bank $257,759.00, second only to Jack Nicklaus in the money-winning race. In 1977 he added the Colonial National Invitational Championship to his portfolio and more than $115,000,000 to his bankroll. "It all started at Horseshoe Bay," Ben confessed. "The Texas State Open got me back on the right track."
In Horseshoe Bays 1976 Open, Keith Fergus, fresh from the University of Houston, was a fledgling professional making only his second start in the play for the pay ranks. Fergus, wrung out round 72, 69, 68, 72 for 281 to triumph by two strokes over Tom Kite. With a ball out-of-bound his first, tee shot, Kite complied 74, 68, 70, 72 for 283. The key to Fergus $5,000.00 paycheck had to be an eagle three he made on the final round on the 503 yard fifth hole. That put him two strokes apart from the rest of the field and non-one was ever able to catch him!
Kite collected $2,750.00 as runner-up, and Blancos finished third at 284 to pick up $1,937.00.
Another beginning pro like Fergus, who took home the biggest prize, was Tom Wilson, from the University of Texas. Tom knocked in a number five iron on the thirteenth, the designated "ace" hole, to drive away fro the Texas Open with a $8000.00 Ford Thunderbird, courtesy of Don Hickman, the Horseshoe Bay auto dealer at San Antonio and the Marble Falls realtor, Clayton Nolen.
Robert Trent Hones, Sr. designer of Slick Rock golf course, is quoted as saying it is one of the great courses of the world. It is often singled out by Golf Magazine, Travel and Leisure and Business Week, as one of the top ten courses in Texas. There is no question about its developers, at a tremendous cost, who continue to present the finest possible golfing pleasure.
Texas State Open champion in 1977 was Bobby Walzel, 1978 champion was Jeff Mitchell and 1979 champion was Ben Crenshaw.
Each open was underwritten by Norman and Wayne who selected The Buckner Baptist Benevolent Foundation, which operated The Buckner Boys Ranch in nearby Burnet to receive the tournament proceeds.
Organization and production of the tournament was the responsibility of Bob Putt with Eileen Hurd assisting.
By 1976, the new main entrance of the Yacht Club was completed, as were five new condominiums, "The Oaks", "Las Encinas", "Timber Ridge", "Bay View Villas", and "The Sundowner". 5019 Big Spur, a single family dwelling, was also completed. (Present home of Dr. Dale and Lucille Johnson.)
Horseshoe Bays popular "Thrifty Rent-A-Car" service was available through the club, and the new airport provided UNICOM and ADF service as well as 80 and 100 octane.
By the time the Norman Hurd Center was completed it had already began hosting many prestigious corporations, private and member functions. Memberships to the club were growing by leaps and bounds. Among new members joining during a one month period in early 1978 were: The John Daughertys, D.D. Huckabees, Bill Gravelys, Bill Shields, Ray Butlers, Roy Butlers, Bob Jeffries, Larry Wards, James Huies, Robin Richie, Jack Browns, Jerry Hammerschmidts, Cyril Wagners, Tom Campbells, Jorge Castanedas, Pat Paynes, and Enrique Canales.
The opening of the beautiful "Captains Room". With its quality service, gourmet menu and delicious pastries was an overwhelming success as it continues to be today.
December brought everyone out to take advantage of the Horseshoe Bay "Turkey Shoot" at Slick Rock Golf Course. It was Couples Day as the "Shoot" teed off. Couples played for merchandise, prizes and turkeys. Woody and Ella Mae Frasier beat the pack and took home the 20 pound first prize turkey along with their gift certificate. Not far behind were George and Julie Harrell who won a certificate and a 14-pound bird. Rounding the "Top Four" were Al Allen and Lavern Winters, and John and Pat Carey who took home 12 and 10 pound gobblers.
By the time six years had passed, Norman owned the control of all corporations involved in the development of Horseshoe Bay. During the same year, he traded Lake L.B.J. Improvement Corporation to Wayne (the corporation responsible for sub-dividing land into lots) and took over complete operations of all amenities The Lake L.B.J. Investment Corporation, parent company of Horseshoe Bay Country Club, Horseshoe Bay Management Company and the Horseshoe Bay Inn.
During 1977 The Tennis (temporary) Pro Shop opened at the "Courtside" units. Larry Amador, former teaching pro at Brookhaven Country Club of Dallas, joined the recreational staff at Horseshoe Bay as tennis pro. He and wife Jannette have two children: Justin 16 and Kara 14.
Lake L.B.J. Investment, Inc.
