In this blog post we’re going to explore some of the best public golf courses in San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio. It is one of the most popular cities in Texas and one of the largest in the United States.
With larger than life attractions, a rich history and a pretty special food scene, no wonder this is also a popular destination for tourists.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, I recommend a couple of top class golf resorts close to the city in this article – What are the best golf resorts in Texas?
But for now, let’s jump into the best public golf facilities around the city.
The best public golf courses in San Antonio, Texas
|1||The Quarry Golf Course|
|2||La Cantera Resort & Spa (Resort Course)|
|3||TPC San Antonio – Oaks Course|
|4||Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club|
|5||TPC San Antonio – Canyons Course|
|6||Landa Park Golf Course|
|7||Canyon Springs Golf Club|
|8||SilverHorn Golf Club of Texas|
|9||Brackenridge Park Golf Course|
|10||Olympia Hills Golf Club|
|Value for money||Brackenridge Park Golf Course|
|Groups||The Quarry Golf Course|
|Clubhouse||Canyon Springs Golf Club|
|Views||La Cantera Resort & Spa|
1. The Quarry Golf Course
We kick off our list of the best public golf courses in San Antonio, with an absolute blast of a course. This is the Quarry Golf Course, one of the highest rated and most popular in the city.
The club is located to the north of the city, pretty much equidistant from downtown as it is the International airport. In historic Cementville, close to Alamo Heights Olmos Park Terrace.
As the name suggests, this magnificent course is routed in a former quarry pit. The mine was in full operation at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Fast forward to 1993 when the site started a new life as a top class golf course designed by the celebrated Keith Foster. This was only shortly after Foster opened his architectural firm, but from day one he was delivering knock out designs.
Foster is as well known for his renovations of Golden Age classics, as he is designing new courses. But here at the Quarry it was the latter, and he couldn’t have done a better job.
The site is split into two parts, with the front nine set away from the clubhouse to the north. Gently rolling hills and long wispy native grasses are all present in this links-style jolly.
The second nine brings you back to where the clubhouse is and where the surrounding mine is at its most resplendent. This is a visual masterpiece whilst the routing offers elevated tee boxes, forced carries, contoured greens…this is fun stuff.
Without a doubt one of the best public golf courses in Texas, let alone San Antonio.
2. La Cantera Resort & Spa (Resort Course)
In the Texas Hill Country to the north of the city, is the luxury resort of La Cantera Resort & Spa. The resort has been lavished with praise and awards for being one of the finest golf resorts in the south west.
When at the resort, it feels like you couldn’t be further from civilization. But if you want to visit downtown, it’s just a 25 minute hop. You’re also just a mile or so away from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The golf offering is the superb Resort Course designed by the design duo of Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf. There used to be a second 18-holes layout, designed by the great Arnold Palmer. But sadly for the foreseeable future, it is indefinitely closed.
Fortunately for us, the Resort Course can more than hold its own. On a number of occasions it has been voted the best golf course in San Antonio and for many years was the host venue to the PGA and Texas Open.
For starters, the views are simply stunning. These are without doubt some of the most scenic vistas on offer in the city. Add to this the natural water features, limestone rock protrusions and mature trees, this is bliss.
Aside from avoiding the many water features and not being distracted by the views, the main challenge is the constant change in elevation. You’ll be constantly double-checking and treble-checking distances and club selection!
If you’re visiting San Antonio and want a base outside of the city, La Cantera must surely be up there!
3. TPC San Antonio (Oaks & Canyons Course)
The superb TPC San Antonio is yet another golf course which squeezes into the best public golf courses list. Like La Cantera, this is based on the fact guests of the onsite hotel can get tee times.
The resort in question on this occasion, is the outstanding JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. Another luxury resort to the north of the city and a fantastic base if visiting the area.
There are two championship golf courses onsite, the Oaks Course and the Canyons Course. The sensational Oaks Course was designed by Greg Norman, with some input from Sergio Garcia. Whilst the Canyons Course was designed by Pete Dye.
There are few golf resorts in Texas that can boast two of golf’s most celebrated designers.
The Oaks Course has tournament pedigree, having been chosen to host the Valero Texas Open for many years. It is also a welcome change from the norm for the PGA Tour.
Tour courses are renowned for their modern tournament style layouts with wide sprawling fairways and contoured mounding. But the Oaks Course pioneers a very different style, with a much more natural feel.
This includes narrow tree-lined fairways through the mature oaks. And bunkers have a more natural ‘rugged’ look. This is an elegant course but no pushover measuring over 7,400 yards from the backs.
The Canyons Course couldn’t be more different. Big changes in elevation with stunning views across to the 700-acre nature preserve. Despite the fact it was the host venue to the PGA Tour Champions San Antonio Championship for a handful of years, it is easier than its sibling.
The fairways are wider and more forgiving. Greens are big and inviting whilst not being too fast. It is no less visually impressive, but maybe more suitable for the higher handicappers.
4. Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club
Yet another golf course on the grounds of a smart resort, this time the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. But unlike the others, the Hill Country Golf Club is open to public pay and play regardless of whether you are staying at the resort or not.
This fine golf club is located to the west of the city in 200 verdant acres of the San Antonio Hill Country. It is one of the closest to downtown on this list.
There are 27-holes of championship golf on offer and these are the Oaks, the Creeks and the Lakes.
Arthur Hills and Associates were the design firm responsible for each nine-hole and they’ve done a wonderful job. Fortunately for them, they inherited a beautiful plot of land, with a mixture of wooded ravines, elegant meadows and a topography constantly changing in height.
Throughout your round, you’ll encounter lakes lurking ominously and you’ll be teeing off elevated plateaus to wide meandering fairways.
