Given that this month is a special travel issue, I thought I would dedicate this space to some of my favorite places to go. While I have been fortunate to travel to many places to play golf, I primarily stay in our great state of Texas. I love the weekend jaunt, and I know there are many places within a few hours that I would enjoy visiting. I know I won’t be surprised, and will enjoy them without the inconvenience of getting on a plane.
These are my favorite
eight seven. I am not a travel writer, so I simply listed where it is, a few highlights on the course, and an interesting personal tidbit when I was there. While none of them are on the top 50 courses you can play, they are the best we have to offer. In no particular order:
ROCK CREEK GOLF CLUB | LAKE TEXOMA
About the Course: This Jack Nicklaus design doesn’t feel at all like Texas. The fairways are lined in very dense forest, the bunkers have wispy zoysia surrounding them, and I believe it is the last golf course around that was built with Bentgrass Greens.
Interesting Tidbit: I loved the course so much, I made a deal for a lot out there. I haven’t done anything with it yet.
WOLFDANCER GOLF CLUB | BASTROP, TEXAS
About the Course: This Arthur Hills design runs on the Colorado River, and the wildlife is abundant. The course is big, and while it is considered Hill Country, the trees and elevation changes are a bit more grand that what you would expect.
Interesting Tidbit: While I should mention the great practice facility, the more interesting tidbit was the time Rick Arnett and I ventured into downtown Bastrop. Rick ate pie, lots and lots of pie!
THE RAWLS COURSE | TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
About the Course: Lubbock is flat, and when driving to the course, you would expect nothing different. However, architect Tom Doak moved over 1 million yards of soil to give this course special character.
Interesting tidbit: I watched my son play his best golf ever at this course in a junior major, only to take a 9 on the last hole and lose the tournament. That hole still haunts him.
CROWN COLONY COUNTRY CLUB | LUFKIN, TEXAS
About the Course: The golf course is strong, with lots of trees and nice elevation changes. What makes this course special, however, is its par 3’s. They truly are some of the best holes anywhere.
Interesting Tidbit: When I first visited here, it was well before GPS and navigation systems. We got so lost that the trip took us 6 ½ hours to get there, and didn’t have time to play.
HORSESHOE BAY RESORT | MARBLE FALLS, TEXAS
About the Courses: You may be able to tell in my recommendations and descriptions, I love seeing wildlife on a golf course, and this place may have the most. There are three great courses, all great layouts and fun to play. If you can, find a way to get on Summit Rock. It is really special
Interesting Tidbit: The resort has a putting course, with real grass, and well maintained. I once witnessed a man lose a four-figure sum on the last hole. He could have made the putt, but didn’t want to put down his beer.
BARTON CREEK RESORT | AUSTIN, TEXAS
About the Courses: While the courses are all great, it’s the experience at the facility that sets the place apart. However, the two courses that are on property are pretty special. The Fazio course is typical for him. It’s big, with lots of great views. The Crenshaw course will test your putting more than any course I have played
Interesting Tidbit: This is the first place I have ever had Muesli breakfast cereal. It was so good I have actually stopped there again just for breakfast.
PINE DUNES GOLF COURSE | FRANKSTON, TEXAS
About the Course: Some may call this the best pure layout in the state, and its pretty good. It is true East Texas, with lots of pine trees, and the sandy loam rough around the fairways make the views special.
Interesting Tidbit: They let me play in their club championship last year, and I finished second in the championship flight. Unfortunately, there were only two of us in the flight.