Spotlight

Palmilla Beach Golf Club

Don't get lost in the sand dunes at windy Palmilla Beach Golf Club in Port Aransas

The sand dunes are dramatic at Palmilla Beach Golf Club -- natural, wind-blown and rugged here next to the Gulf of Mexico. David R. Holland has more from Port Aransas.
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Tapatio Springs golf course - no. 2

Hill Country beauty: Tapatio Springs resort near San Antonio

The golf course at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort & Spa in Boerne boasts a fresh new look in what was already one of the best settings in the state: the Texas Hill Country about a half hour northwest of the Alamo City. With a mixture of short and long holes, lots of twists and turns and plenty of water hazards and some elevation change, accuracy and being able to work the ball is a must.
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Palmilla Beach Golf Club - 6th

Palmilla Beach G.C. in Port Aransas: A rare Texas seaside course

Arnold Palmer Design's Palmilla Beach Golf Club in Port Aransas offers something rare in Texas: ocean views. The course isn't right next to the water but there are several vantage points where you can see the Gulf, and you can certainly feel its effects. Wind is almost always a factor and there's plenty of gorse to gobble up golf balls.
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Texas Golf Destinations

  • San Antonio

    More than 26 million people visit San Antonio each year. And while most of them know that the Alamo City is indeed famous for its nickname mission that has inspired several movies, San Antonio offers so much more when it comes to tourism, not the least of which is its golf. With several first-rate golf resorts in and around the city, San Antonio just might be Texas' best golf destination, especially when you consider all the other things to do.

    The new Palmer Course at La Cantera Resort is virtually impossible to walk because of the hilly terrain, and it features plenty of blind shots. The most difficult hole is the 426-yard No. 5, which requires an impressive long iron to carry the dry creek bed.
    One of the all-time classics of Texas golf, Brackenridge Park was designed by the venerable A.W. Tillinghast in 1916, and is the oldest public course in the state. Whether it's the old limestone starters shack, the commemorative plaques that date the course, the stories of the old tourneys played hereor the massive, museum-like, Tudor rock clubhouse, this course must be played by every Texan golfer.
    The original Resort Course is a Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish collaboration that is cut out of a limestone quarry, playing 6,951 yards from the tips but offering another four sets of tees for any sort of hack. White bunkers and majestic oaks dot the plush fairways, and streams weave in and out of the design.
  • Houston

    There's no denying the nation's fourth largest city has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment, restaurants and golf. In addition to three pro sports teams, thriving downtown theater and museum districts, loads of shopping and warm weather year-round, the Houston area boasts about 150 courses, the majority of which are public.

    Greatwood is known for its white sand bunkers and impressive par 3s, three of which play right at or over 200 yards. The 1989 Carlton Gipson design features elevated tees and greens that sandwich plush fairways and are contoured with mounds.
    Pearland Golf Club opened in 1982 after Jay Riviere was brought in to build the course as the centerpiece of a residential development for senior citizens. Mike Hoelzer rolled through in the late 1990s for a redesign on this fairly basic 18-hole golf course.years to spice up the flat, prairie-like course.
    The Arthur Hills/Mike Dasher-designed Sienna Plantation is a flat, wooded course that has been enhanced to provide elevation changes. The result is a challenging track that rolls between lakes, creeks, and the native hardwoods that dominate the landscape.
  • Austin

    Austin is known for its legendary music scene and beautiful Hill Country terrain and natural resources, like the Colorado River and the lakes that were spawned from it. The topography makes for a great golf canvas, and the city and surrounding area certainly have great places to play, whether it's resort golf, muni or quality daily-fee plays.

    The “Mo Willie,” Austin’s third municipal course, has some character: it served as the home of Harvey Penick’s legendary golf teams, two of which won NCAA Championships back when Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw graced the fairways.
    Located just 15 minutes northeast of downtown Austin, ShadowGlen Golf Course is considered by locals to be one of the area's hidden gems. At 7,174 yards from the back tees, it is a long, tough course that will test even the most seasoned players. Some consider it to be the most difficult public golf course in Texas.
    The Lago Vista Course is Lago Vista resort’s original track, designed by Leon Howard in the late 1960s and renovated by Dave Bennett in 1992. The golf course has four water holes, more than 40 bunkers, and dramatic elevation changes of up to 100 feet.
  • The Dallas Metroplex

    The Dallas Metroplex area has never had a problem with attractiveness. The Oil Boom brought great wealth here and Yankees by the multitudes continue to move to Texas to escape the cold winters of the North. The Dallas area is now an amalgamation of classic Texas scenery and attitude with lavish consumerism.

    Long and susceptible to the wind, White Stone Golf Club rolls through an impressive Hill Country-like setting with huge oak trees, lots of rocks, and loads of native oaks, cacti, yucca, and wildflowers.
    Tangle Ridge Golf Club's location near Joe Pool Lake is favorable because of the elevation changes that spice up this well maintained public course. The course offers some outstanding holes, highlighted by impressive bentgrass greens that putt true. In addition to the elevation changes, Jeff Brauer's design features generous fairways lined by thick brush and huge trees.
    Firewheel Golf Park in Garland is home to the 27-hole Bridges Course, which is comprised of three nines that are played in different 18-hole combinations. Opened in 2001, the course has been host to several U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur events. The nines offer plenty of variety, each utilizing the tree-covered rolling terrain in different ways. The Champion nine is the second longest nine.
  • West Texas

    As the old saying goes, the harder you have to work for something, the more you appreciate it. This is applicable to West Texas' golf scene. Although miles outside of many of Texas' metropolitan areas, West Texas offers some incredibly attractive golf courses that many casual visitors may overlook.

    The 18-hole Club At Concan in Concan, TX is a semi-private golf course that opened in 2007. Club At Concan measures 7333 yards from the longest tees. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels. The fairways are zoysia grass.
    Located on the west side of town in a nice little Hill Country setting, Brady Municipal Golf Course offers a nine-hole layout that features narrow fairways, mature trees, small greens, and water hazards on a few holes.
    Utopia Golf Course is tucked away in the scenic Sabinal Canyon. It is a popular nine-hole course in an idyllic location that served as the inspiration for a book, which then became the movie "Seven Days in Utopia," starring Robert Duvall.