Lakeway Country Club - Live Oak Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.5

Golf - Resort Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
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Lakeway Country Club - Live Oak Golf Course Review

Review of The Hills of Lakeway Live Oak Course - Lakeway Texas

The Hills of Lakeway is home to two very good golf courses (Live Oak and Yaupon) both of which are private but available for play if you stay at Lakeway Resort & Spa.  Of the two courses, Live Oak is more challenging for lower handicap golfers thanks to tight tree-lined fairways and small push up greens and easier than Yaupon for higher handicap golfers.  Yaupon has some fantastic holes and more dramatic elevation changes - to learn more, read Texas Outside's review of Yaupon.

Live Oak was the first Lakeway course and was constructed in 1967 and is currently owned and managed by Club Corp.   Live Oak is a fun and challenging course to play and it demands very good course management and club selection to score well. The course is lined with houses of all shapes and sizes and lots of magnificent live oak trees which add both beauty and problems.  Most of the holes are tight with thick roughs and if you tend to spray the ball you're going to have a long day.  There are several ups and downs and lots of dog legs where you can't see the pin from the tee box - which makes it a little more challenging the first time you play the course. 

Those of us who hate bunkers and always seem to find the sand, will love this course - it only has 3 traps and they are all on the 18th hole and easy to avoid.  However, water comes into play on 7 holes, a couple of which are challenging and may require a layup.

We liked Live Oak's back nine much more than the front nine which is fairly traditional and not as much fun as the back nine which has some great holes and more character, water, and elevation changes.   Some of the notable holes on Lakeway Country Club's Live Oak course include:

  • #1 gives you a good sense of what you're up against on the other 17 holes - it's a 360-yard dog right with a great risk-reward shot off the tee if you think you can carry the trees and manage the right to left sloping fairway
  • #3, a 207-yard par 3, is commonly referred to as "Jaws" because it's all carry from an elevated tee box over a deep ravine that gobbles up any shot that falls short of the green
  • #9 is a fun 459-yard par 4 with an elevated back tee box, a carry over water, and then uphill to a tough two-tier green
  • the back has a little bit of everything - a fun up and down on the rolling hills of #10, a good risk-reward shot off the tee on #11, and #14 includes an elevated tee shot over a natural area, then a dog left across water, followed by an uphill shot to the green
  • #18 will make you want to play Live Oak again - an elevated tee shot that needs to avoid the lake  on the right and a big uphill shot past the only three bunkers to a tough green complex

Both times that we've played Lakeway Country Club's Live Oak Course, the fairways and rough have been in good condition.  The fairways are a tad tight and tree-lined or lined by homes on one or both sides and if you spray the ball you could be in the back yard or out of bounds.  The rough is typically cut thick and challenging.  If you miss the fairway and don't go out of bounds, you'll typically have an easy chip shot back to the fairway.

The greens at Live Oak were also in very good condition and they range from small to medium size and a variety of shapes.  Most are raised and the fringe is small.  They were running true and at a great speed of around a 9 to 10.  All have some subtle breaks thanks to slope and undulation. 

Bottom line - a very good quality course and Lakeway Resort has an excellent stay and play package.  Read Texas Outside's Review of Lakeway Resort to learn more about why we like this resort.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,399 71.2 120
White 5,634 67.5 113
Gold 6,808 72.7 123
Red 5,422 71.8 123

Course Information

Course Architect:
Leon Howard
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Yes but hilly
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 3 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Initiation Fees: Under $10,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400

Service is very good. The pro shop has all of the basics and the practice facilities are adequate. The grill and restaurant serve a variety of food. 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! 
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.