Review of Lago Vista Golf Course - Lago Vista
Sitting peacefully on the North Shore of Lake Travis is a fantastic golf course that offers scenic views, plenty of elevation changes, excellent conditions, lots of variety, and some really fun holes, all at a great value. Lago Vista Golf Club which is owned and operated by the City of Lago Vista was designed by Leon Howard and opened for play as a nine-hole course in 1971. Shortly after opening, another nine holes was added.
What a fun course Lago Vista Golf Course is to play - every hole is a little different than the one you just played, the views are stunning, the deer seem to own the course, the elevation changes add some excitement, and the course will throw a little bit of everything at you. You'll encounter dog legs, bunkers, meandering creeks, significant uphill and downhill shots, blind shots, some terraced and sloping tight fairways, risk-reward opportunities, lots of grazing deer that have little fear of getting hit, and some challenging green complexes. To score well here you need some strategic shot making and excellent course management skills.
Also what makes Lago Vista Golf Course fun is that each nine has its own unique personality. The front nine is relatively open and compared to the back much flatter and tamer. While the back nine fairways are much tighter, the elevation changes more dramatic, and there is more emphasis on shot making. The greens on the back also seemed a little bigger but more difficult.
Some of our favorite holes include:
When we played in February 2019 the conditions weren't the best. Apparently, the City had mismanaged the course and the conditions had significantly deteriorated prior to 2018. The greens had some damage and the fairways were rough. The good news is that the City brought in a new general manager in 2018 and has committed to additional funding - and as such the course is in much better playing condition than it was and it is continuing to improve.
The Lago Vista Golf Course fairways range from tight to "let-er-rip", are heavily contoured and rolling with some huge elevation changes, and they are tree lined or lined by homes or creeks, all of which will cause you to reload if you spray the ball off the tee box. The deer are everywhere and they don't like getting hit and don't understand "fore." The roughs range from small to fairly wide and with thin grass to dirt and weeds, Keep in mind that we also played in February when the course was dormant and seeded with winter rye.
The greens at Lago Vista range in size from small to a little above average. The back nine greens seemed a little tougher with more slope and contour - some had a severe bowl type slope on one side. Some are raised and 9 have two bunkers guarding them. Minor slope and undulation require some study. They were soft and held the ball well but were a little slow - maybe an 8 or so.
The Lago Vista bunkers were in great shape with somewhat soft and thick sand. The faces ranged from manageable to steep. The good news is that they seemed easy to avoid.
Bottom line - go out of your way to play this course and enjoy the scenic drive from Austin to get to it! The pictures in this review were taken on a previous visit during the summer.
Rates: $25.00 to $43.00
Service is friendly, the pro shop has the basics, the clubhouse has a full menu and some good fun, and the practice facilities are adequate.
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.