Hill Country Golf Club regularly gets voted as one of the best public golf courses in San Antonio and you can understand why.
5. Landa Park Golf Course
A 40 minute drive north-east out of the city towards New Braunfels, is a hidden gem. Landa Park Golf Course at Comal Springs.
Now I’m going to be honest from the off. There is no big name designer here. This is no Tour backed design. There is no input from PGA Tour pros like courses further up the list.
But what Landa Park does offer is great fun, unpretentious and good value municipal golf. That’s all good I hear you say, but what about the layout. Well the routing holds up too.
Originally coming to life in 1938 as a nine-hole layout, it was expanded to 18-holes in 1969. In more recent years it has been the beneficiary of more investment and the compounding of the changes of time, have resulted in a fine public golf offering.
The course is set within a 122-acre plot with the Comal River running along its north side. There is plenty of wildlife onsite, don’t be surprised to see deer wandering across a fairway or two.
Although the yardage is slightly short at over 6,200 yards, there are wonderful sculpted and mounded fairways. Bunkers are few but strategically positioned when they are used. And water hazards are a constant threat.
6. Canyon Springs Golf Club
One thing San Antonio is not short of, and that’s aesthetically pleasing golf courses. Canyons Springs Golf Club continues that trend.
The club is located around a half hour’s drive north of the city, close to Stone Oak. This is in the heart of Texas Hill Country, a location that’s as easily accessible as it is beautiful.
The rolling hills and pristine natural landscape of fertile fields was previously a ranch. Surrounding this are hundreds of mature trees, blankets of native flora and fauna as well as a couple of magnificent limestone waterfalls. This is elegant stuff.
The course was designed by Thomas Walker, an architect who for a number of years was the Vice President of the Gary Player Design Company. Thomas has over 40 years of experience in course design and Canyon Springs is without doubt one of his great creations.
So much so, not long after opening, Canyon Springs was named by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as ‘America’s Best New Public Golf Course’. No mean feat and high praise from two of the most respected golf publications.
There is a fantastic diversity of holes on offer with for me the pinnacle being the 6th hole. It’s a par-4 with a split fairway offering two different routes to the narrow green.
The clubhouse is modern yet charming and a great place to relax post-round with a cold beer.
7. SilverHorn Golf Club of Texas
20 minutes north of downtown is the popular SilverHorn Golf Club of Texas. SilverHorn is a semi-private club set within 262 acres of heavily wooded Texas Hill Country.
Mature oaks and elegant cedars make up the vast majority of the trees dotted throughout the rolling hills. They also line many of SilverHorn’s fairways making this a perilous challenge off the tee.
The course opened in 1995 and was designed by Randy Heckenkemper, assisted by two PGA Tour professionals. These were Willie Wood and Scott Verplank.
The playing experience is definitely upscale, with course conditioning impressive. To add to the tree-lined fairways, are a number of both dry and wet lakes and creeks.
One example of this is the toughest hole on the course, the 15th which is a par-4. There are two creeks to avoid, both which cut through the fairway whilst you’re hitting an approach to a well-protected elevated green.
There are plenty of other fantastic yet challenging holes ensuring SilverHorn is a pleasure to play. Without doubt one of the finest public golf courses in San Antonio and on a different day, may have been slightly higher in the list.
8. Brackenridge Park Golf Course
Now here is a club which oozes history and charm. Brackenridge Park Golf Course is one of the founding golf courses in San Antonio and one of its best municipal layouts.
I heard it said that the closer a golf course is to the center of town, the older it is. Which makes sense I guess as urban sprawl pushed newer golf course developments further out into the only available land.
Well Brackenridge Park being literally minutes from San Antonio’s heart must be old! The history of this club stretches right back to 1916, when it was designed by one of the greats of Golden Age architecture, A.W. Tillinghast.
It occupies a compact parcel of land to the north of the city, part of the larger Brackenridge Park. Compared to today’s vastly sprawling layouts measuring 7,000 yards and more (many of which occupy spots on this list), Brackenridge Park couldn’t be more different.
The course measures just over 6,200 yards from the back tees and especially on the front nine, is very penned in. Things open up a touch on the back nine but expect narrow fairways pretty much throughout.
There are some great design features that hark back to a time gone by. For example, Tillinghast’s rectangular greens, many of which are slightly angled from their fairway. Likewise, the nostalgic Tudor clubhouse.
Brackenridge Park is a great little layout, fun and great value. It is also worth noting it was the host venue to the very first Texas Open, which it hosted all the way through until 1940.
Being so accessible to the town, you really can’t fault it.
9. Olympia Hills Golf Club
Just past Live Oak on Interstate 35, heading north east out of the city, is Olympia Hills Golf Club. This is Universal City and Olympia Hills is its premier golf offering.
This immensely picturesque course was designed by the Finger, Dye and Spann Design Group, opening for play in 2000. It’s always exciting when new golf courses open and Olympia Hills maintains San Antonio’s high public golf standard.
The setting is lush and benefits from a distinctive natural topography combined with numerous man-made features.
This natural element includes live oaks and an abundance of native Texan flora and fauna. Wildlife is plenty with the occasional water features.
But what really allows Olympia Hills to stand out is the ever-present changes in elevation. At times you’ll be approaching greens significantly lower than where you tee’d off. Whilst there are plenty of elevated greens and sloped fairways.
This constant fluctuation in terrain allows for some stunning views back towards San Antonio’s skyline.
The reality is, Olympia Hills is great fun. Loose shots from the tee will be penalized, but on the whole this is a challenging layout in fantastic condition.
What is the best public golf course in San Antonio, Texas?
The best public golf course in San Antonio is the Quarry Golf Course, located in the north of the city. It was designed by Keith Foster and opened for play in 1993.