Barton Creek Palmer Lakeside Golf Course Spicewood
With four outstanding golf courses, the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is considered one of the premier golf resorts in Texas. The four courses are designed by some of the best – Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, and Ben Crenshaw. Common to all four courses are excellent conditions, superb layouts offering golfers lots of variety and plenty of challenges, and spectacular vistas as the courses meander through the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country. Click on the link to read the reviews of Fazio Foothills, Crenshaw Cliffside, and Fazio Canyons.
The Lakeside course is about 30 minutes from the resort and sits on a hillside above Lake Travis offering majestic views of the lake, golf course, community, and surrounding hill country. The Lakeside course winds it’s way through some huge beautiful homes of the exclusive gated Barton Creek Lakeside community. Lakeside is a little easier than any of the other Barton Creek courses and a little tougher than the Crenshaw 18.
The Arnold Palmer-designed Lakeside front nine is characterized by deep, brushy, and intimidating ravines that will come into play on holes 5 through 8. On each of these holes you'll need to carry the ravine off the tee box or somewhere along the way to the green – study the yardage guide to manage the ravines. If you can't carry the deep ravines, your score will escalate – so play smart. In addition to the ravines, you'll need to contend with water, soft sand bunkers, and some tight approaches – regardless of all that, this is a fun and fair nine and with good course management you can score well.
The back nine is also fantastic with lots of variety, fabulous scenery, excellent conditions, and plenty of challenges. For the first 7 holes on the back nine, after we finished each hole we said, “wow, that was another great hole!” This nine is a par 35 with 3 par threes that are some of the best in Texas offering scenic beauty as well as a challenge for all skill levels. Number 11, which is the signature hole requires a shot across a large pond to a green protected with 6 deep pot bunkers on the right, a cascading rock creek in the back and along the left side leading to the pond, and a beautiful huge rock waterfall and large home behind the green. The Dallas Morning News ranks #11 among the “18 Most Beautiful in Texas” – it also made our list of the Most Scenic Golf Holes in Texas.
All of the holes on Barton Creek Palmer Lakeside are fun and a joy to play, however the following holes were our favorites:
- #2 is a 496 yard par five that long accurate hitters and go for the green in 2; the rest of us will need to layup to carry the lake at 100 yards in front of the green which has a huge front and back bunker and trees that block the right side approach shot to the green or you can risk going down the fairway on the right side of the tree (avoiding the carry over the lake) and down a skinny fairway that gives you an easier shot at the green
- #5 is a fun (and scary) 276 yard par 4 with a very tight fairway leading to a wide and deep ravine and sloping green
- #12 is a 578 yard par 5 with a lot of everything – an elevated tee box, a pond to carry off the tee box, a wide landing zone with a string of four bunkers, a dogleg left around the tree line, a long skinny fairway with two big bunkers, and a green set off to the left side surrounded with 3 bunkers
- #16 is a 405 yard dogleg left around a long bunker and cluster of trees – an excellent risk reward shot if you think you can carry the trees and avioid three bunkers amoung the trees
When we played in late November the course was in near perfect condition despite tough summer weather. The Bermuda fairways and the roughs are well maintained and manicured. Most of the fairways are ample off the tee box but a few are tight thanks to the trees on both sides. Six doglegs, water, ravines, bunkers, and elevation changes force you to play smart if you want to score well.
The bunkers were in excellent condition with soft fluffy sand. They range in size from small steep pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered monsters. Most are guarding the green and others are strategically placed in the fairways.
The Palmer Lakeside Champion Bermuda greens were also in great condition – soft, smooth and true. When we played there were running at a good speed of around 10 or so. Most of the greens have some slope but with some study, you should be able to see and read the breaks – you won't encounter a lot of undulation. The greens are a variety of shapes and sizes, with most being a little above average size.
Service is first class from the time they bring you the cart to the sad moment when they load your clubs back in the car. The clubhouse is phenomenal – a bar and grill, formal restaurant and dining room with panoramic views, a well stocked pro shop, fantastic men’s and women’s locker rooms, a spa, fitness center, and pool. As you dine or sit on the deck sipping a cold one, the views of Lake Travis, the course, the beautiful homes, and the surrounding hill country are unequaled.
To learn more about the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, read about our four day stay and visit to the Omni Barton Creek Resort, which had just completed a $150 million renovation.
The good news, bad news is that you have to be a member or stay at Omni Barton Creek Resort to play any of the four courses – so treat yourself to a stay at the resort and enjoy these must-play courses. All of the Barton Creek courses are pricey but, hey, life is short so treat yourself to some outstanding golf.
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Service is excellent and the club house, restaurant, pro shop, and locker rooms are first class. Practice facilities are good.