Review and Rating of Horseshoe Bay Resort's Apple Rock Golf Course
Horseshoe Bay Resort is home to three of Texas' top rated courses – Ram Rock, Apple Rock, and Slick Rock. In fact, the courses have all been featured in the "50 Best Courses in Texas" list in the Dallas Morning News every year since the origin of the annual ranking in 1989.
Apple Rock was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1986. Of the three Horseshoe Bay Resort Golf Courses Apple Rock is clearly the most scenic (stunning views of Lake LBJ) of the three courses and it's the second hardest. To learn more about the other courses here is a link to our review of Slick Rock, Ram Rock, and Summit Rock – all of which made our list of the Best Resort Courses in Texas. Over the last couple years some of the awards and accolades Apple Rock has gotten include:
- Top 50 courses you can play in Texas (#17) – Dallas Morning News, 2015
- Top 100 overall courses in Texas (#67) – Dallas Morning News, 2015
- Top 50 courses you can play in Texas (#18) – Dallas Morning News, 2014
- Top 100 overall courses in Texas (#67) – Dallas Morning News, 2014
- Best Public Courses in Texas (#12)– Golf Magazine, 2014
- Best Resort Courses in Texas – Golf Magazine, 2014
- Best Places to Play (4.5 stars) – Golf Digest
Spanning 147 acres Apple Rock Golf Course leverages the rocky and rolling Hill Country terrain and offers lots of variety, some unique challenges, and a very enjoyable round of golf. The front nine has lots of ups and downs, sloping fairways, some huge beautiful homes, uniquely shaped greens that are very small, ample fairways, and some great holes. The back seems a little more open and forgiving, somewhat more traditional with bigger bunkers and greens, and some beautiful holes. The first three holes on the back nine are some of the most scenic in Texas and make the course well worth the price.
Apple Rock is not that tight but a number of holes demand some forethought and good club selection or you're in some trouble. Some of the holes that we really liked included:
- #1 was our first "wow" – a 431 par 4 with an elevated tee box, a huge downhill shot down a fairway with 2 nasty large bunkers on the right side, and a shot to an uphill smallish light bulb shaped green set off to the right with a big bunker and water on the front left and 2 bunkers on the right side
- #8 is a beautiful 187 yard par 3 which is all carry over a small lake with a fountain to a raised green with 2 huge bunkers on the left
- #10 is the second "wow" – clearly one of the most scenic views of any golf course in Texas from high atop a hill – a view of Lake LBJ and the country side for miles and miles – plus it's a very fun hole with lots of ups and downs
- #12 is another beautiful 179 yard par 3 with swaying palm trees and it's all carry over Lake LBJ to a sloping green with a bunker in the front
When we played Apple Rock in 2016 the greens were in very good shape, ran true and at a good speed (around a 9 or so), and held the ball well. They are a variety of odd shapes, on the smaller side of average on the front and about average on the back, and have a good sized puttable fringe. The greens have plenty of slope, some of which can be a little difficult to read.
The fairways at Apple Rock were also in very good condition. Most of the fairways have some slope that can cause you trouble if you don't play it right. The fairways are firm giving you lots of extra roll that you also need to manage plus huge elevation changes can require you to club up or down.
The bunkers range from small to some huge monsters. Most of the faces are manageable and not real steep. The sand was thin, gritty, and very firm – not a lot of fun to hit out of! I was told they are going to start replacing the bunker sand in the near future.
Apple Rock is a resort course and as such you need to stay at Horseshoe Bay Resort to play the course – the good news is that they have a very attractive Stay & Play package with unlimited golf! See our Stay & Play Page to learn more. This is one of the courses that you need to add to your "must play" list.
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Service is very good and attentive, the club house and pro shop are good, and the food is very good by the pool but a little pricy.