Review and Rating of Morris Williams Golf Course in Austin
Morris Williams Golf Course has been an Austin staple since it was designed by Leon Howard and opened in 1964. It's very popular thanks to a great layout, reasonable rates, and good conditions. In 2012 the course closed for some major renovations, some of which included:
adding an additional 400 yards increasing the length from the tips from 6700 to 7023
reshaping and enlarging the greens
moving and redoing some of the bunkers
reshaping some of the holes
enlarging and adding additional tee boxes – there are now 5 with yardages from 4973 to 7023 yards
The front nine at Morris Williams Golf Course has some elevation changes, 3 dog legs, water that can cause a problem on three holes, and some uphill as well as downhill shots. A couple of the holes that we liked on this nine included:
#2 is a 573 yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot, a risk reward opportunity to try and fly the trees to go for the green in two, and an uphill shot past a hidden lake on the right to big green with a left side bunker, a ridge, and some subtle breaks
#3 is a 218 yard downhill par 3 over a pond to a raised green – club selection and wind management are critical on this hole
#6 is a 427 yard par 4 that requires a good drive uphill to a dog leg left fairway – left and your down the hill and blocked by trees, long and you might be in the pond, and short is most likely a blind shot blocked by trees
The back nine was my favorite – it seems to be a little more challenging, has a little more character, and has some great holes. This nine has several up and downs, some doglegs left and right, elevated greens, and water on 5 holes. Two holes we really liked are:
#11 is wide open off the tee box but at about 200 yards out it goes downhill and over a creek and back up to a roller coaster small green
#13 is a hole you'll want to play again – a hill and trees split the fairway and you can go uphill to the left but need to be accurate or you're in tree trouble or you can go down and right to a very tight fairway but a shorter uphill approach shot to a green with lots of movement
The Morris Williams Golf Course greens are a variety of shapes and most are huge ranging from 28 to 39 yards deep. A majority of the greens are raised and they all have some combination of slope, tiers, saddles, ridges, or tricky contour. They were running a little slow (7 to 8) when we played and were a little bumpy. Most had some winter damage which in a few months should be gone and I image the greens would be near perfect.
The fairways were in very good shape as was the rough which might be trouble in the summer. All the fairways are tree lined (no homes) but the brush is cleared under the trees which means you can usually find your ball and have a worm burner or tree flyer shot back to the fairway. The fairways range from wide open to fairly tight and have lots of ups and downs plus slope and contour. Some are side by side.
The bunkers were perfect – soft, fluffy, deep sand. There are only 11 bunkers and they all guard the greens. They aren't huge and the lips are manageable but don't expect to roll in and roll out.
Bottom line – a fun layout for all skill levels and very reasonable rates.