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Falconhead Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Austin
Website · Locate This Course
Online Specials · Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: December 20, 2015

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Falconhead Golf Club Review

Review and Rating of Falconhead Golf Course in Austin Texas

Falconhead Golf Course was designed and is operated to meet the exacting standards of the PGA Tour and as such is a PGA Tour Signature Course.  And what a fun track with an outstanding layout that leverages the local Hill Country terrain.   Located on the southwest side of Austin, Falconhead Golf Club  takes advantage of the terrain as it plays up and down the rolling hill country, along some natural areas, across a couple creeks, through the knobby oak and cedar trees, and beside some beautiful homes in the Falconhead Golf Community.  Dramatic elevated tee boxes offer some majestic panoramic views of the hill country. 

In 2012 the Louisiana Firefighters Pension Fund purchased Falconhead Golf Club and made several changes to the course and staff.  Under their management changes were made to the course and some of the staff and the conditions have significantly improved and are continuing to get better.  Falconhead will throw a little bit of everything at you (forced carries, elevated tee boxes, dramatic uphill approaches, blind shots, dog legs, water, huge bunkers, narrow approaches, and more) but the layout is very fair and with 5 sets of tee boxes you can bite off as much as you want to chew or play forward a set of tee boxes and have a fun relaxing round.  From the tee box you can typically see what you're up against and plan your strategy accordingly.  Several holes demand accuracy off the tee box to miss the trees, avoid the bunkers, and play around a couple trees in the middle of the fairway.  Falconhead offers a little bit of everything that makes golf fun and challenging which is why we added it to our list of the Best Courses in Austin.

Some of examples of what you'll encounter during your round at Falconhead Golf Club include:

  • #1 sets the stage for your round - a downhill dog leg left that will temp you bring out the big dog and let it rip but miss the fairway and you're in trouble and you need to play the fairway slope or you'll watch your ball roll under the trees
  • #3 is a 580 yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot, a creek to carry, trees and slope in the fairway, and an uphill shot to a raised green with a hidden bunker
  • #8 is one of the prettiest holes in Texas with a green that overhangs a pond, a cascading waterfall, colorful landscaping, and a very demanding tee shot - it made our list of the Most Beautiful Holes in Texas
  • #10 is 418 yards but it's a big downhill shot where you may find your ball very close to the green
  • #14 is a fun par 5 - 521 yards with a long bunker on the right side of a raised and contoured fairway plus 2 more bunkers on the right side

We loved the front nine and found it fun and fair, but demanding with ups and downs, bunkers, and some challenging fairways.  The back doesn't have quite as much character and it's more open and forgiving off the tee box. 

When we played in December, the fairways were in very good condition.  The fairways range from wide open to tight, contoured, and sloping.  You'll find lots of uphill as well as downhill shots.  Before you hit, study the fairway slope carefully and plan of some extra roll from the slope as well as the dry firm conditions.  Some beautiful homes line one side of some of the holes.  The rough was wide and held the ball up making it an easy recovery shot.

The greens at Falconhead  were also in very good condition and run at a good speed of around 10 or so.  40% or more of the greens are raised, most are average size, several are guarded, and all of them require some study before you putt.  The speed and slope and subtle breaks are very challenging and putting was a difficult for our foursome.  The slope on some of the greens will take you off the green and rolling back down the fairway - very depressing to watch!!

The bunkers range from average size to huge and a couple have long narrow grass strips within them which can cause a problem.  When we played they were in near perfect condition with soft  sand that was fluffy and thick.  A joy to hit out of.  The faces range from small (two or so inches) to steep and deep

Falconhead Golf Club is a fun, scenic, and memorable track that can test your game as well as your putting skills.  If you're in the area it's a must play. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,181 75.0 134
Gold 6,701 72.9 130
Blue 6,295 70.9 128
White 5,887 68.7 124
Red 5,170 70.9 125

Course Information

Course Architect:
PGA Tour Design Center
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
9.0
Fairway Condition
8.7
Bunker Condition
9.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
yes - hard
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 27 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
8.7
Difficulty:
8.7
Variety:
9.2
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.5
Condition:
9.2
Front Nine Rating:
9.2
Back Nine Rating:
8.8
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$59.00 to $89.00

Service is very good and friendly, the pro shop has a good supply of the basics, and the grill food is ok - the chicken salad and tuna sliders are excellent. The range, putting green, and practice area are good - make sure you spend some time on the greens!

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.