History of Utopia
The Links of Utopia setting for the book and movie, Seven Days In Utopia: Golf's Sacred Journey, is a blend of fact and fiction. There really is a Utopia, Texas (find it with your GPS at 29.616402N, 99.526623W), and there is a 9-hole golf course.
Johnny is fictional. The real Golf Utopia is owned by Lou Waters and managed by his son-in-law Robert Sullivan. It opened in 2001 and includes several water hazards and only one bunker. Fifty of the 400 local residents are members of Golf Utopia.
And there is a cemetery adjacent to the golf course. The Waresville Cemetery is named for Captain William Ware who first settled the area in 1852. Among others, his daughter Sarah Ware Kincheloe is buried there. She was killed when she stood between her children and attacking Lipan Apaches in 1866 and took 17 arrows in her body.
The population of Utopia has fluctuated with drought and economic cycles, but in 2000 it stood at 241. Home also to giant cypress, oak, cedar and "lost maples," Utopia is located in the Sabinal Canyon on the Sabinal River about 80 miles WNW from San Antonio. Utopia grew out of the Waresville settlement and was nearly named "Montana" in 1884. However, another Texan town had that name, so residents reconsidered. Good thing too. Can you imagine, "Links of Montana"?!