Review of La Cantera Resort Course in San Antonio
In 2015 Destination Hotels took over management of La Cantera Resort and immediately started makings some significant changes and improvements to the Resort. Destination Hotels is a collection of upscale and luxury resorts, hotels, and residences throughout the United States and it's good to see La Cantera as a part of this collection. If you plan on playing golf at La Cantera, you should consider taking advantage of their golf stay and play package and play both courses which are two of the best courses in Texas.
The Resort Course was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskoff and they carved it out of the rolling hills north of San Antonio creating one of the best courses with some of the most magnificent scenery in Texas – breathtaking panoramic views of San Antonio, the surrounding rolling hills, and Fiesta Texas; more color than you'll see on any course in Texas; limestone rock outcroppings; live oaks and lush greens and fairways; and creek beds.
The Palmer Course at La Canters was designed by Arnold Palmer and it plays about 6 to 8 strokes harder than the Resort Course thanks to elevation changes, dog legs, blind shots, and challenging green complexes as it plays up and down some of the tallest hills in San Antonio – to learn more read our review of the Palmer Course. Both courses are daily fee courses, always in near perfect condition, offer scenic views, and are a blast to play. It's not surprising that the courses have won a number of awards and accolades, some of which included:
- #9 Golf Course in Texas – Golf Advisor
- #1 Luxury Golf Course in San Antonio – AvidGolfer Magazine
- Resort Course of Distinction by GolfWeek
- Texas Outside's List of the Best Resort Courses in Texas and
When we visited La Cantera Resort & Spa in 2017 the Resort Course was closed for renovations. Some of the renovation plans included: tee boxes are being leveled and enlanged; the greens are being returned to their original size plus new TifEagle grass is being added and the green contour will be changed to help increase green speed; the number of bunkers will be reduced and some will be relocated and all will get new white sand and an improved drainage system. Plus trees will be trimed, cart paths will be repaired, and the bathrooms will be enovated. The renovation will also include updating the golf shop, refurbising the Grill and Snack Bar, and level and resurface the practice range and tee area.
Some of what makes the Resort Course fun and a must play include:
- the scenery and views are unrivaled for a Texas golf course
- it's challenging but fair and with 5 sets of tee boxes if you pick the right set it's not going to beat you up
- each hole is a little different from the one before it
- the conditions are always near perfect
- you'll find a little bit of everything that makes this course both fun and challenging – elevation changes, uphill and downhill shots, tough greens, risk reward opportunities, lots of bunkers, and more
- the service and facilities are first class
- and it's home to some really fun holes
Some of our favorite holes on the Resort Course at La Cantera include:
- #5 is a fun 553 yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot to a wide rolling downhill fairway that dog legs right around a pond and big bunker then goes slightly uphill and right and back down to a green with 5 bunkers surrounding it
- #7 has a dramatically elevated tee box, a stunning view of the surrounding area and Fiesta Texas Amusement Park, a fairway with 3 bunkers (one of which is in the middle of the fairway) waiting for your drive, a pond and bunker so big it has 3 grass islands in the middle of it, and a green with 3 bunkers surrounding it and the Fiesta Texas Roller Coaster as a backdrop – this hole made our list of the Most Beautiful Golf Holes in Texas
- #12 the #2 handicap is a 415 yard par 4 with a downhill shot past 5 bunkers, a shot across a gully and then uphill to a green guarded by 3 bunkers
Each time that we have played the La Cantera Resort Course the greens and fairways were in excellent condition. Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving – so bring out the big dog and let 'er rip, particularly on the first hole which is a 561 yard confidence builder! You'll need to manage the elevated tee boxes, uphill and downhill shots, and the rolling contoured fairways. The rough is wide but it is also thick and will stop you dead and make for a challenging recovery shot. Miss the rough and you're lost in the trees and brush. Study the GPS hints to help you decide how to play each hole.
The greens seemed larger than normal, are a variety of shapes, and were in near perfect condition. They are soft, hold the ball well, and run true – but lots of subtle breaks that are hard to read plus some tiers and slope caused a few 3 putts for me!
The bunkers at the Resort Course are starting to show their age and they need some work – the sand it thin and gritty. They range from steep and deep pot bunkers to some huge multi-fingered bunkers with grass islands. They were perfectly groomed when we played.
Both nines take advantage of the rolling scenic terrain and all are tree lined with no out of bounds and no houses. The back nine is not quite as scenic and is easier with fewer hazards and more open and forgiving fairways. You'll enjoy both nines and want to come back again. La Cantera offers golf specials and has an excellent Stay & Play package. Twilight rates and discounted tee times are fantastic and make playing this course a real bargain!
Bottom line, you need to add the Resort Course to your list of must plays. From our perspective, the front nine is the best in Texas and has some of everything that we enjoy when playing golf: beautiful scenery, excellent conditions, great service, challenging but fair layout with water hazards, huge elevation changes, dog legs, blind shots, risk reward opportunities, waterfalls, panoramic views, forced carries, wide forgiving fairways, great greens, soft sand bunkers, and a great value at twilight. La Cantera has an excellent stay and play offering and is well worth the money – read our review of La Cantera Resort to learn more.
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The Resort course has an excellent well stocked pro shop, a good restaurant and bar, and an good practice facilities. The staff is very experienced and provides some of the best service you'll every find.