Willow Springs Review
Willow Springs Review
Review of Willow Springs Golf Course in San Antonio
Opened in the 1920's, Willow Springs Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in San Antonio area and for years it was home to the Texas Open where Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were named Texas Open champions. Williow Springs is one of the seven courses that is part of the Alamo Golf Trail - click on the link to read our reviews and rating of the courses on the Alamo Golf Trail.
Willow Springs Golf Course is fairly traditional and straightforward with generous tree lined fairways and big greens. A meandering creek that cuts across several fairways, some ponds, wind, elevation changes, dog legs, risk reward opportunities, and two bunkers guarding most of the greens can cause you some problems. The good news is that most of those challenges are easy to avoid but Willow Springs is long from each of the four tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5516 to 7221 yards, so don't bite off more than you can chew and you'll have a very fun and enjoyable round of golf.
Some of the holes that we really loved playing included:
- #1 and #10 are both similar and have an elevated tee box, a carry over the creek, a dog leg left, and an uphill shot to the green guarded by 2 bunkers
- #2, the #1 handicap, is challenging and a blast to play - it requires accuracy on every shot to carry the ditch, manage two right dog legs, avoid the trees and creek along the right side of the fairway, and have a good shot to the green with a ridge and slope
- several of the fairways are side by side and wide open with a scattering of trees and which means you can bring out the big dog and let-er-rip - hit the other fairway and you still have a good recovery shot
- you'll find a couple great risk reward opportunities if you have the guts to try and fly the trees and/or creek to shorten the hole
- #17 is fun - a surprising two bunkers on the left side of the tee box, dense trees and a creek on the right side, and a sharp 90 degree dog leg right to the green
Speaking of the greens, they were redone in 2009 to make them smooth and fast and normally they run around 9. Most of the greens are large with some minor slope and some subtle breaks while others are odd shapped and home to some significant slope, ridges, or tiers. We found the Willow Spring greens in excellent condition, soft, and true.
The fairways and roughs at Willow Springs were also in great condition. There are no homes on the course, but you will find side by side fairways, trees, and water. One one fairway has bunkers. The majority of the fairways are wide with wide playable roughs and most are flat and firm offering some good roll. However, a few have some surprising elevation changes that will require you to club up or down to manage.
The bunkers were in good shape with sand varying from soft and thick to thin and firm. Most are about average size, a few have steep faces, but the majority have a small lip and you might get lucky and roll out.
Willow Springs is consistently recognized as having good conditions from the tee box to the cup and we found that to be the case when we played. The greens at Willow Springs were renovated in 2009, so expect fast and smooth putting surfaces.
Bottom line - challenging but very fair coupled with good conditions make this a very popular course and one of the best on the Alamo Golf Trail.
We played in January 2013 when the grass was dormant so we are using the Course's pictures.
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Emil Loeffler/John McGlynn
- Greens Type:
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Fairway Condition
- Bunker Condition
- Beware of water on 11 holes and the 35 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 8.7 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $38.00 to $43.00
Service is ok, the grill has reaonably priced food (burgers, sandwiches, dogs, and more), and the pro shop has the basics. There is a putting and chipping area but no driving range.
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!
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.