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.
Three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret states, “I simply followed the natural features of the land” to explain the genesis of his brainchild, the Onion Creek Club. Here 18 holes of championship golf—designed by course architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore—sprawl alongside tennis courts and a clubhouse with a fitness center and junior-Olympic-size swimming pool. The par-70 course’s claim to fame is having hosted the inaugural Senior PGA event in 1978, four years after the greens’ bermuda grass first whimpered under cleated feet. Its signature third hole invites golfers to play aggressively with their drivers in order to vault orbs onto a landing strip guarded by trees and a creek, or to grip their irons and aim for a narrow green that has notoriously uncommunicative air-traffic controllers.
In addition to the course and its accompanying driving range with 30 hitting stations, Onion Creek Club invites racket-wielders to take advantage of lighted hard and clay tennis courts. The clubhouse’s fitness center challenges muscles with Cybex strength machines, and its junior-Olympic-size pool allows 9 irons to slip into their bikinis and go for a splash.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance:
The history of the five full-length municipal golf courses that make up Austin Public Links spans a good portion of the history of the city itself. The story begins with the Hancock Golf Course, a short nine-holer founded in 1899 and named for former Austin mayor Lewis Hancock, Jr. The links-style Roy Kizer Golf Course, meanwhile, was named in honor of the longtime superintendent of the Lions Municipal Golf Course, which played host to the likes of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. In addition, the Morris Williams Golf Course has been newly reopened after heavy renovations, and the Jimmy Clay Golf Course is also available to golfers.
Taken together, the courses cover a wide range of styles?from the hilly 9 holes of Hancock to the 7,023-yard endurance test at Morris Williams. The Jimmy Clay features traditional tree-lined fairways, whereas the Kizer has a links-style layout with 22 acres of wetlands and 37 acres of lakes.
Owner and golf guru Matt Christian brings countless golf, fitness, and club-fitting certifications to Elite Golf Performance, where private lessons pair with video analysis to shave strokes from scorecards. Elite’s expert instructors help students develop simple, routine-based exercises focusing on coordination and consistency, following an Elite Golf Performance mode of instruction espoused by PGA Tour winners and US Open champions. The center also boasts a repertoire of technological teaching aids, allowing players to dissect their technique with video swing analysis.