Texas golf guide: 5 awesome resorts to visit in the Lone Star State

The Fazio Canyons course at Omni Barton Creek Resort.

The Fazio Canyons course at Omni Barton Creek Resort.

Courtesy Photo

No conversation about golf in Texas is complete without mention of the legendary players the state has produced, from Hogan and Nelson down through the generations to Trevino and Crenshaw, Spieth and Scheffler. The list goes on.

But the fabric of the game here isn’t just made up of people. The Lone Star State is also thick with landmark destinations. While some are private courses, like Colonial Country Club, where the PGA Tour has stopped this week for the Charles Schwab Challenge, many are open to the public. With the competition heating up in Fort Worth this weekend, here’s a look at five of the top golf resorts in Texas.

Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Location: Frisco / Learn more or book here

Some moves are lateral. Not this relocation. In 2022, when the PGA of America transferred its headquarters from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., to Frisco, Texas, it did so with a major upgrade in mind. Mission accomplished. The organization’s new home sits at the heart of a destination that pulses with golf in all its classic and modern forms. Two 18-hole championship courses — Fields Ranch East and West, by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, and Beau Welling, respectively — anchor the offerings. But Omni Frisco also has the Swing, a lighted 10-hole, par-3 course; the Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course; and a wonderland of high-tech golf-focused entertainment, including tricked-out hitting bays, Topgolf simulation experiences and specialty coaching programs run by certified PGA of America instructors.

A view of Fields Ranch East in Frisco, Texas.
The home hole on Fields Ranch East at Omni PGA Frisco Resort. Courtesy Photo

Horseshoe Bay Resort

Location: Frisco Bay / Learn more or book here

Known as the original “Open Doctor,” Robert Trent Jones Sr. fleshed out his already substantial fame by tweaking other designs. Turnabout is fair play, though, and it happened at this venerable Hill Country resort. The three 18-hole courses here — Apple Rock, Slick Rock and Ram Rock — are all Jones originals that have since been renovated, producing mint conditions on layouts that are both scenic and (in the case of Ram Rock, especially) stout. The Whitewater Putting Course, an 18-hole par-72 adventure that winds past waterfalls and rose gardens, is good fun for all ages, and everything can be bundled into great family-friendly, value packages.

A view of Ram Rock Golf Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort.
A view of Ram Rock Golf Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort. Brian Walters

The Woodlands Resort

Location: Houston area / Learn more or book here

Situated just north of Houston, in an unincorporated area of Montgomery County, the Woodlands has a laidback personality of its own, with luxe but relaxed accommodations and two enjoyable courses (the North and West) set in a tree-lined landscape reflective of the resort’s name. Along with individual instruction, the Woodlands Golf Academy offers Titleist Performance Institute screenings, which pinpoint the physical limitations that may be standing in the way of you and lower scores. Of course, it would also help if you just practiced more.

the pool area at the woodlands resort in texas
Relax by the pool at The Woodlands Resort. Courtesy Photo

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

Location: Austin / Learn more or book here

The OG of Hill Country resorts, Omni Barton Creek is a place of both consistency and change. Extensive renovations in recent years have brought new, resplendent lodging, a world-class spa and four swimming pools, among other alluring amenities. Unaltered, though, is the rolling landscape, a scenic backdrop for four terrific courses. These include a pair of Tom Fazio designs — the Foothills and the Canyons — that have been named the No. 1 and 2 courses in the state. The third, by homegrown hero Ben Crenshaw, boasts dramatic views and Texas-size greens and sits across the street from the main resort. While the fourth, Barton Creek Lakeside, rollicks over secluded hilltops with commanding views of Lake Travis.

Poolside at omni barton creek
Relax poolside at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. Courtesy Photo

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

Location: San Antonio / Learn more or book here

It’s always nice to say you pegged it where the pros play. TPC San Antonio is private, but JW Marriott resort guests enjoy access to the facility’s two impeccably conditioned courses, one of which (the Oaks) hosts the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open. On its lilting route through a landscape lined with knotty trees and native grasses, the Oaks offers a fair and flexible challenge, customizable by way of four sets of tees. Its sister course, the Canyons, features more forgiving targets but moves through more dramatic elevation changes, which intensify the challenge and give way to sweeping Hill Country views.

An aerial view of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.
An aerial view of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Courtesy Photo

Josh Sens

Golf.com Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.