With the back nine laid in an old cement plant, the Quarry Golf Club is one of the most unique courses in Texas. (Courtesy of the SACVB) Certainly one of Cedar Creek Golf Course's signature holes, the par-4 10th, plays from a highly elevated tee. (Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor) Bandit Golf Club is typical of San Antonio's scenic value golf. (Courtesy of Bandit G.C.) Brackenridge Park is considered the crown jewel of muni golf in San Antonio. (Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor)

Viewfinder: San Antonio, Texas' most-scenic, non-resort golf courses

SAN ANTONIO -- One of the best aspects of San Antonio golf are the views created by being on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. The Westin La Cantera courses, for example, are known for them, and they're pretty good at the TPC San Antonio as well.

But those are resort courses. What about the daily fees? There's no shortage of non-resort vistas either, and many of them are at a fraction of the price of resort golf. Here's a rundown of my favorites.

Quarry Golf Club

Opened in 1993, the Quarry Golf Club is still one of the most talked-about golf courses in San Antonio. The front nine is described as links-like, which is perhaps a term that's thrown around too loosely, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

The real fun, though, begins on the back nine, where architect Keith Foster carved out holes from an old cement quarry. The holes wind through and inside of giant rock walls and stones that sometime come into play, even favorably if you get the right bounce. It gets a little hot there in the summertime, but it's loads of fun.

Clubhouse restaurant is also outstanding, and there are loads of shops and restaurants nearby at the Alamo Quarry Market.

The Bandit

A little north of San Antonio and technically in the town of New Braunfels off the shores of Lake McQueeney is another terrific Foster design with plenty of great views. Long one of the hidden gems in the state of Texas, the nearly 7,000-yard, par-72 Bandit course features elevated tee shots, great conditions and culminates with one of the best par 5s you'll ever play.

The 18th ends with a green on the right side of a creek, protected by bunkers and a severe right-to-left slope that makes going for in two (or even three) adventurous to say the least.

Cedar Creek Municipal Golf Course

San Antonio has several good munis, and two make my list, starting with Cedar Creek Municipal Golf Course.

Designed by Finger, Dye & Spann, this championship-level golf course opened in 1989. Softened a little over the years, it still features plenty of interesting greens complexes, bunkering, doglegs and several elevated tees, including the 10th, where you can see for miles.

The clubhouse also sits well above the golf course, making it perfect for an after-round beer or cocktails.

Canyon Springs

A solid, all-around, daily-fee choice, Canyon Springs has one great-looking hole after another. Even though the course winds through a community, the homes are set back far enough that they don't detract from the experience.

The signature hole, however, is the feature that puts Canyon Springs on the list. Although the 18th isn't particularly difficult, putting with a 40-foot waterfall behind you is pretty special. A terrific clubhouse with live Texas longhorns penned up around it add to the experience.

Brackenridge Park G.C.

While there are no dramatic elevated tees at Brackenridge Park, the beauty of this classic A.W. Tillinghast course restored to perfection combined with its location makes it one of the Alamo City's prettiest.

Square bunkers and greens, mature hardwoods and the gentle nature of the property laid out in the backdrop of downtown San Antonio and the Riverwalk, make the city's crown jewel a joy to play. Add the fact that the historic clubhouse also houses the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, and you've got a real must-play for visitors.

Mar 24, 2014

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trio to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.