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Hill Country Golf Club Oaks Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.9

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 72
San Antonio
Website · Book A Tee Time · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times · Stay & Play
Date Last Played: October 30, 2014

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Hill Country Golf Club Oaks Course Review

Review of Hill Country Golf Club Oaks Course - San Antonio

Hyatt Hill Country Resort has 27 holes of some of the best golf in Texas. The three nine hole courses play through more than 200 acres of diverse terrain with tree lined and rolling fairways, tranquil lakes and ponds, wooded ravines, hillsides, and dry rock creek beds.  All three courses at Hill Country Golf Club were designed by Arthur Hills and he gave  each of the nines it's own unique challenges, personality, and character:

  • the Oaks Course is the hardest of the three thanks to tight fairways, forced carries, and dog legs plus you need to place shots and work the ball to score well - here is a link to read our review of the Oaks Course
  • the Creeks Course is the easiest thanks to wide and forgiving fairways and easier approach shots to the greens
  • the Lakes Course is the middle of the road course and offers several risk reward opportunities - here is a link to our review of the Lakes Course

Although each nine is different, here is what is common to all three nines:

  • they are all well maintained and manicured
  • the greens and fairways are in very good condition
  • each nine takes maximum advantage of the terrain
  • the pace of play is excellent
  • with 4 sets of tee boxes, you can find a yardage that fits your game and handicap
  • the GPS is excellent and beneficial to helping you decide where to try and place your shots
  • service is impeccable with an experienced, friendly, and helpful staff
  • you'll have a fun and memorable round on any of the nines
  • all are open to the public with a fantastic rate for locals with proof of residence and a good stay and play package
  • the 19th hole Cactus Oak Tavern has good food, cold drinks, TVs, and a pool table

The Oaks course is named after all the oak trees that line the fairways - if you spray the ball, you'll be lost in the oaks and dense brush.  This nine is a little short from the tips but it is the most challenging of the three courses and thanks to trees, strategically placed bunkers, overhanging limbs, and dog legs you need to shape or carefully manage both your tee shots and approach shots.  Most of the holes are tight and narrow with dog legs and a dry creek bed crosses six different holes requiring a forced carry or a layup. 

Some of the holes that we really liked included:

  • #3 is a 328 yard par 4 that is fun and demanding thanks to a tight fairway, a sharp dog leg right with a fairway split by a tree that can catch your drive and/or block your approach to a green which has a big bunker in the middle of the fairway in front of the green - long drives will outrun the fairway and be under the trees with a tough shot
  • #6 is a 540 yard par 5 with a tight sloping left to right fairway that can take your ball under the trees, a huge bunker covering a large part of the fairway 80 yards in front of the green and 3 bunkers guarding the green
  • #9 will make you want to play the Oaks again - an elevated tee shot down a tight fairway, across a dry rock creek, and a very tough approach shot past two big right side bunkers and water on the left side of the green

When we played the Hill Country Golf Club's Oaks Course in late October the fairways were in very good condition.  They are firm offering a lot of roll, tight and tree lined, and rolling and contoured.  The first cut of the rough is thick but the grass holds the ball on top of it - making for a pretty easy shot.  Miss the rough and you'll hear your ball ricocheting off the trees!

The greens on the Oaks Course were near perfect (one had a little damage), soft and held the ball well, and ran true.  The greens range in size and shape with most being about average size - 26 to 44 yards long.   Most are raised, well guarded, and have some slope and undulation.  They had just been over-seeded and were running slow - they normally run around 9 or so.

The bunkers range from some big nasty well placed monsters to some smaller steep and deep ones guarding the greens.  They were wet thanks to over an inch of rain the night before and weren't playable.  All of the bunkers will be redone (reshaped, new sand, and new drainage) starting in December 2014.

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa is fantastic and it has a very good Stay & Play Package - read our review of the Hyatt Hill Country Resort.

Head Pro's Corner

The Hyatt Hill Country is focused on making our courses the place to play for families, ladies, and juniors. Clinics and player development programs are available for all ages.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 3,438 73.7 136
Blue 3,276 71.7 134
White 2,931 68.3 121
Red 2,332 67.8 118

Course Information

Course Architect:
Arthur Hills
Greens Type:
TIF Dwarf
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.0
Fairway Condition
9.0
Bunker Condition
8.0
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
Yes
Course Map
Beware of water on 3 holes and the 16 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.9 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
8.7
Variety:
9.5
Fun to Play:
9.5
Value:
8.0
Condition:
9.5
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$95.00 to $145.00

Service is outstanding. The golf staff is focused on making sure you receive the best service and enjoy a memorable round. The Pro Shop is well stocked and the Cactus Oak Tavern has some good food, a full service bar, plus TV's and games. The practice facility is excellent. and the Hyatt seems focused on making their course the place to play for families, ladies, and juniors. Clinics and player development programs are available for all ages

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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.