Top 25 courses in Texas, according to Golf Advisor reviews in 2015

The Lone Star State is well known for its exclusive private courses (Colonial, Whispering Pines, Dallas National), but rest assured the public golf scene here is plenty deep, with highly-rated options, both high-end and very affordable.

Texans love their private golf facilities, and there are tons of great ones. In fact, Golf Digest's list of the top 30 courses in Texas has just one daily-fee course, The Quarry Golf Club. (The other publicly accessible resort courses, Horseshoe Bay, Barton Creek, Four Seasons and TPC San Antonio all require a stay at their resorts to play the courses, and didn't receive enough reviews over the year to qualify for this Golf Advisor ranking). Resort courses that offer daily-fee access fared well here, including La Cantera, Palmilla Beach, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines and Hyatt Hill Country Resort.

According to those of you who submitted reviews on Golf Advisor (more than 70,000 reviewers and 121,000 reviews nationally), the top 25 golf courses in Texas, all open to the public, scored at about a 4.5/5 average for their overall and subcategory ratings.

In the top 25 below, you'll see the major destinations are all well represented: San Antonio, Galveston-Corpus Christi, metro Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. There are a handful of courses a little more off the beaten path, like Pine Dunes, always a favorite pick from panelists at the Dallas Morning News, who produce a well known, yearly top 100 ranking for the state.

You can view the full top 25 below, and click on each course to view detailed ratings information and read full reviews from everyday golfers like you.

Top 25 courses in Texas

25. Brackenridge Park Golf Course

San Antonio
Architect: A.W. Tillinghast

24. BlackHorse Golf Club*

Architect: Peter Jacobsen, Jim Hardy

23. Tangle Ridge Golf Club

Grand Prairie
Architect: Jeff Brauer

22. Hill Country Golf Club

San Antonio
Architect; Arthur Hills

21. Rawls Course at Texas Tech

Architect: Tom Doak

20. Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course

Architect: Jeff Brauer

19. The Resort Course at La Cantera Hill Country Resort

San Antonio
Architect: Jay Morrish, Tom Weiskopf

18. Wildhorse Golf Club of Robson Ranch

Architect: Gary Stephanson

17. Canyon West Golf & Sports Club

Architect: Wes & Stan Mickle

16. Texas Star Golf Course

Architect: Keith Foster

15. Lighthouse Country Club

Architect: Leon Howard, Jerry Slack

14. Pine Dunes Resort

Architect: Jay Morrish, Carter Morrish

13. Cleburne Golf Links

Architect: John Colligan

12. The Quarry Golf Club

San Antonio
Architect: Keith Foster

11. Tierra Verde Golf Club

Architect: Gary Panks

10. Moody Gardens Golf Course

Architect: Peter Jacobsen, Jim Hardy

9. Squaw Valley Golf Course*

Glen Rose
Architect: Jim Colligan

8.Sugar Tree Golf & Country Club

Architect: Phil Lumsden

7. Palmilla Beach Golf Club

Port Aransas
Architect: Arnold Palmer

6. Vaaler Creek Golf Club

Architect: Mike Lowry, J.R. Newman

5. Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort

Lost Pines
Architect: Arthur Hills

4. Wilderness Golf Course

Lake Jackson
Architect: Jeff Brauer

3. Delaware Springs Golf Course

Architect: Dave Axeland, Dan Proctor

2. Twin Lakes Golf Course

Architect: Robert Hay

1. The Palmer Course at La Cantera Hill Country Resort

San Antonio
Architect: Arnold Palmer

*Denotes 36-hole facility.

Feb 03, 2016

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uJMXG3997JM's avatar
uJMXG3997JM wrote at 2016-05-21 23:40:33+00:00:

Ridiculous to not include some great courses because they didn't receive enough reviews. A course is either top quality or it isn't based on the merits of the course; not on how many people rated it.

ForeverIrise's avatar
ForeverIrise wrote at 2016-02-25 16:51:01+00:00:

How did Max A. Mandel not get on this list? I'm from San Antonio, where we are fortunate enough to have great courses, and I will easily take an offer to drive over 2 hours to play at Max. Other note able courses not mentioned that I enjoy: Canyon Springs, The Republic of Texas, and when I make the drive up to Dallas: Cowboys Golf Club.

ForeverIrise's avatar
ForeverIrise wrote at 2016-02-25 17:01:45+00:00:

Forgot to mention Falconhead in Austin! R.I.P. Pecan Valley.

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2016-02-25 17:28:12+00:00:

Canyon Springs and Falconhead were in the "next 25" so to speak rankings-wise (two courses I personally like in the upper-public realm). Cowboys, somewhat surprisingly, was even further below them (maybe it has to do with the price point). Max Mandel, meanwhile, is batting 1.000 with five-star reviews, but only has three reviews thus far, not making it eligible. 

jamesgolf1955's avatar
jamesgolf1955 wrote at 2016-02-17 19:23:32+00:00:

don't know who "voted" for these, but there are a number of courses that have no business being in the top 25 in the state of Texas.  while these are OK golf courses, they are not even close to being in the top 25 (Wildhorse, Twin Lakes, Cleburne).   never heard of a number of these, and I've lived and played golf all over Texas for my whole life (in my 60's).

BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
BrandonTuckerGA Staff wrote at 2016-02-17 19:50:05+00:00:

Which publics are your favorites in the state? I'm a huge fan of Black Jack's Crossing but being in Lajitas, just doesn't receive enough reviews. Some of the better stay-and-plays like Barton Creek/Horseshoe Bay/TPC just didn't receive enough reviews this year. 

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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.