Being born and raised in the great state of Texas, I am always intrigued when magazines and websites come out with their best rated courses each year. I tend to be more interested in the courses that are closer to San Antonio, but I also like to compare the ones I have played across the rest of the state as well and make a mental note of the remaining courses on the list so I can add them to my “to-play” list. A few weeks ago, Golfweek released its list of the best courses to play by each state. Of course, I went straight down to Texas and was curious to find three courses in the San Antonio listed. Two of the three I agree with, but the only thing I could think of with the third was being ranked due to its history.
TPC San Antonio ranked #7 for AT&T Oaks and #14 with the AT&T Canyons courses. The AT&T Oaks course is where the PGA Tour Valero Texas Open is played, and where Ben Curtis finally found the winners circle recently. The AT&T Canyons course is where the Champions Tour AT&T Championship is played each year and where Fred Couples won last year. These two courses are only a few years old and I would not be surprised if they get closer to #1 over the next few years. I have not had a chance to play either course, the green fees are a little ridiculous in my opinion.
The third course from San Antonio is Brackenridge Golf Course, coming in ranked at #16. This is the course I don’t really agree with. I can name about three other courses better than Brackenridge in San Antonio – The Resort Course at La Cantera, The Palmer Course at La Cantera and Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club. Either way, they don’t ask for my opinion on the rankings so all I can do is criticize it. Brackenridge has gone through some major renovations over the last few years and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame is located there now, so I think the history of the course gets it quite a few points.
Below is the full Texas list:
1) Pine Dunes Resort & Golf Club, Frankston
2) Rawls Course at Texas Tech, Lubbock
3) Barton Creek (Fazio-Canyons), Austin
4) Butterfield Trail, El Paso
5) Old American GC, The Colony
6) Crown Colony, Lufkin
7) TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio
8) Newport Dunes GC on Mustang Island, Port Aransas
9) Barton Creek (Fazio-Foothills), Austin
10) Memorial Park, Houston
11) Wolfdancer, Austin
12) Cowboys, Grapevine
13) Texas Star, Euless
14) TPC San Antonio (AT&T Canyons), San Antonio
15) TPC Las Colinas, Irving
16) Brackenridge Park, San Antonio
17) Tradition Course at Cypresswood, Houston
18) The Tribute GC, The Colony
19) Tierra Verde, Arlington
20) TPC Las Colinas, Irving
Golfweek has released this list every year since 1997 and 725 evaluators rated some 3,000 golf courses across the United States and Mexico (surely they play them all right? Must be nice, where can I apply). They base their rating on ten criteria’s which ultimately dictate the overall ranking.
Is it any surprise that Pebble Beach, Pinehurst , Bethpage Black and Chamber’s Bay are all ranked #1 in their respective states? Is it also coincidence that each one of these courses has hosted or will host a U.S. Open? I don’t think so. But those four courses rank in my top ten of courses I have to tee it up on.