Austin Private Golf Courses
published on June 7, 2013
Many of Austin’s private golf options sit astride Austin luxury neighborhoods, where golf courses typically are found lining the backs of beautiful houses or tucked away in green hill country, providing scenic beauty and sweeping vistas to enjoy between swings.
Austin Golf Club
Known within the golfing community as one of the best kept secrets in Central Texas, Austin Golf Club is an exclusive, golf-only facility hidden away in beautiful Spicewood, Texas. The 6,892 yard par 70 course was designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, is 100% Zoysia grass, and opened in 2001. Guests are allowed only with members.
Founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs and one of the first private clubs of its kind in the state. It was founded by Lewis Hancock to provide sport, fitness, relaxation, and fresh air to the working men of the day, and today is open to men and women from across the city. The club is home to the great golf instructor Harvey Penick and consists of an 18-hole Pete Dye design course. The club also features a golf learning center, 10 lighted tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, indoor fitness facility, 57 boat slips, and a large clubhouse. The clubhouse provides dining areas, a ballroom, meeting room facilities, and locker rooms. The club has relocated several times since its founding, and today resides next to the prestigious Davenport Ranch community.
Northwest Austin is home to the Balcones Course at Balcones Country Club, located just off of Highway 183. The brainchild of course designer Bob Cotton, this 6,360 yard par 70 has a course rating of 69.9. It is 100% Bermuda grass and amenities include a 21 tee driving range. The course is open to members and their guests only.
The Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, touted as the best golf resort in Texas by numerous travel publications, offers four signature courses for the enjoyment of members or resort guests: the Coore Crenshaw Course, the Fazio Canyons Course, the Fazio Foothills Course, and the Palmer Lakeside Course. Each course is 18-holes and was created with the input of golf legends to incorporate love of the game with beauty of the Austin Hill Country. The Coore Crenshaw Course is a 6,630 yard par 71 with a 72.2 rating and the namesake of its designers, Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. It opened in 1991 and features rolling hills, natural plateaus, and native vegetation on a championship layout. The fairways are 419 Bermuda grass, while the greens are 100% Bermuda. The Fazio Canyons Course was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1999. It is a 7,153 yard par 72, with a rating of 74.4. The Fazio Foothills Course is another Tom Fazio design and opened in 1986. It features dramatic cliff-lined fairways, natural limestone caves, and waterfalls. The 6,684 yard par 72 has a rating of 73.6, with fairways of Hybrid TifSport Bermuda grass and TiffEagle Bermuda greens. The Palmer Lakeside Course opened in 1986 and was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. This 6,407 yard par 71 has a rating of 72.3, and is perched on a hilltop overlooking Lake Travis and is is known for panoramic lake views and wildlife spotting. Unlike the other Omni Barton Creek courses, the Palmer Course is accessible only to members and their guests.
The Berry Creek Country Club golf course was opened in 1986 in Georgetown, Texas, just north of Austin off I-35. Designed by Georgetown local Carl Doering, the 6,600 yard par 72 is a part of the Berry Creek Country Club, so guests are allowed with members only. It has a course rating of 72.2 from the pro tees and is 100% Bermuda grass. The club offers the standard amenities including cart rental and a driving range, but also offers golf associations and private tournaments for members.
Located just north of Austin off of West State Highway 29 in Georgetown, Texas, the Cimarron Hills golf course boasts the distinction of being a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. The 7,302 yard par 72 is 100% Bermuda grass and has a rating of 75.5; it is considered by many to be a challenging course. This picturesque course opened in 2003 to members and their guests, and offers an annual tournament for members named in honor of the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus.
The Georgetown Country Club golf course is located on the San Gabriel River, across I-35 from San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas. This venerable course was opened in 1927, and at only 5,400 yards, this par 70 may be short in distance, but makes up for it with multiple water hazards provided by the San Gabriel. What it lacks in state of the art amenities, it more than compensates in natural beauty and its bucolic setting.
The Great Hills golf course is near the Arboretum in northwest Austin, off of Highway 183, and its location allows for spectacular views south to the Hill Country. Designed by PGA pro Don January and Billy Martingale and opened in 1971, this course has updated the greens with state of the art Champions Tiff grass. The par 71 course plays 6,637 beautiful yards, and while the front-nine features long fairways with beautiful views, the back-nine offers a few more obstacles.
The Hills of Lakeway is located near Lake Travis in Lakeway, Texas, and boasts two world class courses: Flintrock Falls Course and Signature Course. The Signature Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1981, and the Flintrock Falls Course was a collaboration between father and son, Jack Nicklaus and Jack Jr, opening in 2002. The Signature Course is a 7,044 yard par 72, while the Flintlock Course is a 7,051 yard par 72.
