I recently took a friend out to play at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin, TX. He was in town for a visit and I wanted to take him to a course that is a challenge from the back tees, but is also a fair course for someone to play who is just a weekend golfer. Avery Ranch is also ranked 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest. And for good reason.
There are plenty of dramatic holes at Avery Ranch, and the greens were in pretty good shape -- especially considering the fact that we had been suffering a huge drought.
The marshals were all fairly young guys, which was new to me. Usually it seems like courses have retirees (who can be grumpy at times) working as marshals. At Avery Ranch, the marshals were friendly and stopped to talk to us to see how our round was going each time they came around. And if we were playing slow, they talked to us like adults when they asked us to pick up the pace a little. They weren't rude which won over huge points with me.
Now back to the golf -- the 18th hole at Avery Ranch is a seriously challenging closer. It is a long par-4 but typically you can't hit driver because the fairway slopes away from you and to the left, right into Avery Lake. If you know the course, you know to not hit a driver.
All in all this was a course I would recommend to anyone. It is fairly priced, not over-crowded, and relaxing to play. The bar inside provided to perfect place to unwind over a beer and a burger.