TPC San Antonio opened for play in 2010 and is home to two awesome courses - AT&T Oaks and AT&T Canyons. Both courses are fantastic and each has it's own personality and unique characteristics. The Canyons Course, designed by Pete Dye, is more player friendly and generous off the tee box and it includes several elevation changes, plenty of bunkers, challenging greens, scenic panoramic vistas, and native areas that are very penalizing.
The Greg Norman designed AT&T Oaks Course is 6 to 10 strokes harder and 300 yards longer from the tips and it is characterized by very steep and deep penalizing bunkers, complex greens, and much narrower tree lined fairways.
Sergio Garcia lent his unique perspective in assisting Greg Norman with the design of the Oaks Course which is tough and long (7435 yards and a slope of 148!) and fraught with hazards - narrow tree lined fairways, 12 foot deep bunkers guarding the greens, and globs of thick knee-high native grass just off the second cut of the fairway, dog legs, forced carries, and more.
To play well here you need to stay on the practice range until you can hit 'um straight, then move to the bunkers and spend time trying to get the ball out, and finally practice reading the greens and putting. Then head out for a fun, challenging, and very memorable round. Don't bite off more than you can chew, in fact you'll enjoy the AT&T Oaks Course more if you move up a set of tee boxes. With a rating of 76.5 and slope of 148 from the tips, the AT&T Oaks course may be the toughest course in Texas - but don't let that discourage you from playing this fantastic track.
The AT&T Oaks course will throw a lot at you and there are a number of memorable and fun holes. The first four are some of the toughest, for example:
And the route from #4 back to the club house has a number of memorable, very challenging, scenic, and fun holes, like:
When we played in September 2010, the fairways were in near perfect condition. This is a course where you don't want to miss the fairway which can be a tad narrow in places - the first cut is a thick followed by the native areas with trees, cactus, tall thick native grass, and snakes! Most of the fairways are fairly straight and flat (until you get to the greens) and you can usually see what you're up against. To score well on the AT&T Oaks Course you need to carefully manage your club selection and shot making and do whatever it takes to stay in the fairway and away from the bunkers and native areas. Listen closely to Greg Norman on the excellent GPS telling you how to play the hole.
The greens are unbelievable - near perfect condition and ample size but they have lots of slope, undulation, spines, ridges, and contour to make putting very challenging. When we played they were running a little fast at 10 to 10.5 and were very true, but difficult to read. Since the greens are new and still maturing, they are hard and difficult to hold making bump and run a good approach strategy. And the majority of the greens are very well guarded by huge, steep, and very deep bunkers.
The bunkers are strategically placed along the fairways and surrounding the greens. Some are deep enough to swallow a VW bus and you'll find them challenging to get out of - both your ball as well as your body. Most also have several fingers which can create very challenging lies. The sand is soft and deep. The bunkers are menacing but also help make the TPC AT&T Oaks course aesthetically pleasing.
This is a must play course, so add it to your bucket list. You'll find it challenging but a blast to play and a course you'll remember for a long time and want to come back and play again.
TPC San Antonio is a private resort, only accessible to Club Members and guests of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. The JW Marriott is a first class resort - so save your money and book a room for a golf outing or fun vacation - read our review of the JW Marriott Stay & Play to learn more.
Initiation Fees: $25,001 to $40,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400
Service is unequalled and whoever does the hiring is to be commended - everyone (from the starter to the cart girls) is friendly, helpful, funny, and out to make your round enjoyable. The facilities are first class including the pro shop, bar, grill, locker room, and practice areas. And the GPS is the best and most helpful that we have seen. Pace of play is excellent.
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.