Written By: Brandon Chezbro
Austin, Texas is one of the hottest cities in America right now, but this time we’re not talking about the weather. In 2015, Forbes named Austin as one of the “15 Best Cities for Young Adults”. Austin has quickly become known as the tech hub of Texas, and boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates and highest job growth rates. This self-proclaimed Music Capital of the World loves to “Keep Austin Weird”, which is evident while exploring south Austin, or the up-and-coming east side. What's the golf scene like in Austin though?
A city without snow means a lot of opportunity to play golf, and Austin golf is littered with some pretty amazing courses! Here are my top 5 courses in the Austin area:
#5 Avery Ranch Golf Club
Located 20 minutes northwest of downtown, was carved and blasted out of the rocky ranchlands along Brushy Creek. This historically significant area was once home to Native Americans and robbers, who were drawn to this beautiful setting, thick with dense oaks, meandering creeks and abundant wildlife. The golf course was designed by former Jack Nicklaus designer Andy Raugust, who literally had to use dynamite to blast rock out of the landscape for five holes. The back 9 offers a unique mix of 3 par 3’s, 3 par 4’s, and 3 par 5’s. Avery Ranch truly is one of Austin’s premier daily fee golf courses. 7121 yards (73.5/134) from the blacks.
#4 Grey Rock Golf Club (formerly Circle C Golf Course)
Grey Rock is located in southwest Austin, on the way to the Salt Lick for famous Texas barbecue! Designed with either the weekend novice or the seasoned golfer in mind, Grey Rock Golf Club offers a wide range of play for all skill levels. Lined with beautiful, big oak trees, but reasonably wide fairways makes Grey Rock challenging enough for a low handicapper, but manageable for the weekend warrior. The course was designed by Jay Moorish and Associates, and has been cited in both regional and national golf magazines as one of Texas' best daily fee courses. The 18 hole championship course used to operate as a semi-private golf club for Circle C residents and their families, but is now also a part of the City of Austin Golf Membership. 6,909 yards (73.6/131) from the back tees.
#3 Falconhead Golf Club
One of my favorite courses to play, Falconhead is located just west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country, this course was laid out by the PGA Tour Design architects, so you can expect the same type of quality golf course as the pros. Greens fees are typically around $75, but you can often find some great deals on this course through GolfNow. Falconhead is difficult enough to give you a challenge, but reasonable enough to allow you to post a low score on a good day. 7181 yards (74.9/134) from the blacks.
#2 Wolfdancer Golf Club
Not for the faint of heart. Known as one of the toughest tests in Texas, it boasts a high rating and lightning-fast undulating greens. Good luck getting your ball to hold on these greens. This course is sure to humble even the scratch golfer. However, it’s a MUST play! Located within the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort, along the Lower Colorado River, it offers the amenities that you would expect at a 5 star resort. And with green fees often under $100, it’s the best bang for your buck if you’re looking to play a premier course in the greater Austin area. 7205 (76.1/137) from the black tees.
#1 Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, is home to some of the best golf courses in Austin, where the beauty of the peaceful landscape offers up its natural challenges across four distinct courses. Over the years, the resort has developed the reputation as one of the best golfing destinations in Texas, as its well-maintained greens, challenging layouts, and stunning vistas come together in perfect harmony. Multiple tee boxes keep Barton Creek difficult for the low handicapper, yet friendly to the resort golfer. The golf course is a private facility, but open to resort guests for public play.
One of the great things about the Austin City Tour is that you meet great people and play awesome courses. Exclusively for young professionals, the City Tour holds weekend tournaments in major cities, offering a scramble and best-ball option. If the weather is cold outside, you should check out the best indoor golf options in Austin.