The Falls Golf Resort Stay & Play Review
Golfing at The Falls Resort
The Falls championship golf course was designed by Jay Riviere and Dave Marr and opened in 1984. The layout is spectacular as it twists and turns up and down the gently rolling hills, through the trees, past lots of wildlife, and some stunning homes - it reminded me of playing some of the Hill Country courses. Eight clearwater lakes can come into play as they follow the descending natural terrain creating a series of cascading waterfalls, which the course is named after. It's a stunning course that is well maintained and typically in near perfect condition and The Falls Golf Resort is well deserving of all the accolades and awards that it has won over the years, some of which include:
- Houston Chronicle listed them as the "#1 Most Scenic," "#1 Best Outlying Course," and "#3 Course If Money and Distance Were No Object" for 2010
- San Antonio Express News ranked The Falls as the "#1 Hidden Gem"
- Houston Golfer's Guide ranked the course #6
- #8 in the Dallas Morning News "Best Golf Resorts"
- Four Star Award Winner in Golf Digest's “Places to Play”
In fact, we rated the front nine a perfect 10, which less than a handful of Texas courses we've played have received. And the rating for all 18 is a 9.7 out of 10 putting The Falls as one of our Top Rated Resort Courses. When you play The Falls don't let the peace and quiet and the beauty of the course distract you from focusing on your game - The Falls is no walk in the park! Looking at the scorecard and noting that it has 5 tee boxes with yardages of 4654 to only 6765 from tips, you start to think "piece of cake." But then you see that the rating is 119 to 140 and you get a little suspicious. Turns out The Falls is very fair, but very demanding and plays a lot longer than they yardage card states because of all the uphill shots. Plus the tree lined fairways are a little tight, the greens are undulating and challenging, water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and you'll need to avoid 56 bunkers on you way to the pin. In addition, there are several dog legs, some risk reward opportunities, trees pinching the fairway and blocking approach shots, and nine forced carries. But don't let that scare you - it's fair, favors accuracy over distance (leave the big dog in the bag on some holes), and requires you to study the yardage card before hitting. And it's a blast to play with some very fun, unique, and memorable holes. Make sure you spend some time warming up on the driving range and on the putting and chipping green, and trying to get out of the practice bunkers - you'll need your best game to score well on The Falls. Read our review of The Falls Golf Course to learn more about why we gave it a 9.7.
Troon Golf took over management of The Falls in May 2011and has done an excellent job in course maintenance, despite the harsh winter, severe drought, and record heat. They have also made a number of positive changes like improving the turf quality and edging and reshaping the bunkers as a part of there continuous improvement program. Troon Golf's goal is "to create extraordinary guest and member experiences through personalized service, consistency, and uncompromising attention to detail. We want to exceed your expectations every time you're our guest." And they have clearly met and exceeded their goal and our expectations for The Falls - great conditions and excellent service.. Troon manages a portfolio of fantastic courses throughout the United States, four of which are in Texas - two of the best resort courses at The Westin La Cantera in San Antonio, The Golf Club at Champion's Circle in Fort Worth, and The Rawls Course at Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Staying at The Falls Resort
When you are considering The Falls Golf Stay & Play offering, you have a couple choices for lodging - the Inn which is more like motel rooms or the Villas which sleep four to to six people. The Villas are a 300 yard par 4 or a 500 par 5 away from the pro shop and restaurant and chip shot to the pool. There are 5 Villa duplexes that are in a circle under the tall trees and clustered around a small playground and 4 more are spaced out under the trees with a view of the pool or overlooking the 10th fairway. All of the Villas have been recently renovated or are in the process of being renovated and upgraded. The Villas are broken into three types:
The kitchens in each of the Villas have everything you need to cook and serve a gourmet meal - refrigerator, microwave, blender, stove, oven, coffee pot, toaster, a variety of pots and pans, utensils, dishwasher, and place settings of plates, bowls, cups, and glasses for four. Spread throughout the Villa area are community grills and picnic tables.
We stayed in one of the recently renovated Grand Villas and absolutely loved it. 900 square feet tucked under the trees with two baths and two bedrooms each of which had ceiling fans, flat screen TVs, and comfy beds - a double and a queen. The master bedroom had a private bathroom with a shower and a jacuzzi bathtub that helped soak away some of the kinks from golf. The rest of our Villa was a great room with an open cathedral ceiling with a country feel. The Villa included a well equipped kitchen, small dining table and chairs that was perfect for games, and a cozy living area with a flat screen, fireplace, and terrific view of the golf course through floor to ceiling windows. Step out the sliding glass door and you're on a wood deck under the trees where you can sip a cup of coffee or a cocktail and watch the golfers go by, some of which will most likely leave sprayed balls by your door step!
The Inn includes three clusters of 16 single rooms that overlook the pool, the range, or the 10th hole. They rooms are clean and functional, but a little dated. They are a tad larger than a standard hotel room. Each room has a king or two doubles, TV, dresser, night stands, some artwork, work desk, coffee pot, and bathroom. In some of the rooms you can walk out your front door and fall in the pool if you're not careful, others are closer to the tennis courts, pro shop, driving range, or putting green.
Dining at The Falls Resort
The Clubhouse is home to a couple meeting rooms, a well stocked pro shop, and the Cascades Restaurant & Bar with a patio overlooking the 10th hole. Unfortunately, the Cascades Restaurant & Bar at The Falls was closed when we arrived, but I did check out the menu and it looks outstanding with appetizers like Tri Color Tortellini, several soups and salads, steaks and chops, chicken dishes like herb crusted chicken, weekly specials (smoked duck gumbo during our visit), and several seafood entrees including shrimp scampi, whole stuffed founder, seared Mahi-Mahi, and red snapper almondine! A couple members that I talked to verified that the chef does an excellent job and everything is delicious.
Since the restaurant at The Falls was closed, after a couple games of dominos we headed out to Columbus, about 12 miles south, for a superb Mexican dinner at Los Cabos - wow, everything we tasted was delicious.
We did enjoy a good breakfast burrito and scrumptious lunch at the snack bar at the turn. The snack bar that serves some breakfast items and several choices for lunch - a delicious and huge cheeseburger (yumm), hot dogs, sandwiches, and more plus very tasty fries.
Playing at The Falls Resort
After all that good food you'll need some exercise, so make sure you bring your tennis racquet for some competitive tennis on one of the four lighted tennis courts which were recently totally resurfaced. Follow the sets of tennis with a dip in the pool or some basketball.
The pool area is between the Inn and the Villas and has two beautiful swimming pools and a children's wading pool in a well landscaped and rock patio area. If you like fishing, there is a well stocked pond within walking distance of the Villas - who knows maybe you can catch enough for dinner in the Villas! .
Bottom Line - not the easiest place to get to but its a scenic drive and well worth it once you get there. A fantastic course that's about as good as it gets in Texas, great lodging, good food, very friendly service, and extremely reasonable rates. What are you waiting for? Call your golfing buddies and then pick up the phone and book a room and tee time before The Falls gets too well known and pricey!