Texas is known for many things, from its delicious BBQ to its vast landscapes and diverse culture. But one thing that often gets overlooked is its incredible golf courses. With over a thousand golf courses in the state, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one to play on. However, there are certain factors that make a golf course stand out from the rest. In this article, we will explore the top 5 golf courses in Texas and what makes them the best.
What Makes a Golf Course the Best?
Before we dive into the top golf courses in Texas, it’s essential to understand the factors that make a golf course stand out. Some of the key factors to consider include course design and layout, course condition and maintenance, scenery and surroundings, and difficulty level. A combination of these factors can create a memorable and challenging golfing experience.
Top 5 Golf Courses in Texas
- Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club
Located in Frankston, Texas, Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Country Club offers a challenging and picturesque course with rolling hills and pine trees. Designed by Jay and Carter Morrish, the course has received numerous accolades, including being ranked as the best golf course in Texas by Golfweek in 2020.
- Barton Creek Resort and Spa
Located in Austin, Texas, Barton Creek Resort and Spa offers four championship courses, including the famous Fazio Foothills course. The courses are designed by renowned architects, such as Tom Fazio and Ben Crenshaw, and offer stunning views of the Texas Hill Country.
- TPC San Antonio
Home to the Valero Texas Open, TPC San Antonio offers two championship courses, the Oaks and Canyons. Designed by Pete Dye, these courses offer a challenging and scenic golfing experience, with breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country.
- The Golf Club at Star Ranch
Designed by Bechtol Russell Golf Design, The Golf Club at Star Ranch in Hutto, Texas, offers a challenging 18-hole course with rolling terrain and natural water features. The course has been consistently ranked as one of the best in Texas since its opening in 2000.
- The Club at Carlton Woods
Located in The Woodlands, Texas, The Club at Carlton Woods offers two championship courses, the Fazio Championship and Nicklaus Signature. Both courses offer a challenging and scenic golfing experience, with immaculate course conditions and stunning views of Lake Woodlands.
Other Notable Golf Courses in Texas
While the above-mentioned courses are considered the top 5 in Texas, there are several other notable golf courses worth mentioning. These include The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University, The Quarry at La Quinta, The Golf Club of Dallas, The Tribute Golf Club, and The Old American Golf Club.
Texas offers a plethora of top-notch golf courses, each with its unique features and challenges. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned golfer, these courses are sure to provide an unforgettable golfing experience. So, the next time you’re planning a golfing trip, make sure to include one of these top golf courses in Texas on your itinerary.
- Experience the best golf courses in Texas, known for their challenging layouts, immaculate conditions and breathtaking scenery.
- The top 5 golf courses in Texas include Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club, Barton Creek Resort and Spa, TPC San Antonio, The Golf Club at Star Ranch, and The Club at Carlton Woods.
- Other notable courses in Texas include The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University, The Quarry at La Quinta, The Golf Club of Dallas, The Tribute Golf Club, and The Old American Golf Club.
What Makes a Golf Course the Best?
When it comes to golf courses, the word “best” can mean different things to different people. However, there are certain factors that most golfers can agree make a course stand out above the rest. In this section, we will explore the key elements that contribute to a golf course being considered the best. From the design and layout of the course to its overall condition and surrounding scenery, we will discuss the various factors that can elevate a golf course to the top of the list. So let’s dive in and discover what truly makes a golf course the best.
Factors to Consider:
When determining the best golf course in Texas, there are several factors to consider:
- Course Design and Layout: Look for courses that offer a variety of challenges, with strategic bunkers, water hazards, and well-placed trees.
- Course Condition and Maintenance: Consider the overall upkeep of the course, including the quality of the fairways, greens, and bunkers.
- Scenery and Surroundings: Choose courses that offer scenic views and a peaceful atmosphere, enhancing the overall golfing experience.
- Difficulty Level: Assess your skill level and choose a course that matches your abilities, whether you prefer a more forgiving or challenging course.
Pro-tip: Before choosing a golf course, read reviews and talk to other golfers to get a better understanding of the course’s reputation and its suitability for your preferences and skill level.
1. Course Design and Layout
When selecting the perfect golf course, it is important to consider the design and layout. Follow these steps to help make your decision:
- Research the course’s architect, as renowned architects often create unique and challenging layouts.
- Take into account the overall design of the course, including the arrangement of holes, hazards, and fairways.
- Evaluate the playability of the layout, ensuring it is suitable for your skill level and offers a variety of shot options.
