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The course is open to the public and has special, like times when T E R XA TE N IN golfers pay one green fee and can Wintearn play the entire Tex TIMES day. RI O TE The village, G O LF C which is home to Winter Texans ER TEXAN INT and’ locals alike W has a population of a little more than 1,000 residents. Stebbins said about 25 percent of the people play golf at least some of the time. “The public is invited. All they have to do is stop at the gate and let security know they are playing golf and they’ll let you through,” said Stebbins, who moved to the Long Island Village with his wife 10 years ago from Indiana. “We have our Village Grill restaurant adjacent to the parking lot and it’s really a nice course.” But don’t think it’s too easy though. One resident, also a write, wrote in a golf journal that it was the toughest golf course to play. Long Island Village is located 33840 South Garcia in Port Isabel. The pro shop number is (956) 943-7520.

2ND PLACE

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Long Island Village makes its first appearance as a Winter Texan favorite this year, finishing second between two perennial favorites – River Bend and South Padre Island courses. The news took Garry Stebbins, golf committee chairman, by pleasant surprise. “That is fantastic,” he said. “We don’t get too much press, but we have a wonderful golf course.” The course is an 18-hole par-3 course located in Port Isabel just across the Intracoastal Waterway. Hole distances range from 50 yards to 140 yards. But that 140 yards can feel like 170 or more since golfers are hitting into the wind. Even No. 12 at only 50 yards can be a challenge with all 50 yards being over water. The course has water on 75 percent of the holes, including the signature hole, the 110-yard No. 8. Water follows the fairway along the right side and the green is tucked away behind it at the end. “You need some accurate shots out here,” Stebbins said. “The good thing is that you can be done with a round in two hours or less because it’s a par-3.”

O FAV

River Bend Resort & Golf Club was founded in 1983. The Rio T E R XA TE N Grande Valley is IN renowned for its climate, flora and Wintearn Tex TIMES fauna, friendly RI people and ecoO TE C G O LF nomical lifestyle and River Bend ER TEX worked to bring AN INT ’ W ittogether in one location. The name is derived from the huge bend in the Rio Grande River that borders the resort and provides the property with a lush tropical setting. Plants and birds not seen elsewhere in the U.S. are common throughout River Bend Resort & Golf Club.. “We’re still looking at how we can reach theWinter Texans more,” Barnard said. “They are a huge part of us and we love how faithful and loyal they are. They have an old-school mentality where they want to be a part of something and belong somewhere. We have some guys who moved here in 1985 or 86 – they don’t need a yardage book, that’s for sure.” River Bend is located at 4541 US-281 in Brownsville. The course measures from 5,601 yards to 6,773 yards. For more information, call 956-465-1141.

1ST PLACE

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If River Bend Golf Course was one of the best kept secrets of the Rio GrandeValley, the Winter Texans are doing their best to change that. For the second straight year those Winter Texans have voted the course their most favorite in the Lower Rio Grande Valley River Bend was built as a nine-hole course but expanded to 18 holes in 1985. It’s situated along the banks of the Rio Grande and has been considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Valley mainly because there has been no marketing – zero, nada, zilch. That changed when the Barnard family purchased the course in 2015. Now General Manager Jeremy Barnard and his dad and uncle – owners of the course – have huge plans. River Bend has approximately 75 fulltime residents and swells to more than 600 when the Winter Texans arrive. “The Winter Texan market makes up about 35-40 percent of our business and we have started reaching out to other parks and opening different options for memberships,” Barnard said

Long Island Village: 2nd Place in Lower Valley

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River Bend Golf Course: 1st Place in Lower Valley

FEBRUARY 8, 2018 27 www.wttrgv.com

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WINTER TEXAN TIMES

February 8, 2018 - WTT ISSUE  

February 8, 2018 - WTT ISSUE - Digital Edition

February 8, 2018 - WTT ISSUE  

February 8, 2018 - WTT ISSUE - Digital Edition