The Bandit Golf Club
Opened for play in November 1997, The Bandit continues to receive rave reviews from everyone who has played it. The staff is friendly and helpful. The greens are fast and undulating. There is plenty of water and bunkers and some holes are quite scenic. There are well placed bunkers and trees. The eighteenth hole, called "Long Creek" is a par 5 uphill to a tight green nestled behind a tree that can make or break a round. Depending on the wind, it can be played several different ways. You can make par, but you may end up with a triple or quad. Number 1 hole is called "Blind Date" and Number 2 is called "Two Much Too Soon." You get the picture. But while a scratch player would find this course very challenging, the five sets of tee boxes make this course inviting for all level of golfers.
Distance: About 45 minutes from downtown. Take I-35 to New Braunfels. Exit 187 (the Lake McQueeney exit) and turn right at the light onto FM 725. Course is about 5 miles on the left.
Food: In the tradition of the old German settlers of the Texas Hill County, the Bandit recently opened a bona fide grill. They are serving hamburgers, hotdogs and a great sausage dog (with sausage from Grandzin's). They also have fried appetizers!
|Stone (W)||71||5204 yards||70.2||121|
|Copper (W)||71||4408 yards||66.0||113|
|Gold M: 73.7/134||421||241||520||341||403||209||550||401||459||3545||417||189||468||185||369||624||424||155||533||3364||6909|
|Green M: 70.9/128||381||214||485||317||384||188||522||379||418||3288||399||163||425||162||322||574||407||137||491||3080||6368|
|Blue M: 68.6/124 W: 73.8/130||358||199||465||295||361||168||502||355||372||3075||336||138||406||143||309||492||388||108||452||2772||5847|
|Stone M: 65.4/110 W: 70.2/121||334||163||439||295||326||141||465||333||278||2774||306||138||366||136||260||415||349||108||352||2430||5204|
|Copper M: 62.7/105 W: 66.0/113||255||104||429||276||246||100||385||268||278||2341||296||117||292||92||200||370||285||89||326||2067||4408|
Food & BeverageFood & Beverage
Available FacilitiesConference Facilities, Banquet Facilities
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Texas
Cool layout between Austin and San Antonio
I’ve lived in Texas since 2008 and the Bandit has been hyped up to me by a lot of area golfers. With the Austin munis closed due to Covid I figured now was the time to make the hour drive. It’s very popular course right now and getting a good tee time is tough. Plan ahead!
It’s a Keith Foster design from the late 1990s and has some good hole variety and elevation changes. When the turf is dry you’ll want to be conservative off a few tee boxes. There is a short par 4 on each nine which I always like and some elevated tees. (There sure are a lot of power lines on the horizon.) The back nine is a little cooler than the front. I especially liked most of the holes on the back nine especially 12 and 18.
Great service: the cold towels on the back nine were awesome on a 100-degree day and I can’t remember a round where the bev cart came around so often.
I think I like Landa Park’s charm, walkability and value a little more when I’m in New Braunfels but the Bandit compares favorably to most if not all the suburban semi-private courses in Austin. For atx golfers like me shut out from their munis for awhile I’d make the trip.
Hill Country fun at the Bandit...
Tucked away in the side pocket of New Braunfels you'll find the Bandit. It's somewhat of a hidden gem being in a smaller town, but folks from San Antonio to Austin know it's worth the traffic on 35.
The course is situated in a small, friendly neighborhood and you'll find the hospitality you expect in Texas from all the staff.
The pro shop, dining area, and practice green are modest, but have everything you need to get ready for the main attraction.
From the start you get a good idea what to expect... number 1 starts with a blind tee shot before you shuffle over to number 2 (a long, uphill par 3) for a rude awakening.
It's a roller coaster the rest of the way. Elevation changes are abundant and you'll find lots of raised greens and false fronts.
The fairways are often generous, but tight enough to keep you honest. There are a few creeks and lakes to keep your attention too. And the true rolling greens will challenge you.
I am particularly fond of holes 4 and 14, which are both short par 4s. The tee shot on 8 provides a stellar view and hole 16 is a lesson in strategy.
The price is a bit on the premium side, but the course is too. I think you get exactly what you pay for.
Long story short, add this course to your list.
Unique, challenging, fun, and frustrating
There is a lot to like about this course, and a few things that you could pick on. This golf course comes at you with a lot of challenging shots, and a varied collection of holes where each is distinct from the others. The course sits on naturally rolling land and some of the coolest features of the course take advantage of that; the green complex on #5 being a great example. That said, at times the design leans too heavily on elevated tees which detracted from the routing and reduces the walkability of the course greatly.
Lastly, and I hate to be that guy, but the green speeds were actually too much and detracted from the fun of the round. I have played thousands of rounds on hundreds of golf courses, including Tour stops within days of the event and at world class top ranked courses. I don't recall ever playing faster greens.
First time to play the course, it was in excellent shape, greens were quick. It is challenging if you are not use to elevation changes, hitting from different slopes. Definitely will play again when back in New Braunfels. It was very hot, but the scented cold towels was a hit.
Fun course - good condition
Played The Bandit with 7 other guys today for the first time. Staff was friendly upon on arrival. Saw the Marshall numerous times out on the course- he even helped one of our guys find an errant shot in some high rough. We played one set up of tees up from the back tees - about 6400 yards. Several fairly long par threes and medium length par 4’s mixed in with a few 320-350 yard holes. The course is pretty open from the tee for the most part so plenty of room for hitting driver. Greens were about average speed for a public course. Fairways were decent - didn’t really have any bad lies in the fairway all day. The tee sheet was booked solid in the morning so the round took 4.5 hours. You get to hit a lot of the clubs in your bag, but open enough where you don’t get beat up on wayward shots.
Excellent Layout near SA
A forgiving layout near the lovely New Braunfels, The Bandit (with a racoon rather than a Burt Reynolds Logo!) is nice hilly layout with some forgiving, but also some tight and tricky holes.
Fairways and greens are in pretty solid shape when I played. If you hit the fairway you generally had an excellent lie. Greens fairly true.
Very Slow Play
Great course. Great staff. However, they allow 5 somes during the week which are very slow. Course Marshall said they were members, so nothing he could do about it. 9 groups backed up behind one group with 5 open holes in front of them. Great course if you have all day to play in the hot Texas sun. Recommend you play elsewhere. Slow 5 somes = miserable round
Favorite course south of Austin
This course is amazing. It is not boring, straight and un-challenging fairways like many of the courses in NB/San Marcos. This course tests you and I loved every second of it,
Still a must play
I first played The Bandit in 2000. The scenery has changed a lot. More homes and some of the trees have grown up. Great greens but if you don’t play this course on a regular basis you will lose some strokes putting hitting it on the wrong side. Pin placement was tough this day. Beverage cart came around every 3-4 holes. Only #18 green had some issues but all the others were in excellent shape. Fairways are plenty wide. It’s the approach shots that make this course tough. Definitely playing it again...sooner than later now that I’m retired.
The Bandit is an appropriate name for this course. Hazards lurk off the tee in places that will sneak up and get you if you aren’t familiar with the course layout. Many of the landing areas get pinched by crossing creeks or bunkers. The course plays on and around a hill making undulations plentiful. A good mix of short and longer holes throughout the course can be found. If the wind gets up, it could play fairly difficult because most of the greens are perched on a hill and are very well guarded. Greens and bunkers were in great shape. Not overly fast, but putted smoothly and held balls hit into them nicely. The fairways could use some help in spots, as parts were dormant still without much thatch to grow in. I’m guessing a couple more months of sunshine would help the Bermuda grow in much nicer. The super twilight rate after 4 is a good value during the week. Just be prepared to possibly run into a “6-some” money match or two. I played through easily after a hole or so. Overall, the Bandit was one of the better San Antonio area courses I’ve played. Definitely worth the play if you’re in the area and are looking for something new.
