Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Location: TPC San Antonio/JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

While some might remember the Alamo and Davey Crockett and the gang, my thoughts go to TPC San Antonio, home to two spectacular golf courses designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman and the amenity-laden JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.

My memories harken to playing golf in a spectacular hill country setting that makes you feel like you're hundreds of miles from downtown San Antonio. (Downtown is only 18 miles away) Once you get done with golf, the JW Marriott San Antonio was specifically designed with golfers in mind with features like a mammoth sports bar with Texas size televisions, a spacious lobby bar where you can sink into comfy leather chairs and lots of places to lounge outside around a fireplace and discuss the highs and lows of your golf round with a single malt scotch or frosty brew in hand.


The quality of golf at TPC San Antonio is verified by this simple fact: It is only one of three properties in the country to host two PGA TOUR events each year (the other two are TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach). The AT&T Oaks Course plays host to the Valero Texas Open and the AT&T Canyons Course is host to the Champions Tour AT&T Championship.

AT&T Oaks course

Designed by Greg Norman and PGA TOUR player consultant Sergio Garcia, the Oaks has a good balance of wide and more narrow tree-lined fairways. Highlights include downhill holes that play into the prevailing wind and uphill holes that play downwind, Champion Bermuda greens and lots of native grasses and plants.

AT&T Canyons Course

Designed by Pete Dye and PGA TOUR player consultant Bruce Lietzke, the Canyons has dramatic elevation changes and a plethora of Hill Country views as well as panoramas of a 750-acre nature preserve. The rugged hills are dotted with oak and cedar trees. The greens are quick and true.


Overlooking the AT&T Oaks Course, the 42,000 square foot clubhouse has outdoor decks with golf course views, full-service men's and women's locker rooms and a hallway dotted with dozens of vintage black and white photos of Texas golf legends and icons.

For dining, the 18 Oaks restaurant at the clubhouse offers prime cuts and traditional steakhouse fare as well as a bountiful Sunday Brunch loaded with gourmet style delicacies.


Tasteful appointments in metals, tooled leather, carved wood and hewn stonework are plentiful in each of the 1,002 rooms and 85 suites at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.

I stayed in a 460 square-foot Deluxe Room, which has a Marriott Revive Bed, 37 inch LCD HDTV, work desk and separate shower and bathtub.

Main hotel amenities:
--Lantana Spa
--Seven dining options
--River Bluff Water Experience with six acres of heated pools, fountains, waterfalls, rivers and poolside lounges
--BMW Experience
--High Velocity Sports Bar
--Crooked Branch Lobby Bar

10 Little Things I liked

1. The comfortable sitting area on the back veranda with views of the fountains, flowers and golf course in the distance. On a cool evening you can enjoy a warm libation around one of the fireplaces.

2. World-class onion rings at the High Velocity sports bar. Order them with a Shiner Bock on draft and you'll have the perfect celebration after a round of golf.

3. Seven fluffy pillows on my king size bed with European style bedding.

4. The tribute to champions hallway at the TPC San Antonio clubhouse that's dotted with vintage photographs of Texas golf icons like Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and Lee Trevino.

5. The spacious lobby bar appointed with rich leather furnishings, tall ceilings and towering windows with views of the fountain.

6. The amazing Sunday brunch at 18 Oaks.

7. The test drive BMWs available to guests.

8. The expansive pool area with a winding speed slide.

9. The proximity of the clubhouse and golf courses which are just a few steps from the back of the hotel.

10. Fantastic sunrises you'll see from the balcony of your room.


TPC San Antonio and the JW Marriott San Antonio are located 12 miles from the international airport and 18 miles north of downtown San Antonio.


The experts on Texas golf travel are Texas Bound For Golf, a company that can design packages to JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa as well as destinations like Austin, Dallas, Houston and other areas of the state.

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