The GOLF Magazine Travel Guide 2019 included in the October 2019 issue rates the Top 100 Resorts in North America. They further break down the best golf resorts into four categories – Luxury, Buddies, General Excellence, and Families. Three of the top 100 are located in central Texas and partner with Texas Golf Trails –
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin (Buddies)
Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay (Families)
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa / TPC San Antonio (Families)
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is located about 20 minutes west of downtown Austin. The premier golf resort in Texas features four championship golf courses. There are two nationally ranked Tom Fazio designed courses, a Ben Crenshaw course, and an off-site Arnold Palmer course that’s about 40 minutes away (shuttle rides from the resort are available). The entire resort closed for a year during a $150+ million renovation, which included the addition of the all new Mokara Spa and a brand new, expansive, multi-tiered pool complex, the perfect place to relax and cool off after your round. The renovation also included the addition of seven new dining options, so there’s something to delight everyone’s palate. The proximity to downtown Austin makes it easy to visit the famous 6th Street entertainment district and experience the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Horseshoe Bay Resort on the shores of Lake LBJ is about an hour northwest of Austin and an hour and a half north of San Antonio. GOLF Magazine rates Horseshoe Bay as a top resort for families, but notes that it is a great buddy trip destination as well. The resort features three Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed championship courses, Apple Rock, Ram Rock, and Slick Rock, all rated in the top 25 in the state. Your group will have a blast playing the resort’s 18-hole natural grass Whitewater putting course, complete with sand bunkers, waterfalls, and a new sports bar in the middle of the course. While staying at the resort, take advantage of the massive Lake LBJ that is adjacent to the resort and offers numerous boating and water activities. Be sure to head into Marble Falls, a nearby quaint Hill Country town that is home to boutique shops and the historic Blue Bonnet Café (make sure you get a slice of pie!).
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is co-located with TPC San Antonio. TPC San Antonio features the AT&T Oaks Course designed by Greg Norman and the AT&T Canyons Course designed by Pete Dye. The Oaks Course is the home of the PGA Tour Valero Texas Open. The resort also boasts a colossal pool and water recreation area complete with huge water slides and an enormous lazy river. The High Velocity sports bar inside the resort has one of the largest screens in the state, the perfect spot to catch a game and grab a cold one after your round. The buffet brunch served in the Cibilo Moon restaurant is a must. While the River Walk in downtown San Antonio deservedly get all the pub, visit San Antonio’s newest entertainment district, Pearl, just north of downtown. This former brewery has been transformed into a 22-acre culinary and cultural destination that offers numerous restaurants and shops to visit. Noted as a top resort for families, GOLF recommends JW Marriott San Antonio as a great option for buddy trips too.
Another central Texas resort that’s just outside the Top 100 that warrants mention is La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio. The resort is home to The Resort Course designed by Tom Weiskopf and The Palmer Course designed by The King himself, Arnold Palmer. The Resort Course hosted the PGA Tour Valero Texas Open from 1995 to 2009. La Cantera overlooks 550-acres of the Texas Hill Country and features 496 luxurious rooms, 34 boutique-style villas, and an exclusive adults-only floor. The Loma de Vida Spa is breathtaking and there are numerous restaurant options to choose from. The heated, infinity style pools offer a pleasant escape, especially the adults-only pool that has ten luxurious cabanas and a poolside bar and restaurant.