The Alamo is something that we should NEVER forget.
 San Antonio’s River Walk is something that you WON’T EVER forget.
 Play the wrong tees at TPC San Antonio and it will be a round that you will want to Forget!

The Alamo

It is the most visited widely visited historical site in Texas; The Alamo is a cultural icon where tragically all 180 American soldiers lost their lives.  “Remember the Alamo” The battle cry in the Texans struggle for independence from Mexico will live on forever, immortalized in song and a young lad named Davey Crockett.

The Alamo Plaza in Downtown San Antonio is only a short walk from the city’s world renowned River Walk, a 15 mile urban waterway.  You can stroll the sub terrain ecosystem or you can hop aboard a river barge for a guided tour.  The River Walk is adorned with bars, restaurants, shopping and sightseeing!  Something for everyone to explore – what’s old, what’s new!

San Antonio founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731.  Now the seventh largest city in the State anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion colloquially known as the “Texas Triangle”. The Greater San Antonio and Greater Austin areas are separated from each other by a few miles about an hour along I-35.

River Walk

If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavours of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like San Antonio.

Our home for our visit to San Antonio was (go figure!) a Marriott property, keeping with the historical theme the Sheraton Gunter Hotel now celebrating its 110th anniversary is listed on the national Registry of Historic Places.  Located in the heart of the downtown area the short drive to golf from the iconic hotel was more than made up for in the evenings.  In the hotel you will need to check out Bar 414, great selection of cocktails and even suitable for a light meal.

The Hotel is two blocks away from the River Walk and less than a 10 minute walk from The Alamo.

The Quarry Golf Course

Speaking of golf, our first taste of San Antonio golf was the unique Quarry Golf Course about 15 minutes from the downtown area. The two nines have a completely different feel and although it is on the shortish side by today’s standards you don’t really notice as you have enough water and quarry to distract and challenge your every shot.

The front nine plays like a links layout, but with rolling hills and water coming into play on most holes.  Beware on the first hole – a drive long and right could find the greenside pond.

The back side circles around the inside of the old quarry walls, with a couple of holes requiring you to choose your line to pick a distance to carry solid rock walls to reach the fairway.  Greens were slick, undulating but fair.

Our group would highly recommend some sort of a meal in the clubhouse.  Great food and friendly staff throughout!

Daa Da, Daa Da just like in the Jaws movie we were soon to be engulfed in the grip of The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

What you need to know about enjoying this challenge is NOT to bite off more than you can chew!  Not the walk in the park that many PGA Tour sites are.  I was playing with a couple of guys that were definitely lower handicaps than myself.  I am usually very comfortable playing any course up to 6,500 yards, so I was not too concerned about playing the “Players” tees at 6,600 yards.  Wrong, not even thinking about the wind on the first tee…not only did I find it to be a little too much but so did the others!

I found the fairways generally easy to hit but usually leaving long irons into very large but well protected greens.  My sand wedge got a very good work out!  Oh yes, the putter did too!  Highlight of the day – a par on the infamous par 3 – 16th with the pin tucked smack dab behind the pot bunker in the middle of the green.  Only 154 yards – 4 Rescue into the wind to 10 feet – just missed the putt.

The Clubhouse and the JW Marriott on property are exquisite and although we did not stay we did tour the property with a revisit to the 18 Oaks for a lunch overlooking the 18th hole of the Oaks.  I would highly recommend this stop as you will see in the little video.

TPC San Antonio opened in January 2010 with two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two of golf’s most innovative architects: Pete Dye and Greg Norman. Both courses have played host to TOUR events with the AT&T Oaks Course serving as the venue for the PGA TOURs Valero Texas Open since 2010. The AT&T Canyons Course was the site of the San Antonio Championship, a PGA TOUR Champions event.

Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, TPC San Antonio is a private resort only accessible to guests of the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa and Members. As part of the prestigious TPC Network, all visitors will receive the same preferential treatment and exclusive amenities normally reserved for PGA TOUR professionals.

We had the opportunity to play The AT&T Oaks Course, designed by PGA TOUR legend Greg Norman with player consultant Sergio Garcia, reflects the TOUR’s departure from the modern tournament style course (expansive grass areas and spectator mounding) to a more natural look and feel, without sacrificing the fan experience making it very tournament friendly.

Norman took great care to incorporate the distinct nuances and indigenous flora of the natural Hill Country into the course design. The result is a strikingly beautiful course to challenge golfers of all skill levels. The Courses plays host to the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open.

La Margarita

As you might expect in a city with Mexican influence there is an overwhelming selection of such cuisine.  Non more fun than La Margarita located a short walk from our downtown Sheraton Gunter Hotel in the historic Mercado.  Can’t miss it when you get close as flags adorn the walkway.  Our group was fairly large, so we just let them bring us stuff, their choices as was the atmosphere – excellent, and they serve jumbo margaritas – would we expect anything less.

For more information on the TPC San Antonio and JW Marriott

For more information on the fine city of San Antonio