Yacht Club Operations
Fairwind Dining Facility
Norman C. Hurd Center Operations
Hurd Center Port Room/South Wind Room/Starboard Room
Tennis Center Operations
Racket Club and Pro Shop
Slick Rock Golf Operations
Golf Clubhouse Pro Shop
Cap Rock Operations
Golf Clubhouse Pro Shop Facility
Airport Terminal/Pilots Lounge/Executive Airport
Management Company Operations
The 25 Room Inn Facility
By 1978 Horseshoe Bay was offering the ultimate in hunting in a world youve never dreamed of, in the finest hunting land in Texas, representing exclusive seldom-hunted country abounding with deer, turkey and exotic sheep. The club obtained exclusive hunting rights for its members and guests, presenting a complete well planned hunt inclusive of on site transportation. For a slightly added cost, they would provide your license and rifle, and could "almost" guarantee youd bring home a full curl Mouflon Ram! Even taxidermy service was available to display your rack of horns or mount your trophy head. Ah! Yes! Horseshoe Bay presented a hunters world one only dreamed of! The hunt, by its very nature was extremely limited.
The Yacht Clubs Anchor Lounge Happy Hour and Cheese Board every Friday and Sunday evenings was drawing crowds, and the club was offering more and more sophistication when members began showing beautifully designed personalized keys, when utilizing club amenities.
The grand opening of the 21st Hole June 24, 1978 proved a fun filled event with complimentary drinks and scrumptious hors doeuvres. Also opening at The Yacht Club in August of that year was the "Poop Deck", an adult game room environment located above the Anchor Bar and Lounge. Made available to club members were professional bridge and card tables, backgammon, chess, dominos, electric tennis and pong table games plus built-in television for special sports events.
Bingo Night, sponsored by the Club, featured a "Gamblers Buffet" and "Dealers Cocktail". Held the first and last Tuesday of each month, it proved to be very popular. Bingo has since been moved to Quail Point Lodge on Red Sails, where a catered dinner and donated deserts are served.
The Property Owners Association was granted authorization for construction of a badly needed addition to the Voluntary Fire Department House. Costs were handled from sale of unused machinery and generous donations from property owners.
One of National Homes' obligations to the developers under the terms of their contract was to operate and maintain the recreational amenities (Yacht Club, golf course, tennis court, stables and marina). They were running those facilities strictly as a sales tool with no plan of developing a viable resort business and were becoming unhappy with their cost. An agreement was reached whereby their obligations would be turned over to "Club Corporation of America" under a management contract. That contract was terminated by Norman in 1978, due to their inability, at that time, to produce the required quality.
Delightful Valerie White, Director of Horseshoe Bay Resort Services, understands the capacity of people she directs a gift that has lead her through remarkable paths and intriguing occupations. Three and one-half years of travel with her former husband, head of the advanced team that set national and international campaign sites for Bill Graham led to other important fields. Director of "Uniroyal" in the fiber division, where she covered 17 states, News-Editor for the "Dallas Daily Commercial Record", Training Director for "Jo Jo" Restaurants of California, covering seven states and continuing her management capacity with "Country Dinner Playhouse" in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio from where she joined The Horseshoe Bay Resort Staff in 1978.
About a month later, impressive dedicated Yon Joyoprayitno, Horseshoe Bay Resort Director of Food and Beverages, joined the club staff. For the previous eight years he had been maitre d on the Holland American steamship lines prestigious "Rotterdam", the largest ship on the seas at that time. Born in Magelang, Indonesia, Yon is now a U.S. citizen. His wife, the former Elizabeth Thomas, (affectionately known as "Liz") is from Greenwich, Connecticut. They have two sons, John and Derick.
The Horseshoe Bay Volunteer Fire Department had been an active fire fighting force for the past four years. Its active volunteer members, under the direction of Jim Leming and John Walior, earned top ratings. Among those faithful members, service Oak Ridge, Horseshoe Bay and Cottonwood: Hancle Stevenson, Orville Wigam, Allan Houdak, Coleen Leming, Bob Emerson, Greg Widmer, Jerry Palmer, Jerry Hammerschmidt, Bob Hawkinson, Dutch Leming, Ricky Lopez, David Rebera, Larry Rice, Buck Weaver, Jim Leming, Mac Abell, Ken Abell, Butch Reber, and George Marshall.
The "Horseshoe Bay Inn" opened its 25 room lodging facility in 1979, along with the construction of Yacht Club Executive Offices in the basement of the Norman C. Hurd Center.
The first edition of The Horseshoe Bay Directory was printed in 1979 by its founder, Mac Abell, a member of the Board of Directors at the time. The first few years editions, (with the exception of 150 copies), were subsidized by Ken Abell until Mac established sufficient advertisers to defray costs. The P.O. A. relieved Mac of her donated duties in 1984.
