The Panhandle Plains presents one of Texas’s most authentic golf experiences, a chance to soak in—and golf up—the state’s most fun, affordable, and off-the-beaten-path courses at every turn. In this high expansive country, the ranch roads roll through the rugged sprawl and 70-plus remote golf towns, each of them inexplicably friendly and fun, all randomly scattered across the Caprock ranchlands and cotton fields.  Up here a wanderer can discover such treasures as Palo Duro Canyon, the Canadian River, and the McClellan Creek and Rita Blanca National Grasslands. The big country and wide-open, blue Texas skies tempt you to relax, but if you yearn for a shot of golf adrenaline, larger cities like Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls offer Texas charm along with a beaucoup of quality, big city golf that is easy on the wallet.

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Abilene: Gateway to West Texas, this farming, ranching, and oil town is the perfect jumping-off point for excursions into the “Big Country,” where the surrounding small towns like Hawley, Anson, Albany, and Baird take great pride in their golf courses. But the highlight in this friendly town is 1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody’s Diamondback Golf Club, a well maintained, mature facility that has all of the traits of a PGA Tour quality course.

Amarillo: Treasure of the Panhandle and sliced by the famous Route 66, this friendly hub city boasts two championship facilities that offer some of the best public golf values in the state. Both the Ross Rogers Municipal Golf Course and the Comanche Trail Golf Complex offer 18 holes of high quality, low-key, entertaining golf.

Lubbock: Architect Tom Doak’s masterpiece, the Rawls Course at Texas Tech, was sculpted from the High Plains cotton country into one of the region’s most impressive courses, and this college town is rich with affordable public courses that are fun to play and void of crowds.

San Angelo: At the crossroads of the Chihuahuan Desert, Hill Country, and Rolling Plains, San Angelo’s ranching heritage is as historic and authentic as the amazing landscape. The highlight here is the links-style Quicksand Golf Course, laid out near the Concho River and named for its desert influence and the prominent use of sand in more than 100 bunkers.

Seminole: Snuggling the New Mexico border and surrounded by cotton and oil fields, Seminole is an unlikely, but rewarding High Plains rest stop. Up here the Gaines County Golf Course is a famous 18-hole gem known region-wide for its excellent greens and a historic 1963 exhibition match between Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. 

Road Trips

Roam the cotton and oil country, wave at a cowboy in a mud-splattered pickup, and explore the empty roads, big ranches, and small towns filled with people who embody the state’s famed friendliness. In this vast region, seemingly every stop has a community that embraces the game of golf.

Up north, the surreal beauty of the sand-sage prairies are hidden away in one of the outlying areas of Texas, and in towns like Canadian, Shamrock, and Childress there is golf that most folks never get to experience.

Dumas: Fifty miles north of Amarillo, the rugged Canadian River country flattens out into vast farmlands where Dumas serves as an agricultural hub. The 1951 Pheasant Trails Golf Course is known for well-watered fairways and two distinct 9-hole routes: one a Scottish-links style and the other, more traditional with mature trees squeezing nicely manicured fairways.

Eden: Lovely little Eden is on the edge of the oak-covered Hill Country and popular with traveling golfers because of its lush Concho Springs Golf Course.

Brownwood: Dead center in the heart of Texas, Brownwood boasts the Hideout Golf Club, located on Lake Brownwood and becoming known for its natural, rolling terrain, charming lakes and ponds, and an enticing stay-and-play package.

Floydada: This Pumpkin Capital of the U.S. is home to the fabulous Floydada Country Club and one place you do not want to miss if you’re touring the High Plains for golf. It’s worth the drive. Located in historic Blanco Canyon with elevation changes of as much as 150 feet, the course is unbelievably fun, with greens as good as any in Texas.

Graham: The appeal of this town, located in an area of stunning beauty and next to one of Texas’s most beautiful lakes (Possum Kingdom), is enhanced by a large downtown square. Long known as a top-ranked 9-holer, the Graham Country Club has a gorgeous Hill Country feel with narrow fairways lined by enormous old oak trees.