The rolling emerald acres of this golfing Valhalla provide fairway-farers with a sweeping spread of short- and long-range training areas to hone ball-launching skills. Club collectors, armed with a day-pass punch card, can crush unlimited edifices of dimpled spheres from the 40,000-square-foot tee line of Zoysia grass without risk of waiting behind sloth-paced practice sessions. Alternatively, stock up for 18-hole outings at the PGA-professional-staffed pro shop, which stocks a variety of golfing shirts, grip-enhancing gloves, and accuracy-boosting Egyptian artifacts. Though not included in the value of this Groupon, you can also take a lesson from the professionals or relax at the Watering Hole for a cold beverage after a rough day on the links.
After being ranked 19th on Golfweek's "Best New Courses" list in 2011, the course at Vaaler Creek Golf Club has been stacking up acolytes for its challenging play and picturesque Texas Hill Country setting. The Michael Lowry and JR Newman design stretches through oak forests as well as rocky outcroppings, encountering water on nine holes. Throughout each round, players steer new E-Z-GO golf carts over Bermuda 419 and TifSport grasses, taking advantage of the carts’ automatic braking systems as they stop to smell the flowers or the glorious scent of victory over manual controls.
Though the varied layout presents all manner of challenges, the par 3 12th hole requires a particularly cautious approach. Players must exhibit firm control over iron play as they aim for a peninsula green—discipline that must be then be duplicated four holes later to keep drives dry and on the isthmus fairway. Finally, players round out the round by facing a daunting approach over water, made even more difficult by the tree in the center of the fairway that obstructs flight paths and distracts would-be winners with its self-contained, elf-operated cookie factory.
Course at a Glance:
Canyon Lake Golf Club's 18-hole layout flows across 6,582 yards of parkland terrain wafted by cool breezes that drift from Canyon Lake, which rests just northeast of the course. Towering oak trees loom over the course's open fairways, impeding the passage of errant golf balls while trumpeting their unrivaled, bird's-eye views of the surrounding topography. Bookended by two 500-yard par 5s, the par 72 invites golfers to brandish their drivers or modified T-shirt cannons and begin and end the round with massive tee shots. An outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts foster alternative forms of recreation, whereas multifaceted dining facilities host all varieties of social gatherings at the club.
Course at a Glance:
After rolling out the green carpet as a 9-hole facility in 1971, Lago Vista has expanded into an 18-hole, par 72 championship course that stretches across a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Travis. Undulating fairways and vibrant flora guide players through the course's 6,500 yards of challenges, and a practice facility helps hone swings with three tiers of natural, Botox-free hitting surfaces.
As the younger of the two courses, Highland Lakes flaunts a collection of sloping tifdwarf greens, complete with regular elevation changes that require golfers to make deft club selections throughout. On hole five, a tight dogleg lures balls toward a downhill fairway sheathed in the shadows of towering oaks as outcrops flanking both sides invite shots into their rocky heaps.
Lago Vista Course at a Glance
Highland Lakes Course at a Glance
Designed by three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret, Point Venture Golf Club's nine-hole course cleaves through thickets of cedar trees along the north shore of Lake Travis. Although narrow fairways and small greens offer a challenge to advanced golfers, novice players can swing freely as the course is free of water hazards, bunkers, and wormholes disguised as divots. A relatively short course, Point Venture’s display of sharp doglegs frequently forces players to take shorter clubs to the tee box, effectively lengthening the course. Conversely, the winding fairways may tempt golfers to go for the high-risk, high-reward play of unsheathing their drivers at the tee, flying the corner, and setting up a short approach to the green.
Golfers can warm up their swings with a stint at the club's driving range or plan their attack by taking a digital course tour. Point Venture Golf Club also features a golf store and a floating restaurant for after-hole meals and experimenting with golf tees as toothpicks.
The soft jingling of wind chimes rolls across Magic Greens’s 2.5-acre facility, creating a tranquil space as clients lope across a miniature-golf course lined with handcrafted cedar structures, towering oaks, and native wildflowers. Owners Carole and James George added the serene touches to capitalize on the surrounding area's natural landscape, developing a scenic course that eschews the plastic statuettes and gimmicks of typical mini-golf courses in favor of a more authentic, clown-proof space. Alongside the challenging course rest four bocce-ball courts, ample space for casual washers games, vine-covered gazebos, two waterfalls, and a cedar pavilion where guests can enjoy food and nougaty-center golf balls from the concession-stand.