The fairways/greens were in great shape and hole #12 has to be the signature hole.
I have always heard great things about The Bandit and let me tell you it lived up to the hype. Fun course with unique names for each hole. I live in Austin and It was definitely worth the drive. The pace was slow but its a tough track.
From tee to green, it was in great condition. Greens were quick but rolled true. Fairways were firm enough to roll out but soft enough to take divots.
Loved holes 12 and 13 nestled back on a pond.
Closing out 2016
The weather wasn't exactly what the weatherman had forecasted, but the chilly air backed by a pretty decent breeze was made better by good golf at a maintained facility. We were met at our car by Player Services and got loaded up on an EZ-Go w/out GPS. They looked to be newer carts since the last time with the most noticeable addition of a windshield, which was a huge necessity for today.
I didn't make it to the range on this day, but the putting green condition & speed was solid and totally matched the on course play. The starter was most cordial and got us off right on time.
The tees, fairways and greens were all green grass, while the rough was dormant. The tees & fairways were mown tight. I found the bunkers to have plenty of sand & rakes available, however many opted out of the raking part. The greens are the star of the facility and they were somewhat firm (most likely from the temps) and in excellent condition. They rolled smooth, true & with somewhat fast pace.
Pace of play was on point as we completed our round in 4h18m. We never waited and really only on #18 where it got the best of a couple of guys in our group were we waited on.
Bottomline, w/ the exception of a couple holes you pretty much see what you get. The tee to fairway elevation change offers some views as well as a few more yards to your drive. If you're from the big city the green fee is pretty much in line with what you're paying at comparable metropolitan venues and the experience is probably the same.
Bandit is out of
Great golf course and tough layout far from the city life. Well worth the drive when there is actually a marshal on the course moving the groups along. We played in over 5+ hours and finished in the dark because there was no course management. Pro shop staff weren't overly friendly and just pushed us out of their hair as quickly as they could. Course was in sold shape.
Chasing the Lion
Perfect day for an after work round. Headed right to the first tee after hitting a few putts. Noticed driving up the greens appeared sandy and the practice green confirmed it. They still rolled decent and the green fee was fair with the condition. In a few days I suspect the greens will be rolling true and fast. The greens offer some extreme and some subtle slope as well as some have areas that if they catch your ball could funnel it back off. Just adds to the challenge of picking a good aiming point and the right club. Otherwise the course conditions were top notch. The tees & fairways were tightly mowed, the rough was dense, but not overgrown and the bunkers were sandy and maintained. The course is pretty much see what you get. There are holes that you need to play the ground slice for position or added distance and getting yourself to aim far enough right to cut the corner on #14 can be a mental challenge.
Solid write up, I appreciate your input.
*Update* I played on 9/18/2016 and the sand top dress had settled. The greens rolled well, but we're still a little more firm. Overall mint conditions.
Except Number 5. That is just flat out a stupid hole. Otherwise great shape and great course!
Unexpected full refund
In town for a wedding and I only had 1 day to play so I went to the course and they were able to fit me in with a threesome, after playing 6 holes on the 7th we had heavy rain. Everyone went to the pro shop for a rain check, unable to return in the near future I explained my problem and with out asking they REFUNDED my entire green fee and club rental. WOW!!! Never expected that, but have been telling everyone since!!! Great job!!!
Great Student Rates
During the weekdays you can play 18 with a cart for $20 if you show your college ID. Great deal for a excellent course!
A few holes that are a little funky but once you play it a time or two you know where you can miss it and where you can't.
Very Challenging course
I knew I should have been warned when the staff stated I would be back for more golf balls on the 9th hole. Very hard course to par but its a beautiful course and is worth the money to play if you want a challenge.