In 1979, barricades were placed on Highway 2147 at the Seven Eleven Store and the fire station, due to the construction of the bridge. The road was closed from the last day of school to the first day of school, with a heavy penalty for each day it was late.
An office was established at Quail Point and the first Bookkeeper-Clerk, Jeannie Nolen, became the first employee for the new office of Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association. Office equipment was loaned by Director Jim Hartzheim. A Justice of Peace Office was also established at the same time across from Quail Point, with Charlie Keiser Jr. as the first Justice of Peace, followed by "Buck" Weaver, then John Demarest who served for ten years, retiring August 31, 1990.
By 1980 the Property Owners Association had developed "The Plan" approved by the Texas Water Rights Commission whereby M.U.D. could take over the operation of the Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services which registered voters overwhelmingly approved. They also authorized a tax of .05 per $100 valuation to fund these activities.
Due to the many requests for a cemetery in Horseshoe Bay, Wayne offered to donate a suitable site. The P.O.A. appointed its first of many subsequent committees to study the feasibility of the request. Hancle Stevenson became chairman, with Ken Abell, Ed. Fulgham, Bill Menasco and Charlie Wallace. By 1989 the development of the Horseshoe Bay Mausoleum became a reality. Located on the south side of Horseshoe Creek, on Mountain Dew near Horseshoe Bay South, the access road ends in a parking lot where a footpath leads to the site. Owner-management is the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association. There are 72 crypts and 48 niches. The other cemetery in Burnet County is the Lakeland Hills Memorial Park, Inc. Highway 281 toward Burnet off Park Road 4 approximately five miles from Horseshoe Bay.
Ike Williams was hired as the new general manager of the Horseshoe Bay Municipal Utility District (M.U.D.) in 1980. At that time, it is interesting to note the district employed two people in the office and three men in the field, making a total of six employees. Today they have 25 employees. During the same year, M.U.D. added another 750m000 gallon storage tank just north of the airport.
The Slick Rock Golf Course was rated in the top 50 courses in the state by Golf Digest, with 1980 club champions, Sam Boyd in mens, Joyce Cheney in womens, and Player of the Year, Allen Winters. The Golf Digest also rated the 18th hole as one of the toughest holes in the nation and the 16th hole graced the cover of Digest that year. Since reviving the Texas State Open in 1975, the Horseshoe Bay Country Club made it a showcase attraction. Winners those five years had been Ben Crenshaw in 1975, Keith Fergus in 1976, Bobby Walzel in 1977, Jeff Mitchell in 1978, Ben Crenshaw in 1979 and for the second time in a row in 1980.
Upon opening of the "Ram Rock" (temporary) Pro Shop and the 18 hole "Ram Rock Golf Course" located at Horseshoe Bay West, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. went on record in the Golf Digest as saying, "It was the best he had ever designed".
There are four indoor and eight outdoor tennis courts in Horseshoe Bay, plus two sport courts located at the Horseshoe Bay Resort and Conference Center. Larry Amador, former teaching pro of Brookhaven Country Club of Dallas joined the recreational staff at Horseshoe Bay as tennis pro in 1977. He and wife Jannette have two children, Justin 16 and Kara 14.
In order to protect and preserve important items in the old historic Fuch House located in Horseshoe Bay South, the Property Owner Association assigned Handle Stephenson and Mac Abell to box the items and store them at Quail Point.
On October 14, 1981, the P.O.A. passed a motion to transfer the fire department and responder car, to the L.B.J. Municipal Utility District (M.U.D.). The building and land was transferred with a reversionary clause that if M.U.D. ever ceased to use the building and land as a fire station, the land and building will revert to the P.O.A. This is pursuant to provisions of a plan for M.U.D. to take over operation of the Volunteer Fire Department and E.M.S. which was overwhelmingly approved by Horseshoe Bay registered voters. The same year, temporary connections were made to service water to Deerhaven. On September 4, 1984 a new permanent connecting to the Deerhaven Water System was completed, for which a satisfactory fee is paid.
Horseshoe Bay Security, heretofore provided by the Horseshoe Bay Resort was discontinued in 1980 and P.O. A. assumed responsibility. Dave Martin volunteered to act as director of security to supervise the operations of the new department. Wayne offered to subsidize the security if for some unforeseen reason the P.O.A. had insufficient income to pay their full share of the cost of operations after payment of their administrative expenses.
Lake Lyndon B. Johnson was known as "Granite Shoals Lake" until 1965 when it was renamed after the president, who plowed through its waters on a powerful cruiser as an antidote to the pressures of world leadership.
