Old vs new in San Antonio


While TPC San Antonio, host of this week’s Valero Texas Open, gets most of the attention in the San Antonio golf scene, Brackenridge Park Golf Course is a hidden gem that’s actually more indicative of the Alamo City itself: old, unique and a lot of fun.

Designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1916, “Brack” is situated in the heart of the city. Texas’ first 18-hole municipal golf course, it was renovated in 2008.

If you’re lucky enough to have visited Tillinghast’s Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, you’ll begin to notice the similarities the moment you pull in the parking lot and see the stone-walled clubhouse.
“Some people refer to it as a miniature Winged Foot,” head professional Greg Hiller said of Brack’s 6,263-yard, par-71 layout.

Hole No. 7 is the perfect example. Guarding the left side of this 385-yard, par 4 is a long fairway bunker that hides just below the player’s sight line – most bunkers at Brack are flanged with grass, which adds to the deception.

Golfers are then met by three more bunkers that sit below an elevated, square-shaped green – a common design trait of Tillinghast courses but a rarity in this region of the U.S.
“You’d have to drive about 1,000 miles to find another course with square greens,” Hiller said.

In all, seven greens at Brack have this unique characteristic.