Austin, Texas: Hill Country golf under the eye of Harvey Penick (and Willie Nelson)

By Brandon Tucker,
Senior Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - Legendary golf teacher Harvey Penick's lasting imprint is everywhere you look in Austin, from his former home courses, Riverside Golf Course and Hancock Golf Course, to GolfSmith's Harvey Penick Academy and the First Tee Program's new Harvey Penick Golf Campus.

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Author of the best-selling "Little Red Book" and the man who developed such students as Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls and decades worth of University of Texas athletes, Penick will have a lasting legacy in the city he was born and raised and passed away in just days before Crenshaw's emotional Masters win in 1995.

Falconhead Golf ClubOff the golf course, Austin stakes claim as the "Live music capital of the world," where Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson (a passionate golfer, by the way, who owns Pedernales Golf Club in Spicewood, an hour northwest of the city) are among the many local icons. The city hosts the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference for a week each spring, which fills every downtown bar with thousands of acts. In the fall, Austin City Limits brings some of the world's top bands to Zilker Park on Town Lake.

An historic golf city in the Texas Hill Country with year-long temperatures for golf and a downtown saturated with nightlife venues, Austin is a golf destination without much to be desired.

Barton Creek Resort & Spa - AustinThe top golf resort in Austin is the Barton Creek Resort & Spa. It's home to two Tom Fazio designs, plus one from native son Ben Crenshaw that showcases the best of Austin's rocky cliffs in the Hill Country.

The area also has a wide variety of daily fee and municipal courses, from Teravista Golf Club, Circle C and Avery Ranch Golf Club to the PGA Tour Design Group's Falconhead Golf Club.

If you're looking for some peace and quiet, head about an hour west to the Horseshoe Bay Resort & Spa, home to three exceptional Robert Trent Jones Sr. championship courses.

Getting to Austin

Horseshoe Bay Resort - Marriott HotelAustin is in the Texas Triangle, three hours south of Dallas on I-35 and three hours west of Houston, as well as just about an hour north of San Antonio.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is relatively new and has direct flights to many domestic destinations, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

June 26, 2009

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

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