Review and Rating of Falconhead Golf Course in Austin Texas
Falconhead Golf Course was designed for and is operated to meet, the exacting standards of the PGA Tour and as such is a PGA Tour Signature Course. And what a fun track with an outstanding layout that leverages the local rolling Hill Country terrain. Located on the southwest side of Austin, Falconhead Golf Club takes advantage of the terrain as it plays up and down the rolling hill country, along with some natural areas, across a couple of creeks, through the knobby oak and cedar trees, and beside some beautiful homes in the Falconhead Golf Community. Dramatically elevated tee boxes offer some majestic panoramic views of the hill country.
Falconhead Golf Club is currently owned and operated by Magnolia Golf Management, which also owns two other fantastic golf courses – Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin and Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock. Falconhead will throw a little bit of everything at you (forced carries, elevated tee boxes, dramatic uphill approaches, blind shots, dog legs, water, huge bunkers, narrow approaches, and more) but the layout is very fair and with 5 sets of tee boxes you can bite off as much as you want to chew or play forward a set of tee boxes and have a fun relaxing round. From the tee box, you can typically see what you're up against and plan your strategy accordingly. Several holes demand accuracy off the tee box to miss the trees, avoid the bunkers, and play around a couple trees in the middle of the fairway. From our perspective, Falconhead Golf Club offers a little bit of everything that makes golf fun and challenging, which is why we added it to our list of the Best Courses in Austin.
Falconhead has an excellent hole by hole tour on their website – check it out to see the layout for each hole. Some examples of holes that we really liked include:
- #1 sets the stage for your round – a downhill dogleg left that will temp you bring out the big dog and let it rip, but if you overrun the end of the fairway you're in trouble and you need to also play the fairway slope or you'll watch your ball roll into the trees
- #3 is a 580-yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot, a creek to carry, trees and slope in the fairway, and an uphill shot to a raised green with a hidden bunker
- #8 is one of the prettiest holes in Texas with a green on a limestone ledge which cantilevers as much as 30 feet above Friday Creek and overhangs two ponds, cascading waterfalls, and colorful landscaping, all of which makes for a very demanding tee shot – #8 made our list of the Most Beautiful Holes in Texas
- #10 is 418 yards but it's a big downhill shot where you may find your drive very close to the green
- #14 is a fun par 5 – 521-yards with a long trough bunker on the right side of a raised and contoured fairway plus 2 more bunkers on the right side near the green and oak trees on the left side
We loved the front nine and found it fun and fair, but demanding with ups and downs, bunkers, and some challenging fairways. The back doesn't have quite as much character and it seems more open and forgiving off the tee box.
When we played in March, the fairways still transistioning from winter to summer conditions. The fairways range from wide open to tight and most are contoured and have a fair amount of slope. You'll find lots of uphill as well as downhill shots. Before you hit, study the fairway slope carefully and plan on some extra roll from the slope as well as the dry firm conditions. Some beautiful homes dot one side of some of the holes. The rough was wide and held the ball up making for an easy recovery shot – miss the rough and you'll be under the trees and in tall native grass.
The greens at Falconhead Golf Club were also in very good condition and run at a good speed of around 10 or so. 40% or more of the greens are raised, most are average size, several are guarded, and all of them require some study before you putt. The speed and slope and subtle breaks are very challenging and putting was a difficult for our foursome. The slope and false fronts on some of the greens will take you off the green and rolling back down the fairway – very depressing to watch!!
The bunkers range from average size to huge and a couple trough bunkers have long narrow grass strips within them which can cause a problem. When we played the bunkers needed some work – the sand was thin and gritty. We were told that there are plans to renovate the bunkers.
Falconhead Golf Club is a fun, scenic, and memorable track that can test your game as well as your putting skills. If you're in the area it's a must-play.
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Service is very good and friendly, the pro shop has a good supply of the basics, and the grill food is ok - the chicken salad and tuna sliders are excellent. The range, putting green, and practice area are very good - make sure you spend some time on the greens!
Gary Goodpastor dir of membership
Managed by magnolia golf