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San Antonio:

"Deep in the Heart"

By: Alexander "Sandy" Trapp


Melodic crooners like, Cuomo, Crosby and Autry have all put their mark on this Texas anthem. Proudly heard throughout the state, the lyrics are as much a definition of this great state as cowboys, cattle, oil and sagebrush. It is no surprise how fitting this prideful expression of Texas is as the moniker for the City of San Antonio as well.


San Antonio, the third largest city in Texas is steeped in both a storied history and contemporary fare. Blessed with a vibrant heart, the core of San Antonio and its famed Riverwalk is teaming with energetic exuberance. The downtown area surrounding the Riverwalk is home to a multitude of lavish hotels, vibrant nightlife, and charming romance. Whether a passenger on one of the never-ending parade of a tour boats, on a street trolley or exploring on foot while sampling all the charms of the restaurants, shops and bistros lining the canal, this attraction, Texas’ most coveted destination, is time well spent and a memory of a lifetime.  A few blocks from the heart of the city is San Antonio’s signature, The Alamo. This famous landmark and attraction, pays tribute to the battles waged in the Texas Revolution and is widely considered a monument to those who fought for a greater cause. Taking one of the guided daily tours is a deeply enriching and captivating historical experience. 


A lively Mexicana culture is ingrained into the city. Located a short distance from the Rio Grande and its southern neighbour Mexico, Latino food, music and culture abound. Festivals, carnivals and terrifically authentic Mexican food are a certain draw for those looking for a cross-border taste without the journey. A short jaunt to the hills surrounding the city leads you to Texas wine country. Vineyards producing many world-class vintages dot the landscape providing exciting excursions to relax and treat the taste buds. A destination for the food and culture alone, San Antonio will treat you to an unforgettable experience.


Those looking to add some excitement to a San Antonio get-away will have plenty of choice. The Riverwalk, Sea World, Six Flags, The San Antonio Zoo in Brackenridge Park, Hemisphere Park, the site of the ’68 World’s Fair and the San Antonio Mission Trail are waiting for you and your family to enjoy. Quaint markets, unique cultural enclaves and tons of unique shopping provide thrill seekers, romantics and families alike with an abundance of activities and memories.


Culture and fun are the centerpieces of what a San Antonio excursion has to offer. Authentic Mexicana, world-class attractions and a fine collection of golf facilities, will leave the memories of your San Antonio visit, “Deep in the Heart.”


San Antonio Golf


Boasting over 50 golf courses ranging from grand historic fairways to highly regarded PGA Tour layouts and everything in between, San Antonio provides variety, challenge and year round fun for those looking for a memorable golf get-away. Here are a few highlights.


TPC San Antonio: Play where the PGA plays.

The newest facility in San Antonio is one that followers of the PGA will be familiar. TPC San Antonio at the J.W. Marriott is the current home of the Texas Open. The resort features two distinctly different golf experiences.


The Canyons, playing up to 7100 yards, is an artful Pete Dye creation that weaves its way over and around rolling hillsides highlighted by trademark Dye contours and bunkers. The Canyons has a wonderful mix of elevation change, windswept fairways and tricky greens. Surrounded by a 700 acre nature preserve, you are graced with a feeling of tranquility, while the routing challenges all your game can muster. This forgiving resort course provides all the charms and visuals of a Dye design, without the severe demands accustomed to some of his layouts. The Canyons is an inviting test that won’t disappoint.


The Oaks, designed by Hall of Famer Greg Norman, is a pure beast. Host to the PGA Tour’s best talent, its 7435 yards feature tight fairways, deep, steep-faced bunkers, exposed rock cuts and huge multi-tiered greens. Forcing both control and length from the tee, this layout demands precision and the ability to shape shots to put yourself in a position to score well. The par three 16th with the backdrop of the magnificent resort complex has a strategic bunker in the middle of the green, providing a multitude of challenges. The finishing hole with its meandering stream splitting the fairway and guarding the right side of the green is a great risk-reward hole and fitting end to a golf experience you won’t soon forget. Played from the correct tees The Oakes is a magnificent challenge that will give you that PGA tour player feeling.


Brackenridge Park: A Special Place to Celebrate Golf History.

