Rayburn Country offers fishing and golf at its best

Robert Sloan photos

Last weekend Rayburn Country, just north of Jasper, was at its very finest with plenty of sunshine, morning temperatures in the upper 40s and afternoon highs in the 70s. For many folks, it was a prime opportunity for a round of golf. For others it was a perfect day for bass and crappie fishing on big Sam Rayburn Lake.

Last weekend’s weather was quite a change from three weeks ago when torrential rains soaked East Texas and caused massive flooding downstream of Toledo Bend. At one point Rayburn was about 5-1/2 feet high, with muddy water and few fishermen on the lake. That was then; this is now. This past weekend, I was up at Rayburn Country and things couldn’t have been better. The lake is back to normal level, the water is clear and the fish are biting.

The golf course is in great shape, and offers a shot at a half day of fishing capped off with 18 holes of some of the finest golf you’ll find in Texas. The opportunity to play golf and fish in the same day is rare, but one that is big time popular at Rayburn Country.

“We got a whole lot of rain in March, and it made things a little miserable for a while,” says guide Bill Fondren, who specializes in catching big time numbers of crappie on Rayburn. “But that’s history now. The fishing is great, and the golf course is looking fine.”

The first time I met Fondren for a day of fishing and golf was about three years ago. It sounded good and was a great time. But at the end of the day, we were whipped. You can only play so long before raising the white flag. After catching a box of crappie that morning, 18 holes of golf that afternoon and a perfectly cooked steak at the clubhouse restaurant, a night of sleep at the adjacent hotel was a welcome ending to a day of fun in the sun.

The golf course is very popular with lots of folks in Southeast Texas. The newly renovated 18 holes of championship golf is some of the best in Texas. The front nine is now what the “old timers” called the Blue Course. This renovated front nine was extended and widened to enhance the corridors and allow the player to execute different shots off the tee. The back nine is the old Gold Course with outstanding views, rolling elevations and pine trees lining the fairways.

“Our golf tournaments are a popular choice to raise money for a charity or a personal cause,” says Libby Mullins with Rayburn Country. “We’ve got a 14,000-square-foot clubhouse that’s fully equipped with banquet rooms, a restaurant, bar and stocked golf shop.”

At the end of the day, you can stay at the Rayburn Country Hotel, next to the restaurant and golf course. This newly renovated 48-room hotel is perfect for the whole family. There are also two suites equipped with a living area and kitchen that has connections to one or two rooms. And for fishermen, there is boat parking behind the hotel.

The most fascinating thing about this little chunk of paradise is that it’s all surrounded by the Angelina National Forest. It’s got a little bit of everything from fine dining to golf and some of the best bass, crappie and catfishing that you’ll find in Texas. Check it out; you won’t be disappointed.

Enchanted Rock graffiti

Law enforcement officials from the State Park Police, Texas Game Wardens and San Marcos Police Department Wednesday arrested two individuals in connection with defacing of the iconic Enchanted Rock.


Charles Agawereh, 24, and Meredith Baird, 21, both of San Marcos, are accused of painting graffiti on the south face of the summit at Enchanted Rock State Park near Fredericksburg. The massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for thousands of years.

The incident occurred March 20, and a photograph of the suspects standing in front of the graffiti placed on social media eventually led to information identifying both individuals.Additional charges are pending as a result of the arrest and search warrant execution.


Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.