Review of Avery Ranch Golf Course in Austin
Avery Ranch is an outstanding course with some fun holes, good variety, great conditions, beautiful scenery, and it's challenging but fair. It's not surprising that it has received a number of awards and accolades, some of which include: Top Luxury Golf Course and Best Place to Hold a Corporate Event by Avid Golfer; Texas Outside's list of the Best Austin Courses; and 4 1/2 stars and Best Places to Play by Golf Digest.
Avery Ranch is located in northwest Austin and is a spectacular up-scale golf course with natural limestone caverns, knobby live-oak trees, rolling hills, lots of deer, ravines, meandering streams, and lakes – all of which help create a memorable, fun, challenging, and excellent golf experience. The course is very scenic as it plays up and down the rolling hills, along a lake, and across some ravines. Some of the holes on the front nine are lined with homes on the right side but the vast majority of the course is lined by trees and natural areas.
Avery Ranch offers lots of variety and several fun but challenging holes – dog legs left and right, narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, forced carries over ravines, limestone outcroppings, water, and protected greens. For example, #7 requires a carry over a ravine and natural area from an elevated tee box and a fairly precise tee shot to avoid the bunkers and trees and position yourself for the dogleg left to a green with another gully across the front of it – a great hole!
Even with all those challenges, the course is fair and if you pick the right set of tee boxes (don't bite off more than you can chew – there are five to choose from and the scorecard lists the recommended handicap for each tee box) and can keep the ball in play you'll likely head to the clubhouse proud of your score.
The front nine of Avery Ranch Golf Club is our favorite and it's a blast to play with plenty of challenges including doglegs, uphill and downhill shots, forced carries, strategically placed bunkers, creeks and ravines, and more. It's fair but you'll need to use some course management and club selection skills to score well. There are some excellent holes but it's hard to beat #5 which is the #1 handicap hole and it is a beauty – a 597 yard par five that takes a sharp turn left and heads downhill leading to a pond which means you may need to lay up and then fly the pond which covers most of the front and all of the right side of a skinny oblong roller coaster green with a big bunker on the back left side.
The back nine is a little easier and shorter, more open and forgiving, and has some very scenic and fun holes. This nine has three par 5s and three par 3s and three par 4s. Some of the holes that we loved on Avery Ranch Golf Club's back nine included:
- #16 is a short par 4 at 332 yards but it's tricky and requires a precise drive to avoid a minefield of huge multi-fingered bunkers in your landing zone that pinch the fairway guard the green
- #17 is fantastic – a very pretty 186 yard downhill shot over a lake to a well-protected but large oblong green
- the approach to the green on #18 offers some Kodak moments with a 60-acre lake on the left side and beautiful waterfalls from an infinity-edged three-tier pond
Every time that we've played Avery Ranch it has been in very good condition. The fairways were in near perfect shape as were the greens and the bunkers. The fairways range from ample to a tad tight and are tree-lined – miss them and you're most likely lost – or lined with some beautiful homes on one side. It's peaceful and quiet and with all the deer you feel like you're in a nature preserve. The first cut was playable and also in great condition.
The greens are average size and they ran around an 8 or 9. They ran very true and held the ball well when we played. The greens have everything from slope and undulation to ridges and tiers and can be a tad difficult to read thanks to subtle breaks and some challenging pin placement. The greens are double-cut daily which helps ensure a very consistent putting surfaces – they may be the best greens in Austin!
There are 53 bunkers that you need to worry about and they range from average to some huge multi-fingered monsters. Some of the lips and manageable and a couple of times I got lucky and rolled out – other times we were up against a steep face. The sand was wet thanks to lots of recent rain but the sand felt gritty and shallow. All of the bunkers were perfectly maintained.
Avery Ranch Golf Club is owned and managed by Magnolia Golf Management which also owns two other fantastic golf courses – Falconhead in south west Austin and Teravista in Round Rock. Check out their membership options that include all three courses.
Bottom line, Avery Ranch is a great course and one you should add to your list of must-play Austin Courses. It is also part of the Austin Golf Trail which has some very good Stay & Play packages.
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Service is excellent! The grounds are beautiful. The food is great - the cheeseburger is fantastic. The practice facilities are very good and the pro shop has everything you might need.