Review and Rating of Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club's Live Oak Course in Fair Oaks Ranch Texas
Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club is home to a swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, dining, and two outstanding 18 hole golf courses – Live Oak and Blackjack Oak.
Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country Club opened its doors in 1978 using the original 14,000-square-foot ranch home of Ralph E. Fair Sr., an internationally known oilman and rancher, as the center of the Club. The ranch home is stunning it was built in the 1930s using native Texas Hill Country river rock. Gary Player and Denis Griffith were brought in to design Blackjack Oak and Gary and Ron Kirby designed Live Oak. Fair Oaks Ranch is part of the portfolio of Club Corp which owns or operates more than 200 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs and alumni clubs in 26 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries.
Each of the courses at Fair Oaks Ranch has it's own unique characteristics and personality. Blackjack Oak is a combination of holes that are typical of a country club layout with homes lining the fairways, a wide open links style layout, and several holes with a more traditional hill country look and feel. Live Oak is a true hill country layout with elevation changes, lots of dog legs, and some scenic views. We haven't played Blackjack Oak but loved Live Oak and it's currently rated on our list of the Best Courses in San Antonio. Fair Oaks Ranch Golf & Country club was also rated as "The Best Overall Family Value Country Club" for three years by AvidGolfer magazine and "The Best Overall Country Club"in 2008 in the Boerne Star.
The fairways on the front nine of Live Oak leverage the natural rolling terrain to create some elevated tee shots and uphill as well as downhill shots plus 5 dog legs. The back nine is a little flatter and it seems a little more open, forgiving, and straightforward with a little less variety. Most of the fairways are ample with a wide playable rough which is dense and holds the ball up for an easier shot and a second cut that is tougher – miss those and you're in a back yard or under a lot of trees. Some nice homes line one or both sides of most of the fairways. All of the fairways and rough were in very good condition when we played. You'll see lots of wildlife – grazing deer, ducks and geese, squirrels, and birds.
The greens on Live Oak were also in very condition – soft, smooth, and ran true if you can read the breaks. You'll encounter some slope, undulation, and tiers. They are about average size (some huge and some small) and a variety of shapes and sizes and all but one are guarded by one to six bunkers – and the one with no bunker has a pond protecting it's left side. Accuracy on the approach shot is key to scoring well on Live Oak.
The bunkers at Live Oak were in very good condition with light sand that varied from thick to a little thin. They ranged from small pot bunkers to some big fairway bunkers strategically placed in your landing zone.
Live Oak is home to some outstanding holes, some of our favorites included:
- #1 sets the stage for what you can expect on the front nine – a 546 yard par 5 that takes a turn right between two big left side bunkers and one on the right and then heads to a sloping and tiered green guarded by a bunker in the middle of the fairway 50 yards in front of it plus two bunkers on the left side
- #2 requires a drive over a deep and fairly wide ravine from an elevated tee box to a wide landing zone and then a sharp dog left to a green guarded by a lake on the left side – a good risk reward opportunity off the tee if you think you can fly the trees and stuff on a tight fairway
- #8 is a blast (a 502 yard dog leg left par 5) and a hole you'll want to play again – off the tee trees block an uphill shot left to a fairway that's easy to drive through or you can try to draw the ball left around the trees or try a risk reward opportunity to try and fly the trees – the drive is uphill to a fairway that drops down a tier just before a deep and wide ravine and that's followed by an uphill shot to a 2 tiered green guarded by a cluster of 4 bunkers
- #16 and #17 are beautiful holes – a 189 yard par 3 that's all carry over the lake to a two tiered green with three bunkers guarding the front and #17 is a 462 yard par 4 with a beautiful view and big down hill shot to a dog leg left fairway
Do you want you can to play Fair Oaks Ranch Live Oak Course, you'll love it – it's fun, fair but challenging, scenic, and in excellent condition.
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The facilities are really cool looking, the pro shop is well stocked with a little bit of everything, and the practice facilities are very good. We didn't have a chance to try the food. The service is excellent and very friendly and outgoing.