TPC San Antonio compare and contrast

By May 11, 2010, 5:42 pm
tpc san antonio golf
The par-3 16th hole at AT&T Oaks at TPC San Antonio (Courtesy TPC San Antonio)

SAN ANTONIO – For nearly 90 years San Antonio has hosted the PGA Tour Valero Texas Open. In 2010 a new era begins when the event moves to its eighth venue, TPC San Antonio, a sprawling new 36-hole resort in the Alamo City’s northern hill country.

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Each of the two courses at this resort will host professional golf events: The AT&T Oaks Course, designed by Greg Norman and consultant Sergio Garcia, becomes the host of the aforementioned Valero Texas Open while the AT&T Canyons Course is expected to receive the Champions Tour AT&T Championship as early as 2011.

Both courses were built to host pro tournaments but they’re also open to you, the traveling golfer. To help you decide which course is for you, let’s compare and contrast the two:

Compare: Both were built with a 'closed-loop irrigation system' designed to protect the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and are slated for Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary certification. Each deviates from the standard TPC style of spectator mounding and viewing areas of recent TPC stadium-style courses in favor of a more natural appearance. Both are also void of any real estate framing the golf courses (except, of course, the mighty JW Marriott hotel).

Contrast: Though the Oaks and Canyons play right next to each other in the Texas Hill Country, their topographies sit in stark contrast. The Oaks gently meanders through oak and mesquite trees, and most holes are tree-lined on both sides. It's very walker friendly with less than 100 feet of differential between the highest and lowest points.

The Canyons, as the name implies, rolls up and down more severe Hill Country terrain. Many green settings (much like Dye's latest design in French Lick, Ind.) overlook expansive backdrops of a 700-acre nature preserve.

Compare: The Oaks and Canyons yield themselves to high drama with a similar formula on the closing three holes. No. 16 on both courses are showy par 3s, followed by potentially drivable short par 4s. The difference is on the 18th: The Oaks is a risk-reward par 5, while the Canyons is a long, dogleg par 4 that can play to about 480 yards, where you're holding on to dear life to make a par.

Contrast: The fairways may be tight on the Oaks, but it's the approach shots that can be menacing with run-off areas and bunkers aplenty. It's hard to believe anyone, from tour pro to novice, could play the Oaks without finding sand at least once during the round. The Canyons has more room off the tee, as well as more opportunities to run the ball up onto the green.

Compare: Both golf courses play out the same 42,000-square-foot clubhouse, located right next to the JW Marriott. The two courses share a 20-acre practice area, including a large driving range and several short-game areas. Packages through the JW Marriott are the same cost for each course.

Contrast: Aside from general topography, the biggest aesthetic difference of the two courses is in the bunker shaping. The Oaks is naturally, consistently shaped and almost always large. In typical Pete Dye style, the Canyons features more boxy bunkers with little rhyme or reason to them: some with high lips, some small, some awkwardly shaped.

Compare: For turf, both courses use Champions Bermuda on the greens, Emerald Bermuda for the collars, approach areas and tee tops, and native Texas grasses surrounding holes. Neither over-seeded for the wintertime, but that will probably change next fall, course officials say.

Contrast: Different turf types in the fairways and rough were installed in an effort to present optimum turf quality for their respective landscapes. The Oaks features Bandara Bermuda in the rough and TifSport Bermuda in the fairways. The Canyons will have 419 Bermuda in the rough and fairways. Officials plan to overseed the Canyons next fall while the Oaks will not, so as to provide top Bermuda grass for the PGA Tour event in the spring.

TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks and Canyons courses: The verdict

Despite playing more difficult to the mid-handicapper (or probably any handicapper for that matter), I prefer the Oaks, mostly due to the aesthetics of the gentle undulations and more consistent bunker shaping.

The finishing stretch on each course is exceptional, both offering drivable 17th holes, but for amateur players, it's always nice to finish with a par 5 instead of a long par 4.

The Canyons is a little behind the Oaks in terms of growth, and off the fairways, there are some muddy patches (thanks to the wet winter the Hill Country has had), so it only stands to get better once it grows in over the year.

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Watch: Tiger highlights from Round 2 at Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

Tiger Woods started at even par in Round 2 of the Honda Classic. Friday began with a bogey at the par-4 second, but Woods got that stroke back with a birdie at the par-4 fourth:

Following four consecutive pars, Woods birdied the par-4 ninth to turn in 1-under 34.

At 1 under for the tournament, Woods was tied for 10th place, three off the lead, when he began the back nine at PGA National. And the crowd was loving it.

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Defending champ Fowler misses cut at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:14 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The roles might be reversed this weekend for Rickie Fowler.

Last year, when he won at PGA National, Fowler was greeted behind the 18th green by Justin Thomas, one of his Jupiter neighbors. Thomas had missed the cut in his hometown event but drove back to the tournament to congratulate Fowler on his fourth PGA Tour title.

It’s Fowler who will be on the sidelines this weekend, after missing the Honda Classic cut following rounds of 71-76.  

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

“I haven’t been swinging it great the last month and a half,” he said afterward. “Obviously playing in the wind, it will pick you apart even more.”

After a tie for fourth at Kapalua, Fowler has missed two of his last three cuts. In between, at the Phoenix Open, he coughed up the 54-hole lead and tied for 11th.

