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La Cantera Resort - Resort Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.4

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
San Antonio
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times · Stay & Play
Date Last Played: March 23, 2016

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La Cantera Resort - Resort Course Review

Review of La Cantera Resort Course in San Antonio

In 2015 Destination Hotels took over management of La Cantera Resort and immediately started makings some significant changes and improvements to the Resort.   Destination Hotels is a collection of upscale and luxury resorts, hotels, and residences throughout the United States and it's good to see La Cantera as a part of this collection.  If you plan on playing golf at La Cantera, you should consider taking advantage of their golf stay and play package and play both courses which are two of the best courses in Texas. 

The Resort Course was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskoff and they carved it out of the rolling hills north of San Antonio creating one of the best courses with some of the most magnificent scenery in Texas - breathtaking panoramic views of San Antonio, the surrounding rolling hills, and Fiesta Texas; more color than you'll see on any course in Texas; limestone rock outcroppings; live oaks and lush greens and fairways; and creek beds. 

The Palmer Course at La Canters was designed by Arnold Palmer and it plays about 6 to 8 strokes harder than the Resort Course thanks to elevation changes, dog legs, blind shots, and challenging green complexes as it plays up and down some of the tallest hills in San Antonio - to learn more read our review of the Palmer Course.  Both courses are daily fee courses, always in near perfect condition, offer scenic views, and are a blast to play.  It's not surprising that the courses have won a number of awards and accolades, some of which included:

Some of what makes the Resort Course fun and a must play include:

  • the scenery and views are unrivaled for a Texas golf course
  • it's challenging but fair and with 5 sets of tee boxes if you pick the right set it's not going to beat you up
  • each hole is a little different from the one before it
  • the conditions are always near perfect
  • you'll find a little bit of everything that makes this course both fun and challenging - elevation changes, uphill and downhill shots, tough greens, risk reward opportunities, lots of bunkers, and more
  • the service and facilities are first class
  • and it's home to some really fun holes

Some of our favorite holes on the Resort Course at La Cantera include:

  • #5 is a fun 553 yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot to a wide rolling downhill fairway that dog legs right around a pond and big bunker then goes slightly uphill and right and back down to a green with 5 bunkers surrounding it
  • #7 has a dramatically elevated tee box, a stunning view of the surrounding area and Fiesta Texas Amusement Park, a fairway with 3 bunkers (one of which is in the middle of the fairway) waiting for your drive, a pond and bunker so big it has 3 grass islands in the middle of it, and a green with 3 bunkers surrounding it and the Fiesta Texas Roller Coaster as a backdrop - this hole made our list of the Most Beautiful Golf Holes in Texas
  • #12 the #2 handicap is a 415 yard par 4 with a downhill shot past 5 bunkers, a shot across a gully and then uphill to a green guarded by 3 bunkers

Each time that we have played the La Cantera Resort Course the greens and fairways were in excellent condition. Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving - so bring out the big dog and let 'er rip, particularly on the first hole which is a 561 yard confidence builder! You'll need to manage the elevated tee boxes, uphill and downhill shots, and the rolling contoured fairways.  The rough is wide but it is also thick and will stop you dead and make for a challenging recovery shot.  Miss the rough and you're lost in the trees and brush.  Study the GPS hints to help you decide how to play each hole.

The greens seemed larger than normal, are a variety of shapes, and were in near perfect condition.  They are soft, hold the ball well, and run true - but lots of subtle breaks that are hard to read plus some tiers and slope caused a few 3 putts for me! 

The bunkers at the Resort Course are starting to show their age and they need some work - the sand it thin and gritty.  They range from steep and deep pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered bunkers with grass islands.  They were perfectly groomed when we played.

Both nines take advantage of the rolling scenic terrain and all are tree lined with no out of bounds and no houses. The back nine is not quite as scenic and is easier with fewer hazards and more open and forgiving fairways. You'll enjoy both nines and want to come back again. La Cantera offers golf specials and has an excellent Stay & Play package. Twilight rates and discounted tee times are fantastic and make playing this course a real bargain!

Bottom line, you need to add the Resort Course to your list of must plays. From our perspective, the front nine is the best in Texas and has some of everything that we enjoy when playing golf: beautiful scenery, excellent conditions, great service, challenging but fair layout with water hazards, huge elevation changes, dog legs, blind shots, risk reward opportunities, waterfalls, panoramic views, forced carries, wide forgiving fairways, great greens, soft sand bunkers, and a great value at twilight. La Cantera has an excellent stay and play offering and is well worth the money - read our review of La Cantera Resort to learn more.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,917 72.5 134
Gold 6,326 69.6 127
Blue 5,936 68.2 119
White 5,497 66.1 113
Red 4,878 67.1 108

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Weiskoph/Jay Morrish
Greens Type:
TIF Dwarf
Greens Condition
10.0
Greens Difficulty
8.5
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
No
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 80 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.4 out of 10
Beauty:
9.5
Difficulty:
8.5
Variety:
9.5
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.2
Condition:
9.7
Front Nine Rating:
9.7
Back Nine Rating:
9.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$75.00 to $140.00

The Resort course has an excellent well stocked pro shop, a good restaurant and bar, and an good practice facilities. The staff is very experienced and provides some of the best service you'll every find.

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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.