Texas is big.
With more than 268,820 square miles, the Lone Star state is roughly half the size of Alaska and just a bit bigger than France.
Cordillera Ranch, like the state it resides in, is no exception.
Located just 20 minutes north of San Antonio, Cordillera Ranch is in the heart of Texas’ hill country. The 8,700-acre private community is classic Texas. Lots range from one-quarter to 10 acres and overlook Texas’ vast and beautiful landscape. Rolling hills and lush greenery make it look more like the Napa Valley and less like arid, iconic Texas.
What sets Cordillera apart from other gated properties is its 2,500 full-time residents.
In the private community world, this is a rarity. While most private communities are filled with second and third homes, full-time residents give a community more depth. Instead of flying in and out for weekends, neighbors get to know each other and foster friendships.
“The people out here are fascinating, and it’s one of the more enjoyable aspects of being here,” said Keitha Schofield, resident and club member. “People tend to define their lives by who they are now, and not by their careers. And that is just beautiful.”
Established in 1997 by the DH Investment Co., Cordillera is home to two working ranches, 5 miles of frontage along the Guadalupe River and 90 acres of dedicated park land. The community centerpiece is its 40,000-square-foot clubhouse. Built with native limestone and timbers, the clubhouse’s patios and terraces provide rambling views.
A sprawling clubhouse, overlooking Cordillera Ranch's 18th green, is one of numerous amenities that helps bring the community of full-time residents together. (Photo: Cordillera Ranch)
The area and lots give members room to roam. However, the club’s range of activities give them the opportunity to get together. On any given day, members can workout, play tennis, relax by the pool, play the course, float and fish the Guadalupe, or hit the sporting clay course.
Of course, when raising a family, a community’s schools are a factor. That’s one of Cordillera’s strengths. The community lies within the Boerne Independent School District, ranked as one of the top school districts in the San Antonio area by Niche, a lifestyle and education analyst group.
This region of Texas is a blooming swath of land that stretches from the northwest of San Antonio to southwest of Austin. It also makes for one helluva place to build a golf course.
Named the 2014 Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course delivers. Live oaks, native grasses and rolling elevations give the course a distinctive feel. Water hazards consist of waterfalls cascading down natural limestone formations.
“You can’t find a better putting surface anywhere in south Texas,” said Jimmy Walker, a two-time PGA Tour winner, resident and club member, on the property’s website. “To be able to grow bentgrass greens down here and keep them at the level Cordillera does it is pretty amazing,”
Opened in 2006, the 7,464-yard, par-72 course offers some of the finest holes in the Lone Star state. The 16th is ranked one of the “Most Beautiful Hole in Texas” by the Dallas Morning News, while No. 12 is listed in “Best Holes of Texas” of the same ranking.
Patrick Rhyne has spent the last 20 years building luxury and private community brands across the United States, Mexico and Caribbean. He lives in Asheville, N.C.