Roy Kizer Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
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Roy Kizer Golf Course Review

Review and Rating of Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, Texas

Wow, what a pleasant surprise.  I don't know why but I wasn't expecting much when we booked a tee time at Roy Kizer.  But during our round we kept saying "that was a fun hole," "what a great layout," "conditions are better than expected," and concluded with "that was a blast to play!" 

Sitting on 200 acres in Southeast Austin, Roy Kizer was designed by Randy Russell and named after Roy Kizer who was a long time golf course superintendent at Lions Municipal Golf Course from 1937 until his retirement in 1973.  The course is a typical links style course with wide sweeping fairways, lots of mounding, plenty of wind, and over 40 bunkers.  5 sets of tee boxes help make Roy Kizer fair for all skill levels but the wind (which is always blowing), water (35 acres of lakes and 22 acres of wetlands), challenging green complexes, and bunkers force you manage the course and hazards and play smart if you want to score well. 

A few examples of fun holes that you'll need to manage include:

  • #3 is a 450 yard par 4 that requires accuracy off the tee to stay out of a string of 3 bunkers crossing the fairway and 5 more along the right side of the fairway plus a second shot that will most likely be a blind shot thanks to the tall mounds with bunkers and the green is guarded by two deep swales and a hidden bunker off the back right
  • #5 is a 444 yard par 4 that dog legs left around a lake and offers a good risk reward shot to try and carry more of the lake to shorten the second shot which needs to be deadly accurate - the green has tall mounds and deep swales on the left and a sharp drop off on the right
  • #14 is a fun 535 year par 5 with a huge steep and deep bunker in a mound on the left ready to catch your drive and then you go through a fairly tight valley with tall mounds on both sides leading to an elevated green with 2 front and right side bunkers
  • 18 is a great finishing hole with water along the entire right side plus a string of 4 pot bunkers and than a tough approach thanks to the water cutting into the fairway in front of a green with 3 more bunkers

When we played Roy Kizer the fairways were dormant but looked like they would be in very good condition during the season.  Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving and you can let it rip - they are flat providing some extra roll.    However, you need to manage the wind which makes the course play longer and tougher.  There is water on 14 holes but in most cases you'll need to really spray the ball to find the water from the fairways but it's easier to find near or around the greens.  The rough was also in good shape and cut playable.

The greens at Roy Kizer were in transition from winter to summer and weren't as smooth as they normally would be during the season.  They range from average to huge, have some gentle slope and undulation, some are raised, and you'll find a couple tiers. A few of the greens are raised and most are guarded by mounds, swales, water, or sand putting a premium on the approach shots.  They ran true but a tad slow - around an 8.   

The bunkers at Roy Kizer are outstanding - soft fluffy thick sand that is a joy to hit out of.  They are well maintained, range from small deep pot bunkers to long skinny monsters.  A lot of the lips are only an inch or two tall and each to chip out of. 

Bottom line - a fantastic links layout that is fair for all levels but bite off more than you can chew (there are 5 sets of tee boxes) and the wind, water, sand, mounds, and swales can cause you problems - but all of that is very manageable. 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,819 72.2 125
Blue 6,119 68.0 111
White 5,764 65.9 103
Gold 6,412 70.0 117
Red 5,018 67.4 109

Course Information

Course Architect:
Randy Russell
Greens Type:
TIF Dwarf
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 14 holes and the 42 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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


Approximate Weekend
$27.00 to $48.00

Service is ok, the pro shop is well stocked, the grill has the basics from dogs to burgers, and the practice facilites are good.



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.