We’ve created a guide to the Best golf courses in San Antonio as currently rated by the national golf periodicals, plus a few hidden gems from our member, in no particular order below.
1. La Cantera, two great golf courses here, the Resort Course where the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open has been held, a Weiskopf/Morrish design from 1995. It is famous for its 80 foot quarry walls and fabulous tee shots next to the Superman Krypton Roller Coaster ride at Six Flags next door. The Palmer Course, designed by Arnold Palmer is a tight and hilly layout with a number of water features, and treacherous greens.
2. The Quarry is where Keith Foster, the architect, got his recognition. It’s located just south of the San Antonio Airport, and is built, at least the back nine, in a former rock quarry.
3. TPC San Antonio is technically private unless you book a room at the J.W. Marriott. There’s 36 holes here, designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman. The Canyons course, the Dye design has more elevation change and better views out over the area than the Oaks course, which is home to the PGA Tour’s annual tour stop.
4. Olympia Hills was designed by Baxter Spann and is up in Universal City, northeast of San Antonio off I-35 at exit 173. The course can play from 5,500 yards to 6,900 yards. The course has a lot of elevation change, parkland style with tree lined fairways, challenging layout with good bunkering.
5. Canyon Springs was designed by Thomas Walker, a former Gary Player associate, the course plays to just over 7,000 yards from the back tees and is located in north central San Antonio at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, sitting adjacent to the original Claussen Homestead. The course was routed partially over an old rock quarry without disturbing much of the land, and is a beautiful setting for a golf course.
6. The City of San Antonio just spent a ton of money renovating Brackenridge. “Brack” is an old classic, built by A.W. Tillinghast in 1916, who was known for Bethpage Black, Baltusrol, and Winged Foot among other classics, mostly up north. Brackenridge was the venue for the Texas Open until 1959, and is a good old traditional course, short at 6,263 yards from the back tees, pricey for out-of-towners though.
7. The Bandit is located in New Braunfels near Lake McQueeney on FM 725, north of San Antonio. It was designed by Keith Foster as part of a housing development and opened in 1997. Very scenic course with plenty of holes along Long Lake and Lake McQueeney, with 13 holes with water and 64 bunkers.
8. Hill Country Golf Club, part of the Hyatt Resort on the west side of town, and has 3 nine hole courses designed by Arthur Hills. The land is varied with open meadows, steep hillsides, wooded ravines and tree lined fairways, and the course is routed alongside a number of lakes and ponds. It’s a quiet setting away from the development, typical Hyatt guest service, and great conditioning on the course.
9. Tapatio Springs Golf Resort, there’s 27 holes here, the original nines were the Lakes and the Valley, the Ridge is the newer nine added a few years ago, and all designed by Bill Johnston. George Strait bought the club in 2011, and has spent some $’s on the facilities and bringing the layout back in shape. Lots of variety to all three nines, carved in, around, and up over large limestone cliffs with a good amount of elevation change.
10. The Republic is on the south side of San Antonio, about 15 minutes from downtown. It’s routed over slightly rolling land on the Salado Creek with tree lined fairways. It’s a fun golf course, fairly straightforward, every thing’s in front of you, and is somewhat forgiving. There’s good room off the tee.
11. The Golf Club of Texas is located 20 miles west of San Antonio, and was designed by Lee Trevino, playing to an overall length of 7,023 yards, with a 135 slope from the back tees. Links type layout, open, little trees, but some water, and mounding and elevations in the fairway and around the green. Fun to play, easy on your game, the greens are mid sized, slightly undulating and moderate speed.
12. River Crossing is a private club, but allowing public play until the economy turns around. It’s routed through a residential development north of San Antonio on 281 on the way Blanco. The golf course is one of the best in the San Antonio area IMHO, just a little bit of a trip to get out there. From the tips it plays to 6,822 yards, 72.8/133 and was designed by Larry Hawkins in 2001.
13. Northern Hills Golf Club, is located close to the airport in San Antonio. a couple of miles north on Wetmore, just north of Thousand Oaks. The golf club is a semi-private course, routed through a residential community. Tough golf course with narrow fairways through the trees and housing community. The terrain is quite rolling, with elevation changes from tee to fairway to the pin.