During his reign as president, Lyndon B. Johnson would have his secret service block off the portion of the lake from the shoreline north of Quail Point to the opposite shore so he could ski in this area. Two or three years after the Yacht Club opened, he came to see Norman to offer congratulations on the quality being put into "his: lake, and later, writing a letter complimenting the quality of the development by its developers.
Horseshoe Bays 10th Anniversary of the ground breaking on May 5, 1971 covered ten years of progress. One of the most successful resorts in the southwest, as early as 1980, it could boast:
Tennis Club Champions for 1979 were Ann Randal and Charles Hale. 1980 Susie Schumaker and Don Dial and 1981 Ruth Stanford and Jim Hawkins.
1981 Horseshoe Bay "Golf Club Player of the Year" was George Covert, with a total 29.25 points. Joyce Chaney won the honor for the ladies, with 42.5 points.
Charlie Eslicker smacked his first hole-in-one ever on the 162 yard second hole at "Slick Rock". J.J. McDaniel made the first ace on the 12th hole.
As Horseshoe Bay prospered, it flowed into Marble Falls, a city of a population of 2,700 people with 84 businesses in 1969. By 1980 it had a population of 3,598 and 166 commercial enterprises, all made possible by the splendid cooperation and support the two communities have shown by working together for the betterment of all. Today Marble Falls has a population of over 5,000.
A very interesting experience occurred when member Mac Boring, Jr. of Odessa and Horseshoe Bay and a director of the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company was a passenger on a $10 million jet equipped with a bar, stereo and television that took off January 8, 1982 in an attempt to set a round-the-world speed record for a business plane. "The Spirit of America" took off from the small airport of Teterboro, New Jersey at 5:43 A.M. carrying five crewmen and five passengers hoping to fly 23,000 miles and land on the same field by 6:00 A.M. January 10, 1982. The present record was set by Arnold Palmer, with a time of 57 hours and 25 minutes set in 1976 in a Lear Jet.
The flight plan called for the twin-engine jet to make refueling stops in Geneva, Switzerland, Bahrain, Singapore, Guam and Hilo, Hawaii. The flight was being co-sponsored by National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, which own the Gulf Stream American. The plane left its first stop in Switzerland at 2:40 P.M. Friday six minutes ahead of schedule. It took them 20 minutes longer to get to Geneva than theyd expected because the projected tail winds did not materialize.
The plane had a cruising speed of 520 mph and could fly at an altitude of 45,000 feet. It could carry 4,200 gallons of fuel which gave it a range of about 4,000 miles. The aircraft was so popular that, despite its $14 million price tag, there was a backlog on deliveries until 1985.
Contacting Mr. Boring, I learned "The Spirit of America" with its five crewmen broke Arnold Palmers record with a time of 47 hours and 39 minutes, leaving January 8 and returning January 10, 1982, covering 23,314 ½ statue miles!
Horseshoe Bays first prestigious "Member of the Year" Award was presented to Don and "Johnnie" Hickman in 1982. Other recipients of honor were:
During a meeting in 1981 of the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association, Wayne presented a brief outline of Horseshoe Bay. "The first stage to be developed was the original Coca Cola Ranch consisting of approximately 3,000 acres, 2,300 acres above water level and 600+ below water. In Phase I 1550 acres were developed and the remainder (lying between Horseshoe Bay and Horseshoe Bay South) was then being developed, including Thanksgiving Mountain (EMs Mountain) in Horseshoe Bay North. Horseshoe Bay South was originally known as The Hedges Ranch (676 acres back in the hills). The last section known as Horseshoe Bay West, was formerly the 2,300-acre Wennmoth Ranch. To date 819 lots have been developed with 305 more in the final stage of development or a little more than 1/3 of the area developed to date".
Police Chief Douglas Hallmark and his assistant Ken Langston, along with soon to be appointed third member all fully qualified law officers were headquartered at the guardhouse at the main entrance.
On March 17, 1982 a request was made by Norman and Wayne to the County Commissioners of Llano County to change the name of the portion of Horseshoe Boulevard which lies south of RR 2147 to "Clayton Nolen Drive". Nolen, owner of "Nolen Real Estate" in Marble Falls acted as local liaison man for the Hurds in the early days of the planning and development of Horseshoe Bay. He served the area in many official capacities, including game warden, county commissioner of Burnet County, Mayor of Marble Falls, advisory director of Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the first president of the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association, and also served on numerous tax boards of equalization. Clayton loved nothing more than to dominate the kitchen in his home cooking and serving friends and family, his fried memorable catfish, hush puppies and sinfully delicious pralines!
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