I guess if you’re a living legend like Willie Nelson, you eventually get to a certain point in your career where you can pretty much do whatever you want.
And the red headed stranger bought his own golf course back in the day, so that he could go play some in the middle of his studio sessions while the sound engineers were mixing his songs after he laid down the vocals.
Called the Pedernales Country Club, but best known as Willie Nelson’s Cut ‘N Putt (seriously), it’s located in Lake Travis, about 29 miles west of Austin, and the property features a 9-hole course.
You’ll even find some hysterical, very Willie rules for the course on the home page, such as:
“Gambling is forbidden, of course, unless you’re stuck or you need a legal deduction for charitable or educational expenses.”
“No bikinis, mini-skirts, skimpy see-through, or sexually exploitative attire allowed. Except on women.”
To be honest, there were quite a few more, but I really didn’t know what most of them meant and have only ever stepped foot on a real golf course maybe twice in my life.
Willie actually purchased the complex in 1979, where he also constructed a studio on the property. The first project released from that studio was his 1983 album Tougher Than Leather, as well as his collaboration with Merle Haggard, Pancho and Lefty, later that same year.
And his son, Lukas, is an avid golfer himself, who picked up the sport around age five when he started playing with his dad.
He sat down on a recent podcast episode of the The Erik Anders Lang Show, where he talked a little bit about that specific course and why Willie wanted to purchase it, though that was quite a long time before he was even born:
“It was right next to the studio that he records in, so he liked to be able to cut a track, and then while they’re doing the engineering and mixing everything, he goes and plays nine holes and comes back and listens to it.
Cut and putt, you cut a track and go out… cut a track and then go play.”
Willie seriously bought the country club so he could go golf while he waited for his newly recorded songs to be mixed and engineered to perfection (hence Cut ‘N Putt)… men.
And Lukas says Willie really doesn’t take golf that seriously, and prefers to be really casual out on the course, using it more as an escape outside of music than anything else (in case that wasn’t really obvious by some of the aforementioned rules):
“Dad is very casual about it, extremely casual. The technical part never really was a factor. He’s very much, like, you know, the epitome of feel golf versus technical golf with him.
Music is our thing, and so we’re okay with just going on feel.”
Lukas also did a little a cappella bit of “Just Outside of Austin” on the episode, which is a former Whiskey Riff Song of the Week and one of my personal favorites: