The Resort course at the 36-hole La Cantera Golf Club hosted fifteen editions of the Texas Open, starting the year that the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish layout first opened for play in 1995.
From 1995 thru 2009 -- The Resort Course served as host to the annual Texas Open event on the PGA Tour. The course was a birdie fest for the game's top players -- in fact -- Tommy Armour III fired a four-round total of 254 in winning the Texas Open in 2003. That mark was erased by Justin Thomas claiming the 2017 Hawaiian Open with a 253 total.
The duo of Morrish and Weiskopf created a number of top quality layouts during their partnership. Part of their success was in elevating playability and by including a range of different hole types.
Helping their efforts is a land site that has plenty of movement so constant variety is always possible.
The Resort Course starts off with two good holes. The 1st is a quality par-5 working downhill. The 2nd is a challenging par-4 featuring a rock channel running parallel down the right side. If you miss too far left there are a series of trees which can interfere on the approach. The elevated green is nicely positioned -- a narrow front portion and then widening in the rear area. The course picks up steam with the par-5 5th which played as a par-4 for the Texas Open. The 6th is a quality par-3 hole with a rock channel area just to the left of the green. At the 7th, the usual Moorish / Weiskopf inclusion of a driveable par-4 comes up. The hole starts from an elevated tee and then close in from both sides the deeper the attempt to get to the green is attempted.
The back nine commences with a par-5 -- played as a par-4 for the event -- that plunges downhill before rising appreciably as you get to the green. The most interesting hole from the inward side comes with the 12th -- a par-4 of 415 yards. Again, an elevated tee is where play starts. A series of bunkers guards the left side and if you go too far right you will be impacted by trees. The green is elevated and set behind a creek that awaits the half-hearted play. The green is one of the best at The Resort Course -- plenty of different challenging pin locations with front right being the most demanding.
The remainder of the course features a mixture of holes with the par-4 15th -- playing slightly uphill at 446 yards the best of the bunch.
The Resort Course is immediately near to the main buildings connected to the facility. At just over 6,900 yards the course will permit plenty of opportunities for scoring provided sufficient placement is attained from the tee. When coming to La Cantera you'll have two options for play -- The Resort and The Palmer courses. I asked a number of regular players if they had ten rounds to play how would they divvy up the number between the two? Each person answered no less than 7-8 on The Palmer -- with just 2 or 3 on The Resort. I see no reason to dispute that assessment.
In fairness, The Resort emphasizes fun golf and, at the same time, provides terrain that clearly provides movement and a connection to the Hill Country. Credit Morrish / Weiskopf for their efforts but since the course opened in 1995 the bar for more compelling architectural choices on the golf scene in Texas have clearly emerged.
M. James Ward