The 20 best golf courses in Texas (2022/2023)
As part of GOLF’s course rating process for 2022-23, our fleet of 100-plus expert panelists identified the best golf courses in Texas. Browse the links below to check out all of our course rankings, or scroll down to see the best courses in Texas.
GOLF’s other course rankings: Top 100 Courses in the World | Top 100 Courses in the U.S. | Top 100 Courses You Can Play | Top 100 Value Courses in the U.S. | America’s Best Municipal Courses | The 100 Best Short Courses in the World
Ed. note: Some courses were omitted from our rankings because they did not receive enough votes.
The best golf courses in Texas (2022/2023)
1. Trinity Forest (Dallas)
2. Whispering Pines (Trinity)
3. Wolf Point (Port Lavaca)
4. Austin Golf Club (Spicewood)
5. Brook Hollow (Dallas)
6. Colonial (Fort Worth)
7. Dallas National (Dallas)
8. Bluejack National (Montgomery)
9. Champions — Cypress Creek (Houston)
10. Austin Country Club (Austin)
11. Memorial Park [P, V, M]
Another Tom Doak restoration project that nods to golf’s past while embracing its future. The original John Bredemus layout opened in 1936 and hosted the Houston Open from 1951-63. In the years since, Memorial Park has been one of the busiest munis in the country, logging more than 60,000 rounds annually. Doak’s $18.5 million renovation — with an assist from Brooks Koepka — improved irrigation and modernized the course, making it playable for the public and challenging for pros. The fairways are generous, and Doak left only 19 bunkers on the course. But his target-oriented design rewards precision, and the back nine is built for scoring swings and tournament drama. In 2020, Memorial Park became the first Doak course to play host to a PGA Tour event. But the rates remain muni-friendly, making this one of the best deals in golf.
12. Shady Oaks (Westworth Village)
13. Rawls Course at Texas Tech (Lubbock) [P, V]
Tom Doak’s general preference is to follow nature’s lead, but when given a flat site like the one here, Plan B was required. Instead, the job became a massive dirt-moving exercise in two regards: First, mounds were constructed around the perimeter so that the golfer’s attention is turned inward, opening up long, handsome views across the course. Second, Doak made sure that the holes themselves were blessed with many random, micro-contours. Pair the firm playing conditions that are fostered in this part of Texas with the area’s ubiquitous wind and the course plays — shockingly — like a links. Downwind, golfers might well need to pick a spot about 45 yards short of the reachable par-5 2nd green to land their second shots and then watch in delight as their balls bound on to the opening of the putting surface. No golf trail is near Lubbock so the Rawls Course is a bit of an outpost, but make sure it stays on your radar.
14. Spanish Oaks (Austin)
15. Preston Trail (Dallas)
16. Oak Hills (San Antonio)
17. Boot Ranch (Fredericksburg)
18. Escondido (Horseshoe Bay)
19. Barton Creek — Canyons (Austin) [P]
20. Carlton Woods — Fazio (The Woodlands)
How we rank our courses
For GOLF’s course rankings lists, each panelist is provided a list of hundreds of courses and “buckets,” or groupings. If they believe the course to be among the best in its category (World, U.S. Value, etc.), they check the corresponding box to place it in a specific bucket. Panelists are also free to write in courses they felt should have been included on the ballot. Points were assigned to each bucket; to arrive at an average score for each course, we divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses are then ranked accordingly.
The key to the process is the experience and expertise of our panel. Hailing from 15 nations and all the worldwide golf meccas, each of our 115 handpicked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally. Many of our panelists have played more than 1,000 courses in 20-plus countries.
Because we don’t prescribe a set method to assess courses as other ranks do, no one opinion carries the day — our rank is a democracy. Some panelists believe that enjoyment is the ultimate goal, and thus prioritize design attributes such as width and playing angles, while frowning on upon having to constantly hunt for balls in thick rough. Other panelists value challenge and the demands of hitting every club in the bag. Still others consider a course’s surroundings and overall environment of paramount importance, thereby emphasizing the setting and naturalness of the course. In the end, allowing raters to freely express their tastes is what produces the desired eclecticism in our Top 100 lists.
Panelist integrity is vital. Voters with any ties or associations to eligible courses must flag such conflicts. Panelists also know not to let the quality of their play influence their ballot — same for a luxe experience or clubhouse. While opulence may make for a more a memorable outing, it’s not what GOLF’s course lists are about. Our focus is on design and architecture. We study the course, not the trappings around it.
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