Cleburne Golf Ranch cultivates short-range skills with a nine-hole course and lighted driving range. Golfers enjoy the 1,073 yards of the par 27 course without needing to schedule tee times, allowing for impromptu games with last-minute houseguests and midnight sleepgolfing to a personal record. Players sip upon supplied water while cruising along in carts through rolling greens and rival players’ games. Studious athletes partake in a pretournament workout on one of 18 bermuda-grass hitting stations while their sweltering comrades bask in a shaded seating area. Those seeking additional skill refinement may take advantage of the complimentary chipping and putting greens. Although not included in the price of this deal, Cleburne Golf Ranch’s professional club maker ensures that game-ravaged gear plays on after a boo-boo with deft club-repair services and golf-club-size Sesame Street band-aids.
A gentle breeze ripples the waters of Pat Cleburne Lake before continuing eastward across the fairways of Cleburne Golf Links, rustling golfers' hair along the way and holding downwind drives aloft for an extra second. The lakeside breeze is a constant challenge at the 7,068-yard, par 72 course, testing players' ability to counteract crosswinds, adjust their yardage for shots hit into the wind, and ignore sand wedges' pleas to fly kites. Water hazards also come into play on multiple holes, including three par 3s where tee shots must clear water to make it to the green in regulation. The Links Grille awaits just beyond the 18th green, catering to hungry golfers with burgers, adult libations, and patio seating, from which guests can look out on the course and daydream about domesticating golf carts as housepets.
Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.
Designed by PGA champion Mark Brooks with the classic layout of Scottish and early American links in mind, Southern Oaks Golf Club organically incorporates the natural landscape into a challenging 72 par course. Ideal for average to advanced players, the course keeps haphazard whackers in check with bunkers lurking on nearly every hole and talkative teens waiting to distract on each green. Rented carts come in handy as the peaceful grounds encompass 300 acres and yardage per hole ranges between 5,350 and 6,650 yards from front and middle tees and 7,100 from the back.
Designed by 1992 Masters Golf Tournament champion Fred Couples, the course at Twin Creeks Country Club drapes over 195 acres of Texas Hill Country framed by rocky outcroppings and natural hazards. Players traverse the course’s 7,033 yards along a pristine bermuda grass path from tee to green, though many gleaming white-sand bunkers may interrupt a string of stellar lies with tricky up-and-downs or inspire the sudden desire for players to fill their hourglasses with extra time. The club’s eponymous creeks wind the length of the course in a slithery tango—entering play on 13 of the holes—and ravines filled with century-old oak and pecan trees present still more snares. Players can check the club’s course-conditions page prior to a round for an idea of the day’s crowds, weather, and pin positions, which change each day of the week except Monday, when the course is closed.
Twin Creeks Country Club also boasts a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse complete with an upscale restaurant, bar and lounge, locker rooms, and pro shop. Outdoors, 10,000 square feet of earth play host to myriad events, and a covered area shelters diners from torrential golf balls.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,033 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 75.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 142 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Designed by Fred Couples
The successive pinging of golf balls as they speed toward distant targets at Cedar Park Driving Range is a welcoming sound to visiting golfers, almost therapeutic. The expansive facility boasts 12 grass hitting bays for players who prefer a natural feel as well as 18 shaded stations with mat hitting bays, 10 of which cool down hardworking golfers and parched sand wedges with a water-misting system. Four circular targets—positioned at distances of 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards—help players dial in approach shots, while five distance markers—stationed at 50-yard intervals from 100 to 300 yards—help golfers gauge how far their golf-ball trebuchet is capable of sending a ball. Cedar Park Driving Range also has more than 100 clubs that they rent out free of charge.