Not many cities can boast of a Tillinghast in its collection of municipal facilities. This beautiful piece of golf history is a trip back in time to an era of persimmon. Short by today’s standards, this course finds its defense in the narrow winding fairways framed by stately trees. Over hanging limbs make this feel tighter than it is, forcing many shaped shots to navigate your way to the large green complexes true to Tillinghast style. Many options present themselves on each hole, so those with finesse and touch are rewarded on this strategic routing. Home of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, a recent multi-million dollar renovation was completed on this original host to the PGA’s Texas Open. As part of the Alamo City Golf Trail, featuring 5 other city owned courses, Brackenridge Park is an historic, grand golf experience and should be a part of any itinerary in San Antonio. Walking the hallowed grounds like many of the legends of golf have, the history alone is worth the visit.

The Quarry Golf Club: Dramatic Golf.

Minutes from downtown, nestled amongst a contemporary residential and commercial community built from the remains of a once thriving quarry, The Quarry Golf Club is a tale of two distinct nines. The front side is a rolling links-style treat, framed by tall native grasses, strategic bunkering and water in play on six holes. Despite being relatively short by today’s standards, this side is no push over. The par 3’s need a true swing to avoid the watery dangers. Navigating the strategic bunkering requires deft shot-making on this opening sequence. It is the perfect beginning to what awaits you after the turn.

The back nine is a different world unto itself. Carved from a hundred year old white stone quarry, you are greeted by a design that is both boldly stunning and challenging. Routed along and over the ridges of exposed rock faces, the layout throws a stern test at your game. Avoiding the rock ledges and outcrops is half the battle, picking the right amount of risk for the desired reward is another thing entirely. The closing trio of holes each present plateau fairways and steep drop-offs that demand both skill and courage to conquer.


Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club: Twenty-Seven ways to Enjoy.

In the western reaches of the city amid the rolling hills, a charming 27 hole family-friendly facility awaits. The Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club is home to a three-some of nines, the Creeks, Lakes and Oakes. A blend of tight, tree-lined fairways, challenging water hazards and tempting risk-reward holes have been carefully sculpted by legendary designer Arthur Hills. Playability is a premium, with a great mix of challenging options presented to golfers of all abilities. Located in the shadows of Sea World and the thrill rides in the distance, Hill Country may not provide you with the heart stopping free falls, but it will present a perfect location to spend a day on the links with your buddies or someone special. Combine a stay here with one of the custom spa packages at the Hyatt for an all encompassing treat to yourself.


Places to Stay:


Westin Riverwalk: Where the action is.

The ideal place for those looking for the ultimate Riverwalk experience. Located on the water, you will be pampered with the Westin touch of personal service and luxury. A contemporary Italian menu awaits you at Zocca, either in the casual dining room or on the glorious riverside patio. In the heart of the entertainment district, you will be steps to the Alamo, River Center Shopping Center and all the food and nightlife you can handle. Relax in the outdoor heated pool, or feel all the stress of life leave you with a visit to the Woodhouse Day Spa for that memorable experience.


J.W. Marriott: San Antonio Hill Country: Sheer Grandure

Opened in 2010 this palatial 1000 room complex facility is state-of-the-art. Including 85 suites, numerous restaurants, boutique shopping and the 6 acre River Bluffs Water Experience on site, it is a destination unto itself. At this family-friendly resort activities abound for both children and parents alike. Hiking through the property’s 600 acres including its 100 acre bird sanctuary, or rejuvenating with a treatment at Latana Spa, these are just a couple of the terrific ways to spend time relaxing and reconnecting between rounds at the TPC San Antonio.  

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa: Charming solitude.

Nestled in the western reaches of the city, this 500 room facility provides a sprawling, charming ranch-like feel. The casual elegance of the hotel is complimented with 27 holes of golf at your doorstep, a 4 acre water-park, and many other family friendly activities. Relax with a treatment at the world class Wildflower Spa, or experience the bike trails, a hike or sample one of the 6 on-site restaurants.






























Grand Traverse

Brackenridge Park


Bay Harbor

TPC Canyons



The Quarry



Photography: Courtesy of SACVB