Austin The Texas Swings forgotten golf city


AUSTIN, Texas -- Lone Star state golf is getting a lot of airtime these days thanks to the Texas Swing.

Texas is a state as rich in golf history as they come, and the PGA Tour hits the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex twice, last week's Texas Open in San Antonio and the Shell Houston Open earlier this year.

It hits everywhere in the Texas Triangle except the state capital, my home. Coupled with the northern suburbs, Austin's metropolitan area is well over a million strong and loaded with golfers. It's also home to a very successful Golf Channel Am Tour chapter.

But just like the four major sports, the PGA Tour passes up Austin too. We're stuck with the University of Texas, plus minor league  baseball, basketball and hockey. The Champions Tour had an event here until this year, the Triton Financial Classic at the Hills of Lakeway Country Club.

For locals, Austin is one of the best golf cities in the nation, thanks to its quantity and accessibility, including five municipal  courses all closer to the heart of the city than most of the daily fees, while there are some fine privates to join as well. Every local (myself included) visits early and often to score last-minute tee time deals at favorite courses like Falconhead Golf Club and Teravista Golf Club. Locals can even get a special deal at Wolfdancer Golf Club at Lost Pines, a mainstay on most Texas golf course Top 10 lists.

As a golf traveler, I'd split time between Austin and San Antonio over 5-7 days for a killer golf trip that shows you all the best Texas has to offer. San Antonio delivers the Alamo and River Walk, with top resort golf like the TPC San Antonio and La Cantera resort and classics like Brackenridge Park Golf Course and Pecan Valley Golf Club.

Austin is the Texas city with a weird side, home to a centralized downtown with plenty of music, food and art to explore. Barton Creek Resort delivers two Fazio courses and one Crenshaw just minutes from downtown, while a bit further into the hills is Horseshoe Bay Resort, home to three Robert Trent Jones Sr. Hill Country classics.