With a mild climate, a storied past, and more than 800 courses strewn across rugged desert mountains, piney woods, sand greens, and seaside links, Texas is blazing a trail in the world of golf. As lush public, private and resort courses develop across the Lone Star State, Texas is fast becoming a destination hotspot, a year-round golf destination, and a golf lover’s getaway that rivals some of the best locales in the country.
Golfers of all skill levels are challenged and awed by Texas’ enormous selection of golf facilities, from world-famous courses and wildlife watching opportunities to inexpensive golfing on some of the nation’s prettiest terrain. A place called home by legends of the game – including Ben Crenshaw, Ben Hogan, Nancy Lopez, Byron Nelson, Lee Trevino and Babe Zaharias – Texas beckons pros and amateurs alike from all over the world. And from the Gulf Coast to the Big Bend, the choices state-wide are truly endless.
The flat land, open skies and low-slung mountain ranges of the West Texas plains are filled with clean, dry desert air and year-round sunshine. The golf map throughout West Texas consists of 19 cities, 42 courses, and upwards up 468 golf holes. Seventeen of those 42 courses are found in El Paso and Midland-Odessa, both offering outstanding courses similar to those in larger Texas golf venues like San Antonio, Houston or Dallas. For the restless golfer in search of greener pastures, this region is home to some of the world’s most remote, entertaining golf courses. Golfers can expect short courses with firm, dry fairways, higher elevations, and generally simple tracks. Crowds are few, and time moves at a more leisurely pace, offering a relaxing and truly unparalleled golf experience.
The 624-mile Gulf Coast region will satisfy avid golfers like no other destination. With 118 courses divided between the many cities – South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Lavaca, Palacios, Freeport, Galveston, Orange and Houston – the region’s golf portfolio is rich. What’s more, the area is home to endless cultural, historical and adventurous attractions, enabling a well-rounded travel experience for golfers and non-golfers alike.
The Texas Hill Country is stunning evidence that Texans are in love with their state: an eclectic collection of places and personalities perched amidst limestone cliffs, clear springs, towering oaks, rolling fields and gnarled ravines. With 105 courses situated in and around Austin in particular, this region is rapidly becoming the mecca of Texas golf. Renowned architects have had a field day with this knobby terrain dominated by legendary oaks, meandering creeks and unexpected waterfalls – resulting in some of the world’s most picturesque and challenging golf courses.
In the most northwestern corner of Texas, the rugged sprawl of the Panhandle is perfect for those seeking open space and an endless horizon, marked by canyons, mesas, gulches, arroyos and breathtaking sunsets. With more than 80 cities and towns with their own golf courses – more than 70 percent open to the public – the region is rich with 114 courses and year-round sunshine second only to Arizona. While cities like Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo, Wichita Falls and Abilene offer a variety of big-city golf experiences, the Panhandle generally exemplifies small-town golf: relaxed and affordable, with locals who embody Texas hospitality.
Boasting a forest larger than the state of Indiana, the Piney Woods region encompasses more than 23.4 million acres of lush, emerald-green woods of tall pine and cypress trees, ferns and blooming dogwoods. Northeast Texas receives an average of 40 to 55 inches of annual rainfall, which is a major factor in the Piney Woods’ dense greenness. Among the region’s 96 courses, there are a surprisingly high number of high-quality, small-town golf courses, with the cities of Tyler and Longview offering particularly impressive options. Additional hidden treasures are found amidst the back roads and small towns, including lakeside courses, bed-and-breakfasts and full-scale golf resorts.
A haven for golfers, North Texas offers 265 courses and more than 3,500 golf holes throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and its quaint small towns on the outskirts. With a combination of undiscovered treasures and both exclusive and “Average Joe” golf in the big cities, the region offers something for everyone – not only golf, but shopping, dining and cultural experiences throughout the area. South Texas Plains
The Rio Grande Valley boasts more playable days of golf per year than anywhere else in the United States, meanwhile offering a more exotic appeal and relaxed ambience than other regions. From San Antonio in the north – one of the state’s premier golf destinations – to eclectic border towns in the south, almost every small town includes at least one golf course, for a total of 64 courses region-wide. Cooling breezes from the Gulf bring an additional challenge, allowing golfers to hone their skills against the wind. And with a range of course options, from high-end to historic and affordable, the South Texas Plains are a must for visiting golf lovers.