Dripping with Texan hospitality, and more things to do than you could fit into a lifetime of vacations, Fredericksburg—full of fun, food, wineries and great outdoors adventures—makes a great destination for your next golf getaway. Start with the Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course, just three miles from downtown, which underwent a $2 million renovation in 2012. The course offers fabulous Hill Country views and fairways lined with beautiful live oaks. Non-resident rates start at $55. Off the course, take in LBJ’s “Texas White House,” the National Museum of the Pacific War, or Fredericksburg’s historic Main Street, bursting with great restaurants, galleries, shops, and music. The county is home to nearly two-dozen wineries, numerous tasting rooms, and a rapidly growing reputation as a wine destination. Fredericksburg is jam-packed with special events and festivals, about 300 every year from film festivals to Oktoberfest, but no visit to the Hill Country would be complete without taking in the music scene. And with just over 400 B&Bs, plus hotels and inns, there are plenty of options for staying as long as you like.
(830) 997-6523 or (888) 997-3600, VisitFredericksburgTX.com/ladybird
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Next time you find yourself in Austin, take a cue from local Tour players and head 20 miles east for one of the most satisfying and challenging rounds in Texas. Better yet, plan a trip around a visit to the Wolfdancer Golf Club at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. The Audubon International-certified, award-winning course has been widely praised since it opened in 2006 and was quickly named one of GOLF Magazine’s “Top 10 New Courses You Can Play.”
The design features an unexpectedly large amount of rolling, wooded and flowing topographical variance unusual within a single resort course. You will be treated to three entirely different experiences across varied geography and eco systems: holes 1 through 4 are set on covered rolling prairie land; holes 5 through 12 move along a heavily wooded ridgeline; and holes 13 through 18 meander along a shaded valley bordering the Lower Colorado River.
The club is part of the 405-acre Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, a 491-room resort, home to a variety of upscale amenities and outdoor recreation activities.
(512) 308-1234, LostPines.Hyatt.com
Located just minutes from downtown Austin in the Texas Hill Country, Spanish Oaks lies on 900 acres of unspoiled beauty neighboring thousands of acres of natural preserve land. Behind its private, 24/7 staffed gates, residents enjoy the ultimate in tranquility and luxury. Yet, within 20 minutes they can be in the midst of downtown Austin’s bustling music, arts, restaurant and shopping scene.
Spanish Oaks excels at those perfect combinations. The lifestyle is luxurious and relaxed. The privacy is complete; the community warm and inviting. Resort-style pools, fine dining and impeccable service for members go hand in hand with hiking, fishing and biking. Rustic and elegant effortlessly complement each other.
Then there is the extraordinary Spanish Oaks Golf Club. Lauded by Golf Digest as the third best course in Texas, the layout makes masterful use of the rugged Hill Country. The routing tumbles over the unique "step-riser" topography and weaves around ancient Spanish and Live Oaks. Comfort stations along the way serve a variety of treats and the Taqueria at the halfway point is always ready with freshly made tacos and sliders. Golfweek ranked Spanish Oaks among the best residential courses in the U.S.
(512) 842-6275, SpanishOaks.com/explore
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
Omni Barton Creek features two dramatic Fazio layouts, an Arnold Palmer design that’s a big-hitters delight, and native son Ben Crenshaw’s traditional Texas layout.
Add in the attractions of Austin—whose thriving nightlife, celebrated music scene and seemingly endless things to do outdoors make it one of the great places to hang out—and you’ve got the recipe for a great buddy golf trip.
If you can manage to pry yourself away from the spectacular golf, there is plenty to do on the luxury resort’s 4,000 acres. Tennis courts, a full-service spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, hiking trails, and dining that is so good you never have to leave to find a great meal. Stop in at 8212 Wine Bar & Grill for a black angus burger or a plate of slow roasted pork nachos. Or head around the corner from the resort to The County Line for some legendary, authentic Texas BBQ.
The resort’s gracious staff, who delight in exceeding your expectations, will take of all the details from booking your trip to tee times and dinner reservations.
(866) 572-7369, BartonCreek.com
Horseshoe Bay Resort
Texas’ original lakeside resort, Horseshoe Bay Resort, now with a Marriott-managed hotel, is an unbeatable combination for family vacations, spouses, or golfers looking for substantial diversions beyond the course. One visit and you will understand the allure of this unique place. While you can find golf at nearly every resort, on these you get the lake, local wineries, and a spa, along with their award-winning golf courses. Set on 7,000 acres in the Texas Hill Country, the lakeside resort is home to three Robert Trent Jones Sr. championship courses, a full-service marina, and a seemingly endless array of recreational activities. 6,500-acre Lake LBJ is one of the most scenic and clear in Texas’ largest chain of lakes and accommodations are available with panoramic water views. You can dine or splash in pools lakeside, golf along its shore, and jet ski, boat, fish, and swim it. And you never have to worry about water levels at this continual-level lake. For golfers, the trio of Jones courses is at the core of any visit. Apple Rock, Ram Rock and Slick Rock form one of the resort’s most popular packages. Starting at just $265 per person, the Robert Trent Jones Unlimited Golf Package includes accommodations, breakfast, and unlimited golf. (855) 363-6073, HSBResort.com