Course Review: Ft. Sam Houston Golf Club - Salado Del Rio Course

Ft. Sam Houston Golf Club – Salado Del Rio Course With San Antonio being affectionately known as “Military City U.S.A.” it would seem obvious that much of the prime real estate in the area is property of Uncle Sam. However, during these times of B.R.A.C (base realignment and closure), even the military must do the corporate restructure shuffle.

Long ago the Department of Defense established Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs for the troops, but in recent history, many of the programs needed to become more self sufficient. Among those included golf course operations. 

Indeed, many fine and historical courses are part of the military inventory. Unfortunately, some were forced to close their doors. Lucky for the enthusiasts in San Antonio, the courses at Ft. Sam Houston have done what seemed impossible in years past – they are open to the public, not just the military.

This review took us to the Salado Del Rio Course at Ft. Sam Houston. Like many other historical courses in the country, as well as others in our own backyard, Salado was designed by famed course architect A.W. Tillinghast. That alone is reason enough to play this tract. But just as improvements were made to Henry Ford’s Model T, some changes to a Tillinghast must be made to keep up with the times.

The tees have been reworked and the greens were made to be more undulating, adding to the challenge of this long-time favorite. In addition the overall course length was stretched to exceed 6,500-yards.

Most of the fairways are lined with mature trees, adding to the experience, the holes along the Salado Creek are a perfect balance of scenery and shot making requirement. Some consider Salado the more scenic of the two courses at Ft. Sam Houston – but you’ll get my take when we do our review of LaLoma Grande in the very near future.

One of the unique experiences of playing golf on a military installation comes if you have a very early tee time, or are on the course later in the day. You get to experience either reveille or retreat; the signaling of the beginning or ending of the duty day.

I played Ft. Sam back in the day, and to get back out there now is a real treat. The changes that have been made are amazing, and have helped make Salado Del Rio one of the most popular courses in all of San Antonio. The condition, the layout, the location and the price – all make it a must play.


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