Horseshoe Bay Resort, located just west of Marble Falls off of Highway 71, features four highly-rated signature courses. Apple Rock Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and opened in 1986. It plays as a 6,999 yard par 72, and features magnificent views with many elevation changes. The Ram Rock Course was also designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and opened in 1981. It is a 6,926 yard par 71, and is considered the most challenging of the Horseshoe Bay courses, with narrow fairways and multiple water hazards. Slick Rock Course was recently renovated but dates back to 1971, yet another Robert Trent Jones, Sr. project. This par 72 plays at 6,834 yards and offers numerous sand traps and water hazards to make a golfer’s day a little bit more of an adventure. Summit Rock is the newest of the four courses, opened in 2012, and the only one not designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.; it is a Jack Nicklaus project. This par 72 plays at 7,258 yards and has the highest rating among the Horseshoe Bay courses, at 76.
Hyatt Wolfdancer is an Arthur Hills-designed course at Hyatt Lost Pines in Bastrop. With a slogan, “Golf Like Nature Intended,” the course is 18 holes, par 72, and 7,205 yards among native grasses, trees, and wildflowers on rolling prairie land, wooded ridgeline, and river valley along the Colorado River. The resort also offers a 13-acre driving range, a short game area, two putting greens, a clubhouse, locker rooms, and a golf shop.
The Lakecliff Golf Club at the Lakecliff Country Club is an Arnold Palmer designed course in Spicewood, Texas, located just off Lake Travis. Opened in 2003, this 6,724 yard par 71 plays on Bermuda Grass fairways and Bent grass greens, is rated at 73.1, and features numerous man-made lakes that double as water hazards, as well as magnificent Hill Country vistas. Membership at the country club are required for tee times, but they do offer limited guest play as well.
The Lakeway Country Club is located near the shores of Lake Travis, Texas, and features two courses: the Live Oak Course and the Yaupon Golf Course. The Live Oak Course was designed by Leon Howard and opened in 1965, and plays as a 6,847 yard par 72. The Yaupon Course was also designed by Howard and opened in 1977. It is also a par 72, and plays at 6,814 yards, and both courses are 100% Bermuda grass. Both courses are open to members only; guests are not permitted.
The Lost Creek Country Club was a rural ranch until 1972 and now features a newly renovated golf course, 16 tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, three pools, and dining facilities alongside the heavily treed Lost Creek neighborhood. The Lost Creek course is a par-72 championship course and includes a driving range, putting green, and state-of-the-art learning center to analyze and perfect golf swings. In addition to being a beautiful course, Lost Creek is also one of the most environmentally friendly Austin courses. Barton Creek traverses the course as its waters travel to Barton Springs Pool, creating beautiful natural landmarks and scenery.
Onion Creek Club is one of Austin’s historic golf clubs, founded in 1974 by three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret. In 1996, Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore blended nine new holes with Demaret’s original design, transforming the original course into a 27-hole golf course. The Club also offers swimming, tennis, fitness, and dining facilities. While the club is known around town for its merits as a challenging course, it also holds the title of “Birthplace of the Senior PGA Tour,” having hosted the first Senior PGA event in 1978. The Legends of Golf also was held at the Onion Creek Club from 1978-1989, and the Club hosted The Harvey Penick Invitation, an LPGA Tour Event, from 1999-2001.
Located between Loop 360 and Lake Travis, the River Place Country Club opened its Roy Bechtol/Tom Kite designed course in 1986. Although a private course, it has an open guest policy, and includes cart rental in green fees. A 6,611 yard par 71, this course is rated 72, mainly because of multiple water hazards on the front-nine, as the creek that meanders through the course often comes into play, while the back-nine plays longer, but with fewer hazards.
Spanish Oaks Golf Club is an extremely exclusive club located west of Austin in Bee Caves, just off of Highway 71. Although membership is limited to 350 members, who can play without tee times, guests are allowed only with members. Designed by Bobby Weed, this acclaimed course opened in 2002 and Golf Digest proclaimed it the “Number 3 Golf Course in Texas”. A 6,930 yard par 71, it has a rating of 73.3.
The Twin Creeks Country Club is located in Cedar Park, Texas, off of Route 2769 between Lake Travis and Highway 183, just northwest of Austin. Designed by Brian Curley, Lee E. Schmidt and Fred Couples, it is a Fred Couples Signature Course, and opened in 2003. This 7,033 yard par 72 plays long, and has a rating of 75.7. It features 419 Bermuda grass on the fairways and Tif-Eagle greens. Guests are allowed with members.
The University of Texas Golf Club is a 7,412 yard, par-71 championship golf course created by Bechtol Russell Golf Design. The course, located high in the Texas hill country close to Steiner Ranch homes, overlooks Lake Austin and Lake Travis and borders the Balcones Natural Wildlife Preserve. This combination creates challenging shots combined with beautiful vistas. This course is the official home of The University of Texas Golf Teams and includes a state-of-the-art practice facility and luxury clubhouse with dining areas, pro shop, locker rooms, fitness facility, and bars. The Club also offers adult and kiddie pools that feature a unique beach entrance, an in-water lounge chair area, and splash pads.
Read about Austin’s public golf courses.
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