Woodlake Golf Club was designed by Desmond Muirhead and opened in 1972 as the new host course for the PGA Texas Open and continued to host the Open for four more years. You can play the same holes where many of the game’s greatest golfers competed and Ben Crenshaw made his debut and won his first pro tournament in 1973.
Woodlake Golf Club is northeast of downtown San Antonio and when it opened it had a reputation as a links style course. Today, hundreds of trees have matured and the course is a moderate length parkland style course at 6691 yards from the tips. But don’t let the length be deceiving, with four sets of tee boxes, you best pick the right set and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Woodlake puts a premium on accuracy over distance – your drives need to be well positioned for challenging approach shots and with undulating greens, you need to leave the ball beneath the pin. Water on 13 holes, risk reward opportunities, forced carries, 37 bunkers, dog legs, blind shots, pinched fairways, uphill as well as downhill shots, contoured fairways and more make this a demanding course and maybe a little harder than it’s slope of 121 to 130. And the greens can be challenging thanks to the slope.
But don’t let all of that scare you and keep you from playing Woodlake Golf Club – it’s fair but demanding and home to a good layout with plenty of variety and a lot of fun holes. Warm up on the range and putting green and invest in a yardage card – the tips and yardages to hazards and the green will help your score. Some of the holes we particularly liked included:
Woodlake Golf Club, like all the other courses in Texas, had suffered through a harsh winter and severe drought plus record heat – all of which had impacted the course conditions. Plus making the transistion to recycled water had done some damage. As such the fairways and roughs were in bad shape with weeds, bare spots, clover, ants, and more. Some of the greens had some damage.
The fairways are tree lined and can be a little tight. Most are flat and a few have some slope, contour, and mounding. Some holes have homes set well back that can come into play if you tend to really spray the ball.
The greens range from small to medium sized and most are oval. All of the greens are elevated making bump and runs more difficult and if you came in high and short, you’re likely to roll back down to the fairway. Study your putts carefully because the slope can be deceiving. The greens were running a little slow (around an 8 when they normally run about a 10) and bumpy as they transitioned to dormant. Some had some damage and the majority are guarded with bunkers.
The bunkers could use a little TLC and they range from small to good sized with lips of 1 to 4 feet or more. The sand was wet when we played so it has hard to judge it but it appeared to be thick and a little heavy.
Bottom line - a great layout with some fun and demanding holes and an affordable value.
Rates: $25.00 to $37.00
Service is ok and the staff is friendly. The bar has drinks and hot doga and some premade sandwiches. The putting green and driving range are ok.
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.