Big Bend Country

It won’t take long, you’ll see. The golf gods will lure you into the wide-open spaces of far West Texas, where there are no crowds, no clouds, and the golf roads go on forever.  From Midland to El Paso to the fringes of the Chihuahuan Desert and on down into the depths of Big Bend National Park, it’s much too easy to become addicted to the subtle beauty of playing golf in West Texas. The ridiculously blue skies, intimate desert landscapes, and endless sunsets tease you onto the back roads, where friendly little oil towns such as Andrews, Iraan, and Fort Stockton are blessed with well conditioned courses known for their fast pace of play and great value. And mountain towns like Alpine, Marfa, and Van Horn sit atop high desert plateaus, with great golf courses offering dramatic vistas in every direction.  Go forth, for the calling is true. The laid-back, entertaining golf towns of the Big Bend region are the perfect place to get away, unplug, relax, and nurture the golfer’s soul.

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Try These

Del Rio: San Felipe Springs Country Club is a historic gem built in the 1920’s by famed golf course architect John Bredemus. Still sporting its original layout which winds around three of the largest of its namesake springs, it is a prime example of early-twentieth-century golf course design.

El Paso: Texas’s fourth largest and westernmost city offers over 300 days of sunshine per year, outstanding shopping, authentic Mexican food, impressively old historic sites, and the Franklin Mountains. Painted Dunes is one of the only true desert-style courses in Texas and one of the state’s best, and the new Butterfield Trail Golf Club is a highly rated Tom Fazio-designed public course.

Iraan: Set amidst an oasis in the desert and generally kept in outstanding condition, the 9-hole Iraan Golf Club is one of the gems of small oil town golf and is famous for its friendly clubhouse and fast pace of play.

Midland: The “Tall City” is known for its spectacular sunsets, oil reserves, and imposing skyline but its best kept secret is one of the state’s finest courses—the fabulous Midland Country Club. There are great public golf as well, highlighted by the Hogan Park Golf Course, a long-time institution with two affordable and enjoyable 18-hole courses.

Odessa: Famed for its quiet beauty, authentic oil-hand culture, and the legacy of Friday Night Lights high school football, Odessa is also worthy of a golf excursion based on the first-class Odessa Country Club and the Ratliff Ranch Golf Links, beautifully sculpted out of the West Texas plains into a links-style course reminiscent of the great courses overseas.

Road Trips

Road Trips

Surrounded by rugged West Texas mountains and blessed with perfect weather, Alpine and Marfa are two cloudless little ranch towns loaded with character and are the perfect jumping off points for excursions into Big Bend National Park. With the highest elevations in Texas, these courses provide a special experience, serving up some of the most entertaining, quality greens you’ll ever play and offering phenomenal views of the surrounding mountains. And you just might be lucky enough to encounter a 55-degree late-August evening. The Alpine Country Club and Marfa Municipal Golf Course offer quick playing times and boast unbelievably fun 9-hole layouts with superbly conditioned dome-shaped greens and cleverly designed holes.