Yesterday I got the chance to tee it up out at TPC San Antonio and play the Oaks Course. If you don’t know, this is the course the pros play during the Valero Texas Open. The course is tough and when the wind blows, it gets really tough. Yesterday was one of those tough days.
One of the main reasons I volunteer at the Valero Texas Open each year is for this round of golf. It’s only $25 to play and I brought my dad for $99. We split the green fees so it came out to about $65 each. In all honesty, this is a great deal all around. First off, TPC San Antonio is a private course. Second, I believe you have to be a resort guest to play and it’s easily a couple hundred bucks even as a guest. It was just me and my dad and we got paired up with another father and son, so it made for an enjoyable day. It was hot all day but we had a good breeze most of the day which made it comfortable along with tough.
Two main things stood out to me. First, two people thanked me for volunteering during the Valero Texas Open; the lady behind the counter in the pro shop and the starter who checked our starting ticket. That made you feel sort-of good knowing they at least make the effort to thank you and show some appreciation for the volunteering efforts. The second thing that stood out was quite funny. They had separate “members practice area” and “guest practice area.” If you have never been to TPC San Antonio, the driving range is huge. The tee line is at least 200 yards wide, if not longer. On the far end of one side, the “guess practice area” was setup with a water cooler and ropes to hit from. Way on the other side was the “members practice area.” There was 150 yards between both areas and you couldn’t help but say it’s perfectly clear who is more important at TPC San Antonio. Is this wrong? Probably not. The members pay a lot of money to join but you can clearly see they had the amenities of a good practice area.
All-in-all, the course was in great shape all the way around. The greens were just aerated recently but they still rolled very smoothly. The areas around the greens were very sandy and soft and I didn’t get the hop forward in a couple instances because of this. I also misjudged the softness two times and chunked a couple chips in front of the green.
There was one complaint I would have about my round of golf yesterday at TPC San Antonio. No water on the course! I don’t mean water hazards, I mean drinking water. Yes, I am serious. We are in San Antonio, TX and it’s 100 degrees outside and they have no water coolers on the course. While they do provide you with four bottles of water in the cooler before the round, those were drank by the second hole. One restroom on the Front9 and one on the Back9 allowed you to fill up via a water fountain, but the water from the fountain was cloudy and disgusting looking. I understand they probably want you to spend $4 on gatorade and $6 on bottled water from the cart girl, but providing water coolers in South Texas heat is imperative.
I am happy I got to play my volunteer round at TPC San Antonio again this year. I will most likely be volunteering again next year and will take them up on the offer to play as well.