Oddball Local Rules at Willie Nelson's Golf Course

Willie Nelson plays guitar

One name of the golf course in Spicewood, Texas, that is approximately 30 miles west/northwest of Austin, near Lake Travis, is Pedernales Golf Club. But it's much better known by it's other name: Willie Nelson's Pedernales Cut-N-Putt.

Country music and entertainment legend Willie Nelson has owned the property since 1979 (with one forced break, more on that below). And as much as the golf club is known for being Willie Nelson's golf hangout, it's also known for some ... unusual ... local rules.

Go to the Course Rules page on the Pedernales Golf Club/Cut-N-Putt website and you'll find the headline, "Local Rules and Etiquette." Below that 12 local rules and customs are listed. Some of them are legitimate local rules, the kind you might find at any golf course. Others are, well, quirky. The quirky ones are Willie's.

Here are the 12 "Local Rules and Etiquette" at Willie Nelson's Cut-N-Putt in Spicewood, Texas:

  1. When another player is shooting, no player should talk, whistle, hum, clink coins, or pass gas.
  2. Don’t play until the group in front is out of the way.
  3. Excessive displays of affection are discouraged. Violators must replace divots and will be penalized five strokes.
  4. Replace divots, smooth footprints in bunkers, brush backtrail with branches, park car under brush, and have the office tell your spouse you’re in a conference.
  5. Let faster groups play through.
  6. On the putting green, don’t step on another’s line.
  7. “Freebies” are not recommended for players with short putts.
  8. No more than twelve in your foursome.
  9. Gambling is forbidden, of course, unless you’re stuck or you need a legal deduction for charitable or educational expenses.
  10. All carts are not allowed within 20 ft. of traps or aprons surrounding greens.
  11. No bikinis, mini-skirts, skimpy see-through, or sexually exploitative attire allowed. Except on women.
  12. Please leave course in the condition in which you would like for it to be found.
No passing gas during another's swing, no more than 12 in a foursome? Oh, that Willie. He's a scamp. (Related: The PGA Tour golfer who was fined for farting)

As noted, Nelson bought the club — formerly named Briarcliff Yacht and Golf Club — in 1979. He converted the existing clubhouse into a recording studio, and some of his albums since then have been recorded there. Some of Willie's famous friends are known to frequent the golf course, too, when they are visiting Austin. (There have also been planned and staged celebrity pro-am tournaments there over the years.) Of course, you might even see Willie himself out on the course on any given day (although Nelson spends a lot of time touring so is usually away, or "on the road again").

The club also has condos and houses on site, which house Willie and friends during recording sessions, with some serving as homes to Nelson's friends and staff.

Nelson temporarily lost possession of his Cut-N-Putt during his tax troubles with the IRS in the early 1990s, but reacquired the course in 1992.

Can you play Willie Nelson’s Cut-N-Putt? The club's website states that "it’s a relaxing and refreshing divergence from the formal country club scene. ... We play golf here to have fun, and as you would expect, a lot of fun is had by all."

Memberships are available, but the golf course is open to the public. Visit the Pedernales Cut-N-Putt website to find out how to book a tee time. The course offers no food, but does have drinks for sale. The pro shop includes Willie Nelson golf memorabilia and merchandise for sale.

Photo credit: "Willie Nelson" by New York + Philly Live! is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .

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