Destination Guide: Golf, music and barbecue in Austin, Texas
- Brandon Tucker
- Mar 21, 2012 3:58 PM ET
AUSTIN, Texas - Legendary golf teacher Harvey Penick's lasting imprint is everywhere you look in Austin, from his former home courses, Riverside Golf Course and Hancock Golf Course, to GolfSmith's Harvey Penick Academy and the First Tee Program's new Harvey Penick Golf Campus.
Author of the best-selling "Little Red Book" and the man who developed such students as Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls and decades worth of University of Texas athletes, Penick will have a lasting legacy in the city he was born and raised and passed away in just days before Crenshaw's emotional Masters win in 1995. The city has a strong municipal golf scene, which begins just west of downtown at Lions Municipal Golf Course, a legendary city course that dates back to 1924. To the south, the top facility is Roy Kizer and Jimmy Clay, home to two championship-caliber designs as well as one of the area's best practice centers, which includes a four-hole short course.
The area also built a handful of upscale, semi-private golf clubs around the turn of the 21st century. Falonhead, Grey Rock, Teravista, Avery Ranch, Shadow Glen and Sun City's Cowan Creek are all public-access courses that offer a private club feel.
Off the golf course, Austin stakes claim as the "Live music capital of the world," where Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson (a passionate golfer, by the way, who owns Pedernales Golf Club in Spicewood, an hour northwest of the city) are among the many local icons. The city hosts the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference (SXSW) for a week each spring, which fills every downtown bar with thousands of acts. In the fall, Austin City Limits brings some of the world's top bands to Zilker Park on Town Lake.
An historic golf city in the Texas Hill Country with year-long temperatures for golf and a downtown saturated with nightlife venues, Austin is a golf destination without much to be desired.
The top golf resort in Austin is the Barton Creek Resort & Spa. It's home to two Tom Fazio designs, plus one from native son Ben Crenshaw that showcases the best of Austin's rocky cliffs in the Hill Country. Just east of Austin is the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort home to Wolfdancer Golf Club, an Arthur Hills design that plays through dense, rolling forest and finishes beside the Colorado River.
If you're looking for some peace and quiet, head about an hour west to the Horseshoe Bay Resort & Spa, home to three exceptional Robert Trent Jones Sr. championship courses. Closer to town just minutes east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is Wolfdancer Golf Club, part of the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort.
Getting to Austin
Austin is in the Texas Triangle, three hours south of Dallas on I-35 and three hours west of Houston, as well as just about an hour north of San Antonio. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is relatively new and has direct flights to many domestic destinations, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.
- Garcia apologizes to Woods | Tee times
- Sergio 'fried chicken' jab | Tiger: 'Hurtful'
- Mell: Disagree with anchor ban, but pure intent
- Sergio sponsor TMaG: Comment 'offensive'
- Z. Johnson back at Colonial | Groupings | Tee times
- Colonial reax: Garcia remark | Singh, anchor
- Fantasy: BMW PGA, Crowne Plaza power rankings
- Lewis in rainy Bahamas | Under water | Tee times
- USGA, R&A ban anchored stroke | Explanation
- Chapman set to defend at Senior PGA | Tee times
- Fowler plans to donate $100K to tornado relief
- McIlroy denies G-Mac rift, mum on management