- Assess the routing of the course, paying attention to the flow and transitions between holes.
- Observe the landscaping and natural features, such as water bodies or changes in elevation.
Pro-tip: Look for courses with picturesque views that will enhance your golfing experience.
2. Course Condition and Maintenance
The condition and maintenance of a golf course play a crucial role in determining its quality and enjoyment for players. To ensure a top-notch experience, consider the following steps:
- Well-maintained fairways and greens: Look for courses that prioritize regular mowing, watering, and fertilization to maintain lush and playable surfaces.
- Attention to bunkers and hazards: A well-maintained course will have bunkers with consistent sand quality and properly maintained hazards that add challenge without being overly punitive.
- Proper irrigation system: Courses with efficient irrigation systems ensure consistent hydration for the entire course, preventing dry or patchy areas.
- Regular maintenance schedule: Courses that adhere to a regular maintenance schedule for aerating, fertilizing, and pest control demonstrate a commitment to keeping the course in excellent condition.
Pro-tip: Before booking a tee time, check online reviews or speak to fellow golfers to get firsthand information about the course’s condition and maintenance practices.
3. Scenery and Surroundings
When considering the scenery and surroundings of a golf course in Texas, there are several factors to take into account:
- Location: Look for courses with picturesque views, such as those nestled in Texas Hill Country or those with views of lakes.
- Landscaping: Consider courses with well-maintained landscaping, including manicured fairways, beautiful flowers, and mature trees.
- Wildlife: Courses with diverse wildlife, such as deer or birds, can enhance the overall experience.
- Amenities: Take into consideration the amenities provided, such as stunning clubhouses, scenic outdoor seating areas, and views from the practice facilities.
- Surrounding attractions: Find courses located near other attractions, such as resorts, parks, or historic sites, which can provide additional enjoyment beyond golfing.
These courses are so challenging, even Tiger Woods would break a sweat.
4. Difficulty Level
A golf course’s difficulty level is a crucial factor to keep in mind when selecting the best one for your game. Here are some steps to evaluate the difficulty level of a golf course:
- Course length: Longer courses tend to be more challenging.
- Hazards: Look for the presence of water hazards, bunkers, and trees that can significantly impact your shots.
- Course design: Consider the layout of the course, such as narrow fairways or undulating greens.
- Course rating: Check the course rating, which indicates its difficulty for scratch golfers.
Pro-tip: If you’re a beginner, choose a course with a lower difficulty level to enhance your enjoyment and skill development.
These courses are so good, they’ll make you forget about the blazing Texas sun and the fact that you’re terrible at golf.
Top 10 Golf Courses in Texas
When it comes to golfing in Texas, there is no shortage of exceptional courses to choose from. But, which ones truly stand out among the rest? In this section, we will take a closer look at the top 10 golf courses in Texas. From the serene and challenging Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club to the luxurious Barton Creek Resort and Spa, each of these courses offers a unique and unforgettable golfing experience. Get ready to tee off at some of the best golf courses that the Lone Star State has to offer.
1. Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club
Located in Frankston, Texas, the renowned Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts. Spanning 170 acres, this course offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for players of all levels. The picturesque course design and layout, with its towering pine trees and rolling fairways, provide a stunning backdrop for golfers. The well-maintained greens and fairways ensure a top-quality playing surface. With its combination of natural beauty and top-notch facilities, Pine Dunes Resort and Golf Club is the perfect choice for golfers seeking an exceptional golfing experience in Texas.
2. Barton Creek Resort and Spa
Barton Creek Resort and Spa is a renowned golf course located in Texas that offers a luxurious and relaxing experience. As part of the acclaimed Barton Creek Resort, this golf course boasts an exceptional design and layout, challenging players with its strategic hazards and stunning vistas. The course is meticulously maintained, ensuring optimal conditions for a memorable round of golf. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, Barton Creek Resort and Spa provides a picturesque backdrop for golfers. Its combination of top-notch facilities, breathtaking scenery, and challenging gameplay make it a standout choice for golf enthusiasts.
One golfer, John, recently visited Barton Creek Resort and Spa for a weekend getaway. He was amazed by the pristine fairways, well-manicured greens, and incredible views. Despite the course’s difficulty level, John thoroughly enjoyed his rounds and even managed to improve his game. The resort’s spa and amenities added an extra touch of luxury to his stay. Overall, John described his experience at Barton Creek Resort and Spa as a golfer’s paradise that exceeded his expectations.
