Horseshoe Bay -- Apple Rock Course Review
Horseshoe Bay -- Apple Rock Course Review
Review and Rating of Horseshoe Bay Resort's Apple Rock Golf Course
Horseshoe Bay Resort is home to three of Texas' top rated courses - Ram Rock, Apple Rock, and Slick Rock. In fact, the courses have all been featured in the "50 Best Courses in Texas" list in the Dallas Morning News every year since the origin of the annual ranking in 1989.
Apple Rock was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1986. Of the three Horseshoe Bay Resort Golf Courses Apple Rock is clearly the most scenic (stunning views of Lake LBJ) of the three courses (in, fact it may be the most scenic course in Texas) and it's the second hardest. When completed it received distinction as "Best New Resort Course" by Golf Digest.
Apple Rock Golf Course leverages the rocky and rolling Hill Country terrain and offers lots of variety, some unique challenges, and a very enjoyable round of golf. The front nine has lots of ups and downs, sloping fairways, some huge beautiful homes, uniquely shaped greens that are a tad small, ample fairways, and some great holes. The back seems a little more open and forgiving, somewhat more traditional with bigger bunkers and greens, and some beautiful holes. The first three holes on the back nine are some of the most scenic in Texas and make the course well worth the price.
Apple Rock is not that tight but a number of holes demand some forethought and good club selection or you're in some trouble. Some of the holes that we really liked included:
- #1 was our first "Wow" - a 431 par 4 with an elevated tee box, a huge downhill shot down a fairway with 2 nasty large bunkers on the right side, and a shot to an uphill smallish light bulb shaped green set off to the right with a big bunker and water on the front left and 2 bunkers on the right side
- #8 is a beautiful 187 yard par 3 which is all carry over a small lake with a fountain to a raised green with 2 huge bunkers on the left
- #10 is the second "Wow" - clearly one of the most scenic views of any golf course from high atop a hill - a view of Lake LBJ and the country side for miles and miles - plus it's a very fun hole with lots of ups and downs
- #12 is another beautiful 179 yard par 3 with swaying palm trees and it's all carry over Lake LBJ to a sloping green with a bunker in the front
When we played Apple Rock in 2015 the greens were in very good shape, ran true and at a good speed (around a 9 or so), and held the ball well. They are a variety of odd shapes, on the smaller side of average, and have a good sized puttable fringe. The greens have plenty of slope, some of which can be a little difficult to read.
The fairways at Apple Rock were also in very good condition. Most of the fairways have some slope that can cause you trouble if you don't play it right. The fairways are firm giving you lots of extra roll that you also need to manage plus huge elevation changes can require you to club up or down.
The bunkers range from small to some huge monsters. Most of the faces are manageable and not real steep. The sand was thin, gritty, and very firm - not a lot of fun to hit out of! I was told they are going to start replacing the bunker sand in the near future.
Apple Rock is a resort course and as such you need to stay at Horseshoe Bay Resort to play the course - the good news is that they have a very attractive Stay & Play package with unlimited golf! See our Stay & Play Page to learn more. This is one of the courses that you need to add to your "must play" list.
Course Slope & Ratings
- Course Architect:
- Robert Trent Jones
- Greens Type:
- Tif - Eagle
- Greens Condition
- Greens Difficulty
- Fairway Condition
- Bunker Condition
- Beware of water on 6 holes and the 56 sand traps.
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 9.0 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $75.00 to $150.00
Service is very good and attentive, the club house and pro shop are good, and the food is very good by the pool but a little pricy.
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.