Ratings from our panel of 1,900 course-ranking panelists
100 GREATEST/BEST IN STATE SCORES
1 / 7
“0n 4/20/22 I was able to evaluate Escondido Golf and Lake Club in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. This Fazio golf course is located in a upscale neighborhood in the hill country are of Texas about an hour west of Austin. The course has Zoysia tee boxes and fairways with Bermuda greens.
Off the tee I see this course as reasonably forgiving. While numerous driver holes have bunkering placed on both sides of the fairway in landing areas which creates some apprehension on driver vs 3 wood depending on which way the wind is blowing. The rough off the fairway is not very penal and many times you can still have a good chance of hitting the green unless you are under one of the many oak trees that are scattered off fairways throughout the course. If you take the par 5 fourth hole for instance you have a clean look at the fairway but have bunkers on both sides that range from 204 – 227 yards on the right side to a left side bunker that ranges from 222- 275 yards depending on which teebox you are playing from. These distances don’t seem outrageous but the wind plays a major part in which club you pull from the bag. You can also look at the Par 3 tenth hole which has a distances of 187 from the tips to 173 and 160 from the next tees up. Here you have two large oak trees protecting high above the green surface. This hole questions how you want to flight the ball into the green. Again the wind plays a factor because if its in your face do you want to flight the ball low and between the two trees or club up 2 to 3 club and fly those trees on to a back sloping green that will without a doubt kick your ball to the back section of the green unless you hit a tour quality iron shot with tons of spin to hole your distance on that green. You must also note that if you do try to lean on an iron shot and pull it you have bunker trouble on the left side of the green just beyond the protection of those same oak trees. The greens have multiple slopes and equally as many flat areas that makes for lots of pin locations, with that said you must learn to play slopes to route your ball to many of the pin locations unless of course you are sticking everything close. The greens are in great shape which I will touch on more in the conditioning category.
The course is built on either side of the club house with the front nine on the northside of the property with the back nine on the southside of the property. With both the front nine and back nine you truly feel like you are in a secluded area. Something I found interesting was that the course has 5 par 3 holes and 5 par 5 holes which I feel could lead to better scores. The course does a good job of varying the par 3 distances across its 4 tee boxes. The shortest par 3 from the forward tees is just 121 yards while the longest par 3 from the back tee is 252 yards. Something else of note is that there is not a single dog leg hole on the property. If you look at the par 5 fourth hole again you have an uphill blind tee shot that when you play the course for the first time you must rely on the yardage book for what is on the other side of the uphill shot. The course has a variety of green shapes with slope and undulation that can feed you to a pin location or push you away from the flag depending on which side of the slope you find. I will say that none of the green slopes feed you off the green and into strategically placed bunkers but you can find yourself in some low areas that require you to chip back up to the green. While every green does have at least one bunker few of them cause stress for your approach shots. Green shapes are varied but are very visible for most shots into the green. A true Texan golfer would appreciate the aesthetics of this course. Located in the “Hill Country” the rolling hills, rock landscapes with the occasional pond and or stream is exactly what Texans expect the hill country to look like so from that aspect Fazio did a good job maintaining that picturesque landscape. If you look at the par 4 seventh hole you have a fresh water stream that runs the length of the fairway into a pond on the left side of the green none of which is in play but is pleasant to look at. The par 3 15th hole is a long par 3 from an elevated tee box with a large pond that covers the length of the green. While this seems like it would influence shot option and or layout variety it plays better in this category as a moderately decent golfer can navigate the challenges this hole presents.
Escondido golf club scores well in aesthetics. The fairways were firm and extremely fast and much more on the dry side but the greens are what we want to talk about. The greens were extremely receptive to approach shots with anything from wedges to long irons. When on the green surface the turf was well moisturized and maintained, making divots disappear when correctly repaired. The putts rolled clean and true and I’d like to believe made putting and reading breaks much easier. These greens are among the best I have played."
2 / 7
“Tom Fazio design in the beautiful Texas Hill country that requires all the shots. Nice mix of long and short holes. Excellent playing conditions."
3 / 7
“The purity and speed of outstanding green complexes provide foundational challenge at this 75.9 rated (par 71) course. The difficulty is only further enhanced on lengthy par 4s (at #2, 6 and 13), a 250 yard par 3 (#15), as well all four par 5s extending more than 550 yards. Babbling brooks weaving the final four holes beautifully trickling into a waterfall between #6 and 7 add to aesthetic splendor in addition to stone bridges and framed ponds at #7 "
4 / 7
“Course conditioning was outstanding in February."
5 / 7
“Very cool club, the course is not that memorable. Wish the first thirteen holes were half as good as the last five."
6 / 7
“Great front nine"
7 / 7
“Really fun golf experience with incredible service and amenities."