\ Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Fazio Foothills Course, Austin, Texas - A Tom Fazio Signature Golf Course With Plenty of Visual Impact and Challenge

Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Fazio Foothills Course, Austin, Texas - A Tom Fazio Signature Golf Course With Plenty of Visual Impact and Challenge

Barton Creek Resort & Spa can boast four championship golf courses designed by some of the best-known and most respected names in golf: Crenshaw, Palmer and Fazio. The first course to open at the resort was the Fazio Foothills in 1986.

The Fazio Foothills course features some dramatic fairways lined by cliffs and natural limestone caves, as well as waterfalls, and provides plenty of visual impact as well as elevation change. Fazio placed a premium in this design on long, accurate drives and, when combined with small greens with undulating aprons and grass bunkers, shot-making is the order of the day on the Foothills course.

The course got an update in 2004, with Fazio representatives consulted on where to add yardage and tees to improve the layout and the challenge. The course also received new grass on the fairways and greens, while gaining nearly 200 extra yards. The 18-hole, par-72 course now plays to 7,125 yards from the longest tees.

Most courses have a signature hole or two, but it's been said that the Foothills course makes it difficult to choose. Hole No. 9 is a dramatic par-3 that always gets some votes. This hole plays to 178 yards from the tips, making it a relatively short hole that also plays downhill. From the tee, players take aim at a split level green which is one of the largest on the course, but slopes severely from top to bottom. Tee shots must carry a casade of creeks and waterfalls to safely reach this putting surface.

Hole No. 10 is a par-4 that also gets some votes. From the tee to the fairway there's a drop-off of nearly 100 feet and finding the fairway can appear daunting from the tee box. If players can avoid the water and sand on the left and a tree on the right, they have a chance of reaching a fairly small green and making a good score.

Hole No. 16 also gets some votes. This is a dangerous par-4 that plays to 422 yards and is annually ranked as one of the pretiest and most difficult in the state. From the tee, there's a tunnel-like driving area that leads to a much more expansive landing area. For players who get a good look at the green on their second shot, they'll find the putting surface guarded in the front by a large, watery drop-off and a thunderous waterfall that can be a bit distracting when putting.

The finishing hole at Fazio Foothills is a par-5 that plays to 560 yards from the tips, and always gets some notoriety as one of the best finishing holes to be found. Along the way, golfers will encounter an abandoned bat cave and an elevated green that's fronted by a canyon.

Since its opening, Fazio Foothills has set the standard for golf at the Barton Creek Resort, and garnered a number of awards. The Foothills Course has been rated the #1 Resort Course in Texas for many years, and has been ranked as high as #4 in the country. It has also been host to the Champions Tour Legends of Golf tournament.

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