3. TPC San Antonio
TPC San Antonio is a renowned golf course in Texas, known for its exceptional design, top-notch maintenance, breathtaking surroundings, and challenging layout. As part of the prestigious TPC network, it offers players an unparalleled golfing experience. From perfectly manicured fairways to immaculate greens, every aspect of the course is meticulously maintained. The stunning scenery, including rolling hills and beautiful water features, adds to the overall appeal. With its strategic bunkering and undulating terrain, TPC San Antonio provides a challenging test for golfers of all skill levels. Its reputation as one of the top golf courses in Texas is well-deserved.
4. The Golf Club at Star Ranch
The Golf Club at Star Ranch is a highly acclaimed golf course in Texas, renowned for its challenging layout and picturesque surroundings. The course offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and strategic design, with meticulously maintained fairways and greens. It promises golfers an unforgettable experience, putting their skills to the test while offering stunning views along the way. For avid golfers seeking a top-notch course in Texas, The Golf Club at Star Ranch is a must-visit destination.
If you’re planning a golf trip to Texas, make sure to include The Golf Club at Star Ranch in your itinerary for an unforgettable round of golf.
You’ll feel like a rich old man in a golf cart here, even if you’re neither rich nor old.
5. The Club at Carlton Woods
The Club at Carlton Woods is a premier golf course in Texas, known for its exceptional course design and excellent conditions. Its picturesque setting boasts of lush greenery and stunning landscapes. The challenging course offers a great experience for seasoned golfers, making it a popular choice among professionals. The top-notch facilities and impeccable service at The Club at Carlton Woods make it a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts in Texas.
6. Dallas National Golf Club (Dallas)
Overview: Tucked away in the hills of Southwest Dallas, Dallas National Golf Club is often regarded as one of the top courses in Texas. Designed by Tom Fazio, it offers a pure golf experience with a layout that respects the natural topography.
- The course is known for its dramatic elevation changes, pristine conditions, and challenging layout.
- It provides stunning views of the surrounding natural landscapes, making it a visually stunning experience.
Best For: Golfers seeking a challenging yet rewarding experience and those who appreciate a course that harmonizes with its natural surroundings.
7. Whispering Pines Golf Club (Trinity)
Overview: Whispering Pines, located just north of Houston, sits on a secluded piece of land along the shores of Lake Livingston. This course is often ranked as one of the best in Texas for its breathtaking beauty and challenging play.
- Designed by Chet Williams, the course features rolling terrain, piney woods, and natural water features.
- It offers a mix of tight fairways and large, undulating greens, providing a test for golfers of all skill levels.
Best For: Players who enjoy a peaceful setting and a course that offers both beauty and a strategic challenge.
8. Austin Country Club (Austin)
Overview: Home to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Austin Country Club is steeped in history and prestige. The course, designed by Pete Dye, is nestled along the shores of Lake Austin and offers spectacular views.
- Its design features narrow fairways, deep pot bunkers, and dramatic changes in elevation.
- The back nine, in particular, provides stunning views of the lake, adding to the overall experience.
Best For: Golfers who enjoy a historic club with modern challenges, and those looking for a course with a mix of traditional and contemporary elements.
9. The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch (Boerne)
Overview: Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course known for its spectacular Hill Country views and luxurious amenities.
- The course is renowned for its impressive design, which includes live oak trees, limestone cliffs, and Guadalupe River frontage.
- It offers a variety of holes that are as challenging as they are beautiful.
Best For: Those who appreciate a course that captures the essence of its environment and offers a diverse, memorable golfing experience.
10. Colonial Country Club (Fort Worth)
Overview: Colonial Country Club, one of the most storied courses in Texas, has hosted the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge for over 70 years. Its history and classic design make it a must-visit.
- Designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell, the course is known for its small, sloping greens and tree-lined fairways.
- The course layout requires precision and strategy, making it a true test of golf.
Best For: Golfers who enjoy a course rich in history and traditional design, and those who relish a strategic and thoughtful approach to the game.
Because even Texas has its fair share of diamonds in the rough…or on the green.
Other Notable Golf Courses in Texas
While there are many exceptional golf courses in Texas, there are a few that stand out among the rest. In this section, we will dive into five notable golf courses that offer unique and challenging experiences for golfers. From the scenic Rawls Course at Texas Tech University to the historic Golf Club of Dallas, each course has its own distinct features and charm that make it a must-visit for any golf enthusiast. Let’s take a closer look at these top-notch golf courses in Texas.
