Review and Rating of Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, Texas
Wow, what a pleasant surprise. I don't know why but I wasn't expecting much when we booked a tee time at Roy Kizer. But during our round we kept saying "that was a fun hole," "what a great layout," "conditions are better than expected," and concluded with "that was a blast to play!"
Sitting on 200 acres in Southeast Austin, Roy Kizer was designed by Randy Russell and named after Roy Kizer who was a long time golf course superintendent at Lions Municipal Golf Course from 1937 until his retirement in 1973. The course is a typical links style course with wide sweeping fairways, lots of mounding, plenty of wind, and over 40 bunkers. 5 sets of tee boxes help make Roy Kizer fair for all skill levels but the wind (which is always blowing), water (35 acres of lakes and 22 acres of wetlands), challenging green complexes, and bunkers force you manage the course and hazards and play smart if you want to score well.
A few examples of fun holes that you'll need to manage include:
#3 is a 450 yard par 4 that requires accuracy off the tee to stay out of a string of 3 bunkers crossing the fairway and 5 more along the right side of the fairway plus a second shot that will most likely be a blind shot thanks to the tall mounds with bunkers and the green is guarded by two deep swales and a hidden bunker off the back right
#5 is a 444 yard par 4 that dog legs left around a lake and offers a good risk reward shot to try and carry more of the lake to shorten the second shot which needs to be deadly accurate – the green has tall mounds and deep swales on the left and a sharp drop off on the right
#14 is a fun 535 year par 5 with a huge steep and deep bunker in a mound on the left ready to catch your drive and then you go through a fairly tight valley with tall mounds on both sides leading to an elevated green with 2 front and right side bunkers
18 is a great finishing hole with water along the entire right side plus a string of 4 pot bunkers and than a tough approach thanks to the water cutting into the fairway in front of a green with 3 more bunkers
When we played Roy Kizer the fairways were dormant but looked like they would be in very good condition during the season. Most of the fairways are wide and forgiving and you can let it rip – they are flat providing some extra roll. However, you need to manage the wind which makes the course play longer and tougher. There is water on 14 holes but in most cases you'll need to really spray the ball to find the water from the fairways but it's easier to find near or around the greens. The rough was also in good shape and cut playable.
The greens at Roy Kizer were in transition from winter to summer and weren't as smooth as they normally would be during the season. They range from average to huge, have some gentle slope and undulation, some are raised, and you'll find a couple tiers. A few of the greens are raised and most are guarded by mounds, swales, water, or sand putting a premium on the approach shots. They ran true but a tad slow – around an 8.
The bunkers at Roy Kizer are outstanding – soft fluffy thick sand that is a joy to hit out of. They are well maintained, range from small deep pot bunkers to long skinny monsters. A lot of the lips are only an inch or two tall and each to chip out of.
Bottom line – a fantastic links layout that is fair for all levels but bite off more than you can chew (there are 5 sets of tee boxes) and the wind, water, sand, mounds, and swales can cause you problems – but all of that is very manageable.