Everything is bigger in Texas. With 26 million Texans making their home in the Lone Star State, it is the largest geographically speaking in the lower 48 and has the second most people, trailing only California. And despite rather harsh conditions—dry, arid land and hot, dusty summers—Texas is home to more than 400 golf courses, many of which are high-quality tracks. With many of the top courses being of a modern vintage, the game seems to be headed on a growth trajectory in this big state.
To help you navigate your way through the Texas golf scene, here are five Texas golf courses you need to play.
Best Private Course: Bluejack National
The first Tiger Woods-designed course in the country, Bluejack National opened in 2016 and immediately shook up the Texas golf course rankings, shooting all the way to the top of the list according to several national golf publications. As you might expect, the course is meticulously laid out and manicured featuring lush fairways, thick rough, and tall trees dotting the landscape from the first tee to the final green.
A particularly picturesque hole on the course is the absolutely stunning par 3 seventh which features a crystal blue pond guarding your tee shot to the green while mature trees form a beautiful, albeit formidable background.
In total the course measures over 7500 yards and is a regulation par 72.
While it would be incredible if this course were open to the public, it is a private course and only open for members and their guests.
Best Public Course: Omni Barton Creek Resort—Fazio Canyons
Located about ten miles outside of the capital of Austin and with four outstanding courses, Omni Barton Creek Resort is one of the premier places you can go in Texas for golf. And of those four great tracks, Fazio Canyons is the best. This brilliant course boasts tall, stately oaks, elevation changes, and a striking layout filled with sensational scenery.
Fazio Canyons starts with a tough stretch of three par 4’s and a par 3 on the front nine and finishes on the back with a long, exquisite par 5 that caps a fantastic round of golf.
The course measures just over 7100 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Prices to play Fazio Canyons fluctuate throughout the year and start at $159 but can climb as high as $279. If you are looking to play the course on a budget, the best you’ll be able to do is the twilight rate during the winter or summer months which dips as low as $119 for 18 walking.
Most Scenic: Pine Dunes
With a perfect blend of lush fairways, tall trees, and strategically placed bunkers and water hazards, Pine Dunes is the most scenic course in the state. At times the course gives off a links vibe as the fairways are generous and a variety of natural grasses are incorporated into the layout to great effect.
The front nine opens with a slight dogleg left par 4 that showcases a bunker on the right side of the fairway near the natural landing area and another on the front left of the green. Things are more straight forward and easier on the second hole and at only 348 yards is a great chance to score well.
Play is more challenging on the back, especially on 11 where a lengthy tee shot is required just to make it to a favorable position on the fairway. From there, sand and trees conspire to make the course both beautiful and challenging. The round finishes with a sharp dog leg right that features water near the corner.
Pine Dunes measures just over 7100 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
Compared to other comparable courses in Texas, the rates to play Pine Dunes are extremely fair. You can get a round of 18 walking in for just $59 Monday-Thursday, though that does increase to $89 Friday-Sunday most of the year.
Most Challenging: Old American
Located on the shores of Lake Lewisville, Old American is one of the more demanding courses in the state. With rolling fairways, tall, native grasses, and wind definitely a factor, you will be in for a challenge at this elite course.
The lake is in play on the par 4 first hole which also features a small bunker smack dab in the middle of the fairway. On 2, the fairway weaves and winds as it works its way to a fidget spinner shaped green.
The back nine kicks off with a stiff dogleg right on 10 and a far more basic layout on 11.
The course is just over 7000 yards from the tips and is a par 71. The course rating is 75.1 with a slope of 145.
Monday-Thursday a round at Old American is $125 and Friday-Sunday that increases to $150 for 18 holes walking. Though you can sometimes snag a deal and get a round in for under $50.
Best Deal on a Budget: The Tribute
The best deal in the state is another Colony, Texas track found on the shores of Lake Lewisville. The Tribute features rolling, mounded fairways, and stunning views of the lake which make for an outstanding golf experience. All for $49 for 18 holes walking.
The tribute is a links course with generous landing areas and plenty of room to work with as you approach the immaculate greens. From the tips the course measures 7000 yards and is a par 72.
With some of the best new and old courses in the region, and weather perfect for golf year round, Texas is somewhere you should consider heading for your next golfcation. If you haven’t tried out some of these great tracks you now know where to start. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your Texas golf experiences in the comments section below.