San Antonio

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

When Davy Crockett left Tennessee in 1835,
he announced, “You can all go to hell, and
I’ll go to Texas.” Like modern-day visitors to
San Antonio, he headed for the Alamo,
which remains one of the nation’s must-see
historic sites. San Antonio also offers some
of the Lone Star State’s best golf, tasty
Tex-Mex and raucous nightlife along the
River Walk. And if your buddies still aren’t
impressed by all that, well, you know where
they can go.

Pecan Valley Golf Club
7,010 yards, par 71; Greens fees: $49
Designer: J. Press Maxwell

Why it’s worth it: Like the Alamo, Pecan Valley exudes history (if
not in quite the same way). The course hosted the 1968 PGA
Championship, which Arnold Palmer lost by a stroke to Julius
Boros. It was the closest the King ever came to capturing the one
major title that eluded him and you can follow his quest along this
graceful track that has an abundance of mature oak and pecan
trees framing the fairways and greens. Par will feel like a birdie on
18, a 418-yard par 4 that demands you lay up in front of Salado’s
Creek and place all your bets on a 200-plus yard approach.

The Resort Course at La Cantera
7,021 yards; par 72
Greens fees: $140
Designer: Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf
Why it’s worth it: If you think
Texas courses are all as flat as a
tortilla, the Resort Course will
surprise you as it winds up and
down through the Hill Country.
The site of the PGA Tour’s Valero
Texas Open, the Resort Course
starts out as menacing as Clint
Eastwood in a spaghetti Western:
The first hole is a 665-yard dogleg
right with a 125-foot elevation
drop from tee to green. Save the
press bets for No. 7: Not only will
your opponent have to contend
with the 80-foot drop off the tee,
but also a pressure putt beneath
the clearly audible screams from
terrified riders of the Rattler roller
coaster at nearby Six Flags Fiesta
amusement park.

Brackenridge Park Golf Course
6,185 yards, par 72; Greens fees: $34
Designer: A.W. Tillinghast
Why it’s worth it: It’s not every day
you can stroll onto a Tillinghast
course, especially one that will
leave you enough change from $50
to buy a beer and a burger. The
course is short and flat, but is lined
with pecan and palm trees that can
leave errant tee shots as jailed as
the convicts who built the course.

The Palmer Course at La Cantera
6,926 yards, par 71
Greens fees: $140; 210-558-2365
Designer: Arnold Palmer
Why it’s worth it: Arnie used this
hilly landscape to create a course
that challenges players with stark
elevation changes and discreet
hazards, like the rocky streams
that line the property. The hole
you’ll remember is No. 4 , a 188-
yarder that’s all carry over a pond
to a green fronted by waterfalls.

The Alamo is rightfully
everyone’s first
port of call in San
Antonio. And if
you don’t get
goosebumps reading the letters from the
189 men who held off 5,000 Mexican troops
for 13 days, then you may be dead yourself. Admission is free. 201-225-1391,

The NBA’s Spurs are the
pride of San Antonio and
the AT&T Center is electric
on game nights. If you can
score floor seats, you might
catch a glimpse of TV hottie
Eva Longoria, who is often
in attendance to watch her
fiancee, Spurs guard
Tony Parker. 210-444-5050,

The Westin La Cantera Resort, a GOLF
Magazine Gold Medal winner, has two fine
courses, a spa and six swimming pools.
Rooms start at $265. 210-588-6500,

Francesca’s at Sunset (210-558-6500), the
Westin La Cantera’s signature restaurant,
dazzles with a menu created by renowned
Southwestern chef Mark Miller. Hint: Try the
buffalo. Tex-Mex bistro Boudros (210-224-
8484) is the prize of downtown’s River Walk.
Start off with the chile-fried Gulf oysters. For
an after-dinner
drink, Zincoffers
an appealing mix
of hip locals and
tourists, plus a
first-rate wine list.


by Robert Gamez, the 2006
Valero Texas Open winner

WHERE TO DRINK “Hills & Dales Ice
House, a hole-in-the-
wall near La Cantera, has all kinds of
beers. It’s sort of a biker-type bar.”

WHERE TO EAT “I’ve eaten at
Martha’s, a Mexican restaurant near
La Cantera, many times. My cousin
knows the owner—they just bring out
plates for us. It’s hard to get a bad
Mexican meal in San Antonio.”


“Keep the ball in the fairway, or you’ll
have a hard time getting on the
greens. Keep your ball below the
hole—the greens can slope pretty
severely back to front.”

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