In this blog post we’re going to take a look at the best golf courses in Waco, Texas.
The city is positioned on the banks of the meandering Brazos River, with the man-made Lake Waco just to the west of the city.
It is also easily accessible, being equidistant between the vast Fort Worth & Dallas metropolitan area, as well as Austin to the south.
Many people probably know Waco as being home to the iconic Magnolia Market, made famous in the ‘Fixer Upper’ TV show.
But for now, let’s dive into the best private and public golf courses near the city of Waco.
The best public golf courses in Waco, Texas
Bear Ridge Golf Club
We kick off our list of the finest public golf facilities in Waco, with the superb Bear Ridge Golf Club.
Formerly known as Twin Rivers Golf Club, this wonderful semi-private club is found a fifteen minute drive south west from central Waco, driving along the freeway.
The course was designed by the ex-PGA Tour player Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, a PGA Member. Opening in 2001, it has long been a firm favorite in not just Waco, but with golfers coming down from Dallas.
The site is bliss, located next to the South and Middle Bosque Rivers. In fact this location gives the layout two very distinctive characters.
On one side you have the heavily tree-lined holes, which meander through the vegetation which flanks the rivers. But then on the other side, there are also a selection of holes which are wide open and allow you to really let rip.
And being able to let rip whilst keeping accuracy is key to score well here. From the back tees, the Silver tees, the course measures just shy of 7,500 yards. So make sure you pick your tee box carefully.
Lake Waco Golf Club
Just to the west of the Waco Regional Airport, on the northern banks of Lake Waco, is the popular Lake Waco Golf Club.
The club, which opened in 1963, occupies a large plot of land and is so much more than just an 18-hole course.
Alongside the regulation course, is an 18-hole Executive Course, made up of par 3 holes and a large driving range. It is here where junior golf is well supported and encouraged.
The regulation 18-hole course reaches just over 6,700 yards from the back tees, and is great fun to play.
And this is what makes Lake Waco so popular. The course, which has a Hill Country feel to it, has enough hazards and challenges to keep you on your toes. But it isn’t too challenging. There are ample opportunities to score well and you shouldn’t lose too many balls.
From a handful of holes, the 4th and 5th, as well as the 15th and 16th, there are some wonderful lake views. Residential housing is visible from a few holes, but this is an exception, with you and nature the main feel to the place.
Cottonwood Creek Golf Club
Waco city’s municipal golf course, which is perfectly positioned for anyone in downtown. It’s literally a few minutes drive south, located in the Kendrick neighborhood.
Cottonwood Creek opened in the mid-80s, and has been a firm favorite amongst Waco’s residents since then.
It was designed by Joe Finger and Ken Dye and is both great value and super fun! In fact, Cottonwood Creek is recognised as being one of the finest municipal layouts in the Lonestar State.
Winding through the rolling plains, there are a variety of challenges on offer. This includes a number of doglegs, strategically placed green-side bunkers and various streams and lakes.
The maintenance is a key focus and one of the areas where Cottonwood Creek consistently gets high feedback. The fairways are in good condition whilst the greens generally roll true.
You’d be excused for wondering whether this is truly a muni layout!
With weekend 18-hole rates no more than $40, this is exceptional value for money.
The best private golf courses in Waco, Texas
Ridgewood Country Club
A club which has existed since 1947, Ridgewood Country Club is the foremost family orientated club in Waco.With a thriving membership, it is just a ten minute drive from downtown Waco.
Like some of the other clubs on this list, Ridgewood Country Club occupies a prime location overlooking Lake Waco. From most points across this hilly course, you’ll enjoy some wonderful views of the lake.
The routing was devised by the relatively unheralded Ralph Plummer, a Texas native.
Yet despite his lack of recognition, Plummer enjoyed a hugely successful and productive career as a golf course architect. In fact he was responsible for designing and renovating over 80 golf courses.
Here at Ridgewood, he created both a challenging and enjoyable layout. The rolling Texan hills are pockmarked with lush woodland and large deciduous trees. It is also surprising how much elevation change there is, which in itself creates testing conditions for all levels.
There have been many renovations over the years to ensure Ridgewood stays relevant and remains a challenge in modern times. This also ensures the membership gets to enjoy one of the finest private golf clubs in central Texas.