Best public course in Austin or San Antonio?
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In San Antonio, both courses at La Cantera are very nice. If you were planning to play 36, I recommend playing 18 at Cedar Creek early in the morning, have lunch at the retail area of La Cantera and then play either the Palmer or Resort Courses at La Cantera in the afternoon. On Golfnow you can get on La Cantera around 2pm for $80. Cedar Creek, while a muni with some rough edges, has an outstanding layout for a very good price (around $45-55 for 18 w/cart). It would serve as a good warmup for La Cantera. Both layouts are very hilly with lots of elevation changes. Plus they are virtually right next to each other.
The Resort Course at La Cantera was the former home of the PGA's Texas Open and the Palmer Course is a typical Arnold Palmer design with lots of fun and interesting holes.