The back nine begins with a majestic par 4. Take out a fairway wood or hybrid and lay up between the two fairway bunkers. A daring (or foolish) long hitter may take advantage of the prevailing wind to drive the green, but a deep valley and tall retaining wall are no place to be if it winds up short. One right side bunker and numerous moguls guard the green. The breaks on this green are gentle, rewarding those who make it on in regulation.
The par 5 11th is straight and wide, but the prevailing left to right wind can make things tricky in a hurry. A number of gnarly fairway bunkers stand ready to “rescue” golf balls from going O.B. Three deep bunkers guard the two-tiered green.
Hole 12 is a primarily easy going downhill par 4. Keep your tee shot low and watch out for the trees left of the fairway. Three bunkers guard an “L” shaped green. The left side of the green with the pot bunkers up front makes for exciting Sunday pin placements.
Like Hole 7, on the par 3 13th you find yourself teeing off atop a hill across a hazard. The trench is smaller here, but the green is two-tiered with a lot of break, the bunkers are deep, and the moguls are many.
Hole 14 is a dogleg right par 4. Like Hole 6, place your tee shot near the left side irrigation box to set up your approach. The fairway will enter a deep valley before emerging at the green. The two-tiered green sits at an angle and slopes considerably back to front while two pot bunkers guard the rear. Hitting the green in regulation and two-putting here is a reward in and of itself.
Hole 15 is an uphill dogleg right par 4. Try placing your tee shot in the open space past the large oak tree on the left. On the approach, aim just left of the farthest visible mogul, which in fact is the lip of a deep greenside bunker so take care not to miss right. Three other pot bunkers guard the heart shaped green.
Many of the right side trees have been removed to increase the playability of this dogleg right par 5. The fairway is much wider today, but numerous trees still await on both sides. If the ball ventures right, take your medicine and punch it out as heroics will be of little use. The fairway moves downhill as it makes its way around the dogleg. Two bunkers guard the rear of this small green at the bottom of the hill.
This par 3 can be fairly straightforward, as long as the wind is calm. The prevailing wind here can require clubbing up two clubs or more. Large moguls and two pot bunkers sit very high on the left side, and the right side offers little refuge. The putting surface is very narrow and deep, but without any significant breaks.
The round closes with a picturesque dogleg left par 4. Stay right of the large left side oak tree, but remain wary of the two right side fairway bunkers. Sticking to the right side of the fairway will help to avoid the numerous trees left and short of the green, and will open the green up for the approach. Three pot bunkers and a handful of moguls guard one more two-tiered green. One of the most amazing views of Lake Travis and the surrounding Hill Country greets you as you make your way back to the clubhouse.
A primarily straight downhill par 4 begins your round at Highland Lakes. Longer hitters can attempt to clear the trees on the left side and set up a nice angle on their approach, otherwise the right side of the fairway just short of the fairway bunker is a great place to start. The green sits at an angle while two bunkers stand guard.
Hole 2 is a primarily uphill dogleg left par 4. Place your tee shot on the base of the hill where the short grass begins. Trees on the left and a right side fairway bunker await errant shots. Many greens at Highland Lakes are two-tiered and slope back to front. The green here is one of them. As you make your trek up the hill, two pot bunkers on each side of the green await your arrival, the right side bunkers providing an especially treacherous up and down.
Hole 3 is a straight par 4 that provides golfers their first real chance to grip it and rip it. The right side fairway bunker can be especially nasty if a ball lands near the lip. The green sits perched across a shallow valley with three greenside bunkers on the left and moguls on the right.
Hole 4 is a par 3 that appears straightforward with its generous lay-up area but it shows its teeth as you near the hole. A long and narrow two-tiered green lies guarded by moguls and three deep bunkers. Do not miss long or right. Laying up near the front of the green is often a wise decision.
Welcome to one of the most beautiful (and difficult) par 4s in Central Texas. Hole 5 is a tight dogleg left with a downhill tee shot crossing a creek. Try a hybrid and place the ball just past the creek to the right of the golf cart bridge. A group of oak trees has taken the right side fairway bunker largely out of play over the years, but the area still stands ready to ensnare tee shots that venture too far. From this point, the creek lines the left side of the fairway toward the back of the green, and rocky outcrops run along both sides. Two bunkers guard the two-tiered green.
Hole 6 is a fairly wide par 5. Clearing the creek on your tee shot is a must. Aim more or less toward the irrigation control box on the left side to set up your next shot. A kidney shaped two-tiered green sits guarded by two long greenside bunkers. Long hitters should watch out for the left side bunker as it juts into the fairway, ready to foil an attempt at hitting the green in two.
Hole 7 is a spectacular par 3. Golfers tee off atop a hill across a gnarly stretch dubbed by one of our honorary members as “Copperhead Canyon”. A small, elevated green awaits across the canyon guarded by three bunkers.
Hole 8 is a winding dogleg left par 5. The fairway starts out wide with ample landing space for your tee shot. A lone fairway bunker on the right side is easily avoided – the trees on the left side are the greater concern. As you near the green, the fairway enters a valley and tapers considerably. A unique feature to the deep two-tiered green is a retaining wall on the right side that must be avoided. In addition, five nearby bunkers help make par on this hole a good score.
Hole 9 is a beautiful and delightfully wicked par 4. Whisper a little prayer to your golf ball as you send it down the blind fairway. Play it safe and hit a hybrid near the lone oak on the left, or try bombing it over the group of trees on the right for the short approach. Three pot bunkers guard a heart shaped green. The slopes are steep on both sides if you miss. Enjoy the view!