Fowler said he’s been struggling with commitment and trust on the course.

“It’s close,” he said. “Just a little bit off, and the wind is going to make it look like you’re a terrible weekend golfer.”

Asked if he’d return the favor for Thomas, if he were to go and win, Fowler smiled and said: “Of course.”  

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 23, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Cut Line: Woods still eyeing Ryder Cup dual role

By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2018, 6:57 pm

In this week’s edition, Jack Nicklaus makes the argument, again, for an equipment rollback, Tiger Woods gets halfway to his Ryder Cup goal and Paul Lawrie laments slow play ... in Europe.

Made Cut

Captain’s corner. Last week Tiger Woods coyly figured he could do both, play and be a vice captain for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Tuesday, he made it halfway to his goal.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk named Woods and Steve Stricker vice captains for this year’s matches, joining Davis Love III on the team golf cart.

Whether Woods will be able to pull off the double-header is now largely up to him and how his most recent comeback from injury progresses, but one way or another Furyk wanted Tiger in his team room.

“What Tiger really has brought to the table for our vice captains is a great knowledge of X's and O's,” Furyk said. “He's done a really good job of pairing players together in foursomes and fourball. When you look at our team room and you look at a lot of the youth that we have in that team room now with the younger players, a lot of them became golf professionals, fell in love with the game of golf because they wanted to emulate Tiger Woods.”

Woods is currently 104th on the U.S. points list, but the qualification process is designed for volatility, with this year’s majors worth twice as many points. With Tiger’s improved play it’s not out of the question that he gets both, a golf cart and a golf bag, for this year’s matches.

#MSDStrong. Every week on Tour players, officials and fans come together to support a charity of some sort, but this week’s Honda Classic has a more personal impact for Nicholas Thompson.

Thompson graduated from nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and last week’s horrific shooting there inspired the former Tour member to work with tournament organizers and find a way to help the victims.

Officials handed out 1,600 maroon ribbons to volunteers to honor the victims; and Thompson and his wife, who is also a Stoneman Douglas graduate, donated another 500 with the letters “MSD” on them for players, wives and caddies.

Thompson also planned to donate 3,100 rubber bracelets in exchange for donations to help the victims and their families.

“I’m not much of a crier, but it was a very, very sad moment,” Thompson told “To see on TV, the pictures of the school that I went through for four years and the area where it occurred was terrible.”

The Tour makes an impact on communities every week, but some tournaments are more emotional than others.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Golden moment. Jack Nicklaus has never been shy about expressing his thoughts on modern equipment and how far today’s professionals are hitting the golf ball, but this week the Golden Bear revealed just how involved he may be in what is increasingly looking like an equipment rollback of some sort.

During a recent dinner with USGA CEO Mike Davis, Nicklaus discussed the distance debate.

“Mike said, ‘We’re getting there. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there.'” Nicklaus said. “I said, ‘That’s fine. I’m happy to help you. I’ve only been yelling at you for 40 years.’ 1977 is the first time I went to the USGA.”

The USGA and R&A are scheduled to release their annual distance report before the end of the month, but after the average driving distance jumped nearly 3 yards last year on Tour – and nearly 7 yards on the Tour – many within the equipment industry are already bracing for what could be the most profound rollback in decades.

Stay tuned.

Geographically undesirable. Although this will likely be the final year the Tour’s Florida swing is undercut by the WGC-Mexico Championship, which will be played next week, the event’s impact on this year’s fields is clear.

The tee sheet for this week’s Honda Classic, which had become one of the circuit’s deepest stops thanks to an influx of Europeans gearing up for the Masters, includes just three players from the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and none from top three. By comparison, only the Sony Open and CareerBuilder Challenge had fewer top players in 2018.

On Monday at a mandatory meeting, players were given a rough outline of the 2018-19 schedule, which features some dramatic changes including the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players shifting back to March, and numerous sources say the Mexico stop will move to the back end of the West Coast swing and be played after the Genesis Open.

That should help fields in the Sunshine State regain some luster, but it does nothing to change the fact that this year’s Florida swing is, well, flat.

Missed Cut

West Coast woes. Of all the highlights from this year’s West Coast swing, a run that included overtime victories for Patton Kizzire (Sony Open), Jon Rahm (CareerBuilder Challenge), Jason Day (Farmers Insurance Open) and Gary Woodland (Waste Management Phoenix Open), it will be what regularly didn’t happen that Cut Line remembers.

J.B. Holmes endured the wrath of social media for taking an eternity - it was actually 4 minutes, 10 seconds - to hit his second shot on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines, but in fairness to Holmes he’s only a small part of a larger problem.

Without any weather delays, Rounds 1 and 2 were not completed on schedule last week in Los Angeles because of pace of play, and the Tour is even considering a reduction in field size at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to avoid similar schedule issues.

But all this seems to miss the point. Smaller fields aren’t the answer; rules that recognize and penalize slow play are the only solution.

Tweet of the week: @PaulLawriegolf (Paul Lawrie) “Getting pretty fed up playing with guys who cheat the system by playing as slow as they want until referee comes then hit it on the run to make sure they don't get penalized. As soon as ref [is] gone it’s back to taking forever again. We need a better system.”

It turns out slow play isn’t a uniquely Tour/West Coast issue, as evidenced by the Scot’s tweet on Thursday from the Qatar Masters.