ROUND ROCK, Texas - So many different golf options abound around Austin, there's a golf course that can satisfy just about anyone.
The same can be said for Teravista Golf Club north of Austin in Round Rock, an upscale daily-fee course that boasts a championship test from the back tees. It is also suitable for beginners with a special set there, and pleases both local players and corporate events.
Part of the Teravista luxury residential community, Eagle Golf assumed operations of the golf club - considered one of the top middle-upper-tier options in the area - last fall from Troon Golf. Dallas-based Eagle specializes in the daily-fee realm and residents are noticing the difference at Teravista this spring, with more aggressive action on getting locals out to the golf course.
"We've kept the golf course in the same good shape," said Head Professional Clark Blackmon, who has been there since Troon opened the course in 2002. "But we've been more aggressive with our rates and have implemented more local programs like the Player Development Program."
Programs such as a recent St. Patrick's Day offer that served up golfers with a "paddy" melt after the round, and for Easter it's offered brunch, drinks and family activities - followed by golf. It's all geared towards locals, but you don't need a Texas I.D. to reap the benefits, just an ear to the ground. Its Facebook fan page also keeps golfers abreast of specials and future activities. Afternoon rounds can sometimes be found for $30-$40.
Teravista Golf Club: How the course plays
Teravista G.C. was designed by the Florida-based, three-person firm of Clifton-Ezell-Clifton, and the best thing it did was build a course that is very elastic, with five sets of tees. The golf course even has a junior set of tees that are just 3,744 yards. Mid-handicappers can choose between two sets of tees between 6,200 and 6,700 yards.
Or you can go back to the black tees and play 7,039 yards of golf, 14 water holes and 70 bunkers. Given its elevated position in Round Rock, there will probably be a little wind to negotiate.
Teravista Golf Club is perched on a high point and has some long views on holes such as the par-5 fourth hole that heads downhill the entire way. The golf course winds through the
Teravista residential development, but homes are pretty well off the fairway, so you probably won't end up in anyone's swimming pool unless your shot is an absolute power-shank.
Though you'll find a walker or two on the golf course once in awhile, there are some long walks between holes, so a cart (included in your green fee) is strongly recommended.
Teravista Golf Club is intended to be a championship test in every sense of the word, and some holes are downright mean. No. 12, a par-4 that doglegs tightly around water to a green (with bunkers on the other side of the fairway) is the toughest drive on the course, and as the starter mentioned to us, "The play off the tee on certain days is right into that bunker."
Playing from the championship tees, the toughest par may very well come on Teravista Golf Club's par-3 15th: It's a narrow, 237-yard shot that demands length and accuracy as a creek runs down the left side, and there's not much better right. When the Hill Country winds are up - it's all the golf you need.
Teravista Golf Club: The verdict
Teravista Golf Club is located about 20 miles north of downtown Austin, easily accessible just off I-35. The area is loaded with golf, and that makes the local golfer the big winner. You can find good deals on green fees all over, and Teravista G.C. is a prime example.
The golf course is heavily influenced by real estate on every hole, but there's a lot of roll to the land and some scenic vistas from high points. The course design is all you can ask for: tough for low-handicappers and enough tee-box options to please everyone. Conditions are kept near the high-end standard of daily fees around town, usually firm and fast.
For Teravista residents or those that live nearby, the club offers programs that include unlimited use of the driving range and multiple practice greens, free weekend clinics and discounts on rounds.
You can also find great specials on food and beer here: $1.75 bottles and $2 draft beers were the daily special on the day we visited. If you're a fan of post-round burgers, play Tuesday and get a $5 burger meal after your round.
Round Rock dining
If you're staying in downtown Austin, stick to the restaurants of downtown, they are innumerable and some of the best spots to eat in Texas.
If you're staying up in Round Rock, be sure to stop by local favorite Round Rock Donuts for breakfast. They've got a gargantuan Texas-sized donut big enough to feed your foursome. After golf, get some Texas BBQ at the Salt Lick, which just opened up a second location in Round Rock, so you don't have to head south to Driftwood.