There are a lot of things Texas is known for; barbecues, live music, and hot weather, to name a few, but one primary component of The Lone Star State is that it is a state with one of the highest amount of golf courses in the whole of North America. Thanks to the climate and the wide open landscapes, Texas is the perfect place to play golf and it has a total of around 900 courses, which means it’s hard to uncover the very best ones. Owed to amazing design, breath taking scenery, and some surprising features, here are ten of the best public golf courses in Texas that you can play at right now.
Located in Houston, the Lakes Course has one of the largest elevations of all golf courses in Texas with an elevation of 100 feet and at its peak, there are picturesque views of NRG Stadium. Besides that, The Lakes Course is known as one of the most unique courses in Texas due to most of the holes being surrounded by water, which adds to the course’s stunning views. The water also makes it one of the most challenging courses for golfers as they must navigate their way around the lakes and the course’s maddening rolling fairways.
Located in Dallas, this gem of a golf course was named as one of the top 50 resort courses to play in America and even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Bear Creek was designed by celebrated golf course architect Ted Robinson. The main thing to note about the course is that though the fairways have been lined with Bermuda grass with water features, deep roughs, and expansive bunkers, the course is completely accommodating to players old and new, amateur and pro, as every hole has a multitude of tees for players at different skill levels. Bear Creek also hosts an illuminating vista to players as the course is full of mature oak trees and wooden lake bridges.
Also located in Dallas, Cedar Crest is championed above all else for it’s role in the PGA Championship history. Cedar Crest hosted the 1927 PGA Championship and ever since then it has been a favorite course of any Texas native golf enthusiast. It’s great to feel as if you’re a part of that history when visiting and playing on the renowned course and is one of the primary reasons why people outside of Texas travel to the state. To this day, Cedar Crest has the best rolling terrain and greenside bunkers Texas has to offer.
Sugar Tree is most well known thanks to its prominence of water features – including a water wheel and banks of the Brazos River – that have roles on 13 of the 18 holes of the course. Based in Dallas, this course is littered with vegetation including hackberry trees, pecans, live oaks, and more. Sugar Tree’s irresistible, picturesque offerings of nature and water features may throw off your game, but it remains one of the highest rated golf courses in the city, with many of its challenging holes require bending tee shots to avoid the course’s many obstacles.
Over all the golf courses on this list, The Quarry, located in San Antonio, is the most dramatic. Being the oldest course on the list, the landmark has a lot of history as it was built in 1908 around a quarry. The Course was chiselled from stone and is full of culture from the families who helped build the course over a century ago. The quarry pit is still there and is where the ninth hole is played. The club also protects its natural wildlife on the location and it has became a recognized member of the Audubon Society.
Don’t let the mansions located along the side of the course put you off, The Bandit is one of the most scenic courses in the state and is home to lots of wildlife, including roaming deer and hawks gliding over bunkers and fairways. Adding to the tranquil beauty of the secluded Hill Country course is lodges and a newly renovated 12 thousand square foot practice space. The course has gone on to win awards and is often ranked highly on “best golf courses of Texas” lists.
Being one of the newer courses in the state as it was designed for Texas Tech University, The Rawls Course has become well known outside of just its faculty and students. As the land was nothing but a flat cotton field before 2003, Tom Doak created the whole course from scratch, using 1.3 million cubic yards of topsoil to shift and shape to emulate the eastern and southern land of Lubbock, copying the falls into the canyons of Caprock.
Located in Grand Prairie, Tangle Ridge, of all the golf courses mentioned, none have the rigorous amount of accolades that Tangle Ridge does. It has been ranked in the top 50 best municipals in America by Golf Week and has accrued dozens of other noteworthy mentions in magazines and on TV. Tangle Ridge is most famous for its creek that passes through the middle of the fairway, though it’s hard to reach unless there’s a strong wind. The challenging course also offers native grasses and looming trees that line the fairway.
Designed by the famed golf course architect Baxter Spain, Olympia Hills offers challenging mounds and bunkers, and even native vegetation and wildlife. This South Texas course not only has some great holes, with some of them even dropping 50 feet from teeing off, but Olympia Hills also offers panoramic vistas that go on for miles.
Another esteemed golf course architect is Tom Fazio, who has designed several courses in Texas, but he may be most recognized for his work designing Omni Barton Creek. Omni Barton Creek, in Austin, is made up of four golf courses, all celebrated for their lake views and vast vegetation, but the best course of the club is the Fazio Canyons, which was built to preserve the environment as the fairways and greens are surrounded with cliffs and waterfalls, protecting its Sycamore trees and Red Oaks. Players have called the course thrilling as it combines the beauty of the Hill Country with the best parts of Austin’s downtown area.
Best Set of Golf Clubs
In 2020, It’s hard to find a truly great set of golf clubs for under $600 if you want to improve your game and hit the ball farther than you ever could, but the Strata 9-Club set will help you accomplish that more than any other. It is a great set of clubs that is perfect for a beginner and an expert. The set has almost every club you could need (except for an Iron or two).