Lifestyle

Sunbelt South


In the sprawling state of Texas, the land is mostly flat and monotonous. But not Austin. The capital city and the adjacent "Hill Country" are easily the best parcels of real estate in the Lone Star state. Shaped by the Red River and nearby Lake Travis, the green, rolling hills provide some of the country's best golf course topography.

Even better, the town is passionate about golf, partly because of the late teaching guru Harvey Penick. Natives Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw also put the area on the golf map. Sprinkle in a thriving college atmosphere around the University of Texas, plus the hustle and bustle of political life, and Austin may just be one of the busiest small cities in America.

GOLF AND NATURE. The Osage Native American tribe knew this area was special centuries before the first fairway was ever built. Luckily, golf hasn't detracted from the beauty along the meandering Lake of the Ozarks in west central Missouri.

The lake has been a family vacation destination for years, but golf is now rivaling water-related activities, with a number of quality courses built along the water. In fact, our research shows that Lake of the Ozarks leads in 18-hole equivalent courses per avid golfer. If ever there was an area where golf blended with nature, this is it. The low cost of living is also appealing.

MUSIC AND GOLF. Branson, Mo., was once just a dot on the map. But in the last decade, the country music industry has adopted it as a home away from Nashville and transformed it into a huge tourist attraction.Where there are money-spending tourists and scenic land, golf courses will soon follow. Located northeast of Fayetteville, Ark., and south of Springfield, Mo., this region has quickly grown into a great golf destination.


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