Best Public Golf Courses In Texas

Golf as we know it today was supposedly created in the Middle Ages, in Scotland. Since its humble beginnings, the sport has spread far and wide across the world. In Texas alone, there are now over six million people that play golf, over the space of more than nine hundred golf courses!

Not all of those courses are available to the general public, but even out of those that are public, there are some that are considered to be alongside the best golf courses in the whole country – let alone the state. 

Whether you live in Texas and fancy giving golf a try, or are an avid golfer in Texas on business, we think that there are some golf courses that you cannot miss out on.

We have put together a list of our very favorite golf courses in Texas, so that you can get the most out of your golfing experience in the world capital of BBQ. Take a look below to see which courses are on par with your highest of expectations!

Best Public Golf Courses in Texas

Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston

This course is known for being one of the very best city-based golf courses in the whole of the United States. The game’s location sprawls across a heft six hundred acres, all of which have been renovated and transformed many times (most recently in 2019), since it opened as a humble 9-holer in 1912.

Today, there the site is now an 18-hole course, comprising of a front 9 and a back 9, and has even got a double-decker driving range. So, whether you fancy a full 18-hole game, a short 9-hole round, or just want to practice your fade, this golf course will have something for you.

Many people love this course due to its reduced number of bunkers, which dropped from fifty-two to a mere twenty in the 2019 renovations.

Plus, there is a swanky new clubhouse where you can wind down with a drink or two after your game. If you are a resident of Houston, consider yourself blessed; non-residents have to pay a sweet sum in order to experience this well-maintained course.

How you can save your money, though, is by ditching the cart fee and opting to walk through this immaculate and serene course. If you want to give this course a chance, you can conveniently book a tee time up to fourteen days in advance, either online or by ringing up their team of friendly receptionists. 

The Palmer Course, San Antonio

This golf course does not have the benefit of a long history of benefactors, having only been opened in 2001, but that has not stopped it from climbing the ranks and becoming one of the most revered courses in the country.

As part of the La Cantera resort facility, this course shares its views of San Antonio and the rest of Holl Country, thanks to being one of the highest spots around. This course would be perfect for a golfing-getaway, during which you could spend your days on the course, and your evenings on a reclined massage bed.

It has the best of all worlds. This is a par-72 course, which has holes to suit each and every experience level. Our favorite part of this golf course is its dozens of impressive water features which are dotted throughout the grounds, and which give the course a real sense of fluidity and serenity.

If you are a beginner, or have not lugged your own clubs along with you, that’s fine! The Palmer has a driving range to practice your swing, and a high-end pro shop where you can rent out or buy equipment. 

The Rawls, Lubbock

This golf course sits on what was once a cotton field, and has been transformed into a beautifully landscaped collection of fairways and greens. The majority of this course is rough and at one with nature, including the ninety-seven bunkers which really challenge you to stay on target.

The brutal winds of Texas roam freely about this course, so be prepared to factor those in to nearly all of your shots. In many ways, this course displays what golf would have been like in the old days, back in the nature-dominated lands of Scotland.

This is an par-72, 18-hole course, with holes suitable for a range of players, thanks to the four different sets of tees. Beginners should still be ready for a challenge, though!

As well as an array of shots on the course, The Rawls also has a large 22-acre, horse-show-shaped driving range, where you can warm up and work on technique before hitting the course. Once you are all golfed out, head to Jerry’s Grill, where you can enjoy a hot meal and a refreshing beverage to reward yourself. 

BlackHorse Golf Club, Cypress

If your golfing endurance is itching for a longer game, this 36-hole course should quench your insanity. Located less than 40 minutes from downtown Houston, this course is suitable for any and all experience levels.

It has six different sets of tees at each hole, meaning that anyone from a first-timer to a professional golfer can enjoy these shots. If you are a lady golfer, this might become your new favorite golf course; BlackHorse Golf Club has been named one of the best courses for women in the state!

The best thing about this place, in our opinion, is that it is carpeted with oak and pine trees, and visiting this club really does feel like an escape, and a literal breath of fresh air. 

Grapevine Golf Course, Grapevine

Despite there being myriad municipal courses that exist in the state of Texas, this golf course takes the cake. With 27-holes, featuring a rotating 9-holer and rotating 18-er, this course has something for everyone, and will never get boring.

The grounds are immaculately well-kept, and the overall experience here is nothing short of exceptional. Renowned for its polite staff and high-quality pro shop, this golf course gives you the full monty.

Our favorite thing about this course is that it is side-by-side with Grapevine Lake. Being next to such a big body of still water gives the whole course a calming atmosphere, and makes the walks along the fairway pretty special. 

Butterfield Trail Golf Club, El Paso

Next up is an affordable club with a convenient location, thanks to being owned by the local International Airport. If you want a trip that is full of nothing other than golf, why not book a flight and land yourself in this 18-hole, par-72 golf lover’s paradise.

Butterfield has made lists of Texas’s best golf courses many times, and is highly respected for its pace of play. As well as a variety of holes on the course, off the course you can find a driving range, chipping areas, and a putting green.

You can warm up at the driving range, and cool down at the on-site restaurant after your round. What more could you ask for?

Pine Dunes Golf Club, Frankston

This 18-hole course is extremely well-kept and provides a great pace of play. It is available for the public to use throughout the year, and has previously been referred to as one of the best public courses in Texas.

The course is covered in gorgeous pine trees which act as great markers and give the course a serene aura. Beware of the bunkers on this course, though; around eighty of them lie in wait for stray balls.

Once you have had enough of the hard graft, the bar at the Pine Dunes golf club will provide you with an ice-cold drink and some tasty treats. 

Brackenridge Park, San Antonio

Next on the list that is not merely thought of as one of Texas’s best golf courses, but as one of the best public golf courses in the whole of the United States!

The course is shrouded in natural beauty; from its hundreds of trees to its picturesque water features and streams – it is no surprise that Brackenridge was chosen to host the Texas Open for a long time. 18 holes stretch across this gorgeous course, and each one has 8 tee boxes – four for men, and four for women.

Players of all abilities are welcomed to this course, and every type of player will find a hole that they love. For over one hundred years, this course has been providing Texans and visitors with excellent conditions and hours of enjoyment, and we think you should consider it, if you are ever in San Antonio. 

Final Thoughts

Each and every one of these golf courses has something to offer, and if you are ever looking to play a round in Texas, you will be spoiled for choice.

From the serenity of The Palmer’s water features to the raw winds of The Rawls; from the high-end resort courses to the stand-alone gems – there is bound to be at least one golf course on this list that tempts you.

If you think you’d like to try a round next time you’re in the state, why not pick up the phone and book a tee time or two.

Robert Miller