Par Excellence

We asked eighteen of the biggest names in golf—Hall of Famers, tournament champs, up-and-comers, and coaches—to name their favorite hole in Texas. Presenting the course of their dreams. And yours.

Rich Beem

Hole 7 Resort Course, Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio
Par 4, 316 yards

It’s a short par 4, a goofy little hole with Six Flags Fiesta Texas in the background. If you are feeling good, you can drive it onto the green. If not, then you can lay up and then use a wedge. When you stand on top of it, you feel like you are on top of the world.”

Beem won the 2002 PGA Championship. He lives in Austin.

Jack Burke Jr.

Hole 8 Cypress Creek Course, Champions Golf Club, Houston
Par 3, 186 yards

Tee-wise, you can play it with a wedge all the way to a 3-iron. There is tremendous pin play.”

Burke won the 1956 Masters and PGA Championship. He lives in Houston.

Chad Campbell

Hole 18 Cypress Creek Course, Champions Golf Club, Houston
Par 4, 459 yards

It is a classic hole, with the trees surrounding the fairway, and I just love the bunkering of the green. I can hit a perfect draw off the tee, and it just looks good to my eye. Of course, it is special because that hole was the site of my first win on the PGA Tour, at the Tour Championship in 2003.”

Campbell won the 2003 Tour Championship. He lives in Colleyville.

Chuck Cook

Hole 5 Dallas National Golf Club, Dallas
Par 3, 225 yards

You hit the tee shot over a canyon where there is a steep drop to the left of the green. Anything that is hit short is not necessarily in the canyon, but you will find yourself in really high rough or the bunker. In the inaugural Texas Grand Slam, in 2005, Tom Kite was the only guy to hit the green. Ben Crenshaw, Justin Leonard, and Mark Brooks couldn’t make it.”

Cook, who coached Tom Kite and Payne Stewart, lives in Austin.

Ben Crenshaw

Hole 5 Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth
Par 4, 472 yards

This hole is one of the best examples of the talent of designer Perry Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell was hired by Colonial prior to the U.S. Open in 1941 to redo holes three through five. This trio of holes is referred to as the ‘horrible horseshoe.’ The fifth hole is a demanding par 4 that plays along a bend of the Trinity River. The tee shot is scary, and only a well-executed shot will suffice. The long second shot is to a tightly trapped green. A par is a good score.”

Crenshaw won the Masters in 1984 and 1995. He lives in Austin.

Todd Hamilton

Hole 9 Dye Course, Stonebridge Ranch Country Club, McKinney
Par 4, 463 yards

The course is very long, with generous fairways and plenty of water to keep things interesting, as well as deep bunkers to punish you if you make a mistake. Hole nine has an elevated tee with water down the right side. The green goes left to right, so you have to cut the ball or have the guts to play out over the water and draw the ball back onto the fairway.”

Hamilton won the 2004 British Open. He lives in Westlake.

Hank Haney

Hole 12 Texarkana Golf Ranch, Texarkana
Par 5, 546 yards

This is one of the prettiest holes you will ever see unless you happen to be at Pebble Beach on number eighteen. The hole is a reachable par 5, with the trees to the right and water to the left that comes into play on your second shot if you go for the green in two. You can miss your second shot in a safe place to the right, but it leaves you with a challenging pitch shot. The small green is very undulating, so there aren’t any easy putts.”

Haney is Tiger Woods’s coach and runs six golf schools in the Dallas area. He lives in Westlake.

Jim Hardy

Hole 16 South Course, Blackhorse Golf Club, Cypress
Par 4, 348 yards

You have two options on the drive: You can take the short route and go for the green over a risky marsh. Or you can lay up to the right, but then you have to play a difficult short-iron shot. Ultimately, you are going to have either a challenging first or second shot. Traditionally, people admire the defensive holes—those that are difficult to make par. But I like the offensive holes, which give you the option to go for it and make a good score. The sixteenth is an offensive hole in that I have made eagle, but I also see people get 10’s.”

Hardy is a two-time Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year and the author of the best-selling instructional book The Plane Truth for Golfers. he lives in Houston.

Sandra Haynie

Hole 18 Timarron Country Club, Southlake
Par 5, 540 yards

When Byron Nelson designed the hole, it was the only hole in Texas where the green was enclosed entirely by water. What I love about it is that after you hit your drive, you have a lot of options. If you catch it with your drive and want to go for it, you can, but it is high risk. If the wind is going into you—I don’t care how hard you hit it—you are not going to make it in two. I usually hit the ball to the left, where there is a higher elevation, which gives me more options, though I did make it in two one time.”

Haynie won the LPGA Championship in 1965 and 1974. She lives in Fort Worth.

Tom Kite

Hole 4 Austin Country Club, Austin
Par 4, 314 yards

It’s a great strategic par 4. Choosing the aggressive tee shot—if successful—leaves a great opportunity for a birdie with a short wedge approach. Playing a more conservative tee shot leaves a significantly more difficult second to the smallest green on the course. This hole provides many opportunities for birdies, but with at least two chances to hit balls in the water, it also provides the opportunity to mess up a good round of golf.”

Kite won the U.S. Open in 1992. He lives in Austin.

Hank Kuehne

Hole 1 Cottonwood Valley Course, TPC

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