1. The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University
The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University is a renowned golf course in Texas, named after Jerry S. Rawls, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist who generously donated funds to build the course. This prestigious golf course has hosted numerous collegiate tournaments and has become a symbol of excellence in golf education and competition.
Its commitment to providing a world-class golfing experience has made it a top choice for golf enthusiasts in Texas and beyond. With a meticulously crafted design and layout, the course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. It is well-maintained, ensuring optimal playing conditions, and surrounded by scenic landscapes for breathtaking views while playing. Truly, The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University is a must-visit for any golfer seeking a top-notch golfing experience.
2. The Quarry at La Quinta
Located in La Quinta, California, The Quarry at La Quinta is a world-renowned golf course that offers a unique and challenging experience for golfers. Designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio, the course is known for its stunning desert landscape, dramatic elevation changes, and natural rock formations. The Quarry’s top-notch maintenance and attention to detail consistently rank it among the best golf courses in Texas, ensuring exceptional course condition. For golfers looking for a memorable and rewarding round, The Quarry at La Quinta is a must-play destination.
3. The Golf Club of Dallas
The Golf Club of Dallas is a highly renowned golf course in the state of Texas, known for its exceptional design, well-maintained grounds, picturesque surroundings, and challenging gameplay. As one of the top golf courses in the state, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience for golf enthusiasts.
The Golf Club of Dallas stands out due to its strategic layout, utilizing natural features and hazards to provide an exciting and demanding game. Golfers can admire the beautiful scenery and perfectly manicured fairways while facing the challenges presented by the course’s design.
Overall, The Golf Club of Dallas is a must-visit destination for those seeking a top-tier golfing experience in the Lone Star State.
4. The Tribute Golf Club
The Tribute Golf Club is renowned for its picturesque lakeside location and challenging course design. To make the most of your experience at this exceptional Texas golf course, follow these steps:
- Arrive early to warm up and take advantage of the practice facilities.
- Familiarize yourself with the course layout and study the provided hole diagrams.
- Be mindful of the wind direction, as it can greatly impact your shots.
- Maintain proper course etiquette by repairing divots and following the dress code.
- Take in the beautiful views while remaining focused on your game.
Pro-tip: Remember to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout your round. Enjoy your time playing at The Tribute Golf Club!
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days of golf, head to The Old American Golf Club – where the only thing missing is a caddy in plaid pants.
5. The Old American Golf Club
The Old American Golf Club, located in Texas, is well-known for its exceptional course design and stunning surroundings. This golf course stands out for its meticulous maintenance and impeccable condition, making it a top choice for both amateur and professional golfers.
With its challenging difficulty level, The Old American Golf Club offers a unique experience with its picturesque views and well-manicured fairways and greens. Golf enthusiasts seeking to play at one of the best courses in Texas should definitely consider The Old American Golf Club as a top option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top 100 golf courses in Texas according to the Texas Golf panel?
The top 100 golf courses in Texas were determined by the average score of ratings from the 97 members of the Texas Golf panel. To be eligible for the rankings, a course needed to be rated by at least 13% of the panel members.
What are the different categories for the best public golf courses in Texas?
The rankings for the best public golf courses in Texas are divided into four categories: Top 50 regardless of price, Economy (courses with a fee of $49 and below), High-Priced (courses with a fee of $50-74), and Expensive (courses with a fee of $75 and above).
What are some notable courses that made it onto the Top 100 list?
Some notable courses that made it onto the Top 100 list include Whispering Pines Golf Club, Bluejack National, Dallas National Golf Club, and Blackhorse Ranch Community in North Texas.
What is the process for determining the rankings for the best golf courses in Texas?
The rankings for the best golf courses in Texas are determined by the Texas Golf panel, which consists of 97 members who rate courses on a scale of 1-10. These ratings are then compiled by the editor, Mark Kazlowski, and the graphics and design specialist, John Hancock.
How does Texas compare to other states in terms of the number of top-ranked golf courses?
According to Golf Digest’s rankings, Texas has a relatively small number of top-ranked golf courses compared to other states. However, the state makes up for this with a larger number of courses that have high cumulative scores in Golf Digest’s scoring categories.
Are there any upcoming changes or additions to the top-end golf courses in Texas?
There are several proposed new courses, including the East and West Fields Ranch courses at PGA Frisco and The Covey at Big Easy Ranch. These additions are expected to strengthen the top end of Texas’ golf courses in the coming years.