With its relatively warm and sunny conditions throughout the year, Texas is a terrific place for a golf trip from summer to winter. Texans love to go big and bold, and their selection of quality golf courses reflects that sentiment. From world-class private clubs with panoramic views and state-of-the-art practice facilities to quiet, hometown courses where you can hit a bucket of balls and have a six-pack of beer with friends, the Texan appetite for fun and adventure is mirrored in their golfing culture.
Whether you are looking for new local spots or a lavish vacation with your golfing buddies, you can find your perfect golf destination in the great state of Texas.
1. Dallas National Golf Club
Not only is Dallas National on the must-play list for the greater Texas area, it’s also ranked among the top 100 courses in the country. Although you’ll need an invite from a current member to play (as it’s a private course, no big surprise there), it’s worth calling in a big favor for a chance to hit these links.
According to club officials, course architect Tom Fazio has “15 course designs in Golf Digest’s Top 100, tying for the most among living architects, and has overseen renovations of perennial leaders Augusta National, Pine Valley, Oakmont, Winged Foot and Merion.”
Besides the breathtaking natural landscape (even so close to Dallas) the impressive practice facilities are a big draw for members. A 130-yard–wide range with practice tees on either end plus “eight bunkered target greens and a short-game practice area with the six bent grass greens,” means players only get the best — even when warming up.
2. Barton Creek, Fazio Canyons
Golf Magazine’s top-ranked public course in Texas is set in the midst of a grand luxury resort by Omni Hotels, nestled just outside of Austin, Texas. The Barton Creek resort is actually home to four separate championship-level courses, making this resort a dynamic spot for a golf trip.
That said, Fazio Canyons is definitely our pick for the best of the four, and we can see why Golf Magazine ranked it at number one. This newly renovated course, also from the mind of Tom Fazio, has pristine greens and one of the top finishers in the state — a downhill par 5 for the 18th hole.
Bonus tip: There’s a mini golf course for any kiddos you may have in tow.
3. The Rawls at Texas Tech
Let’s hear it for good old-fashioned public courses! This relatively inexpensive course is big, wide open and one hundred percent Texan. If you’ve heard of Pacific Dunes in Oregon (another awesome course), then maybe you have also heard of Tom Doak — Pacific Dunes designer and creator of The Rawls.
This West-Texas golf destination is particularly impressive because of the fact that all its interesting and dynamic holes were built up from completely flat ground. This Troon Golf property out in Lubbock, Texas was named number three “campus course” by Golf Week.
4. TPC San Antonio – AT&T Oaks
Ranked as one of Golf Magazine’s “Best New Courses of 2010,” as well as Golf Digest’s list of the “100 Greatest Public Courses,” this TPC network course experience is designed with the all-inclusive golf trip in mind, including “buddy trip” specials. In true Texas fashion, there’s even a golf and football experience package: “Golf the Gridiron,” combining two things almost all Texans love.
This home of the Valero Texas Open is a tournament-style course designed by Greg Norman, with PGA player input from Sergio Garcia. Course officials say the design seeks to mirror natural landscape, rather than mimic the wide-open grassy mounds seen in most modern courses.
— C. Pedroja