1. Barton Creek Resort, Fazio Canyons, Austin.
Par: 72. Yardage: 7,161.
Architect: Tom Fazio, 2000.
Green fee: $175. (Resort guests only). Walking allowed.
Tee time: 512-301-6569.
Stay at: Casa de Campo, 800-877-3643.
Notes: No misprint—the infant Canyons noses out famed Foothills (see No. 2) because the rugged hill-country ranchland isn't marred by McMansions. Yet. Already, the 561-yard finisher is a word-of-mouth sensation.
2. Barton Creek Resort, Fazio Foothills, Austin.
Par: 72. Yardage: 6,956.
Architect: Tom Fazio, 1986.
Green fees: $175 (Resort guests only). Walking allowed.
Tee time: 512-329-4001.
Notes: Notes: A fixture on everyone's top 100 in America. Set beside Austin's aquifer-fed shrine, Barton Creek, the Foothills course boasts four of the state's most beautiful holes—nine, ten, sixteen and eighteen.
3. Painted Dunes, East/West Course, El Paso.
Par: 72. Yardage: 6,925.
Architect: Architect: Ken Dye, 1991.
Green fee: 19$24. Unrestricted walking.
Tee time: 915-821-2122.
Notes: Notes: Dye (no relation to Pete) has created otherworldly solitude and one of the best desert munis in America. A totally unique track, the Dunes' mounding and zippy, bent greens have drawn three Q-school qualifiers. Chihuahuan sunsets rock.
4. Texas Star, Euless.
Par: 71. Yardage: 6,936.
Architect: Keith Foster, 1997.
Green fee: $37$53. Unrestricted walking.
Tee time: 817-685-7888.
Notes: A memorable muni hidden from Dallas-Fort Worth's numbing sprawl by well-nurtured oaks and elegant native grasses. A tribute to the land, Foster calls it "a nature walk." Exceptional design keeps you constantly thinking.
5. Horseshoe Bay Resort, Ram Rock Course, Horseshoe Bay.
Par: 71. Yardage: 6,926.
Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr., 1981.
Green fees: $85$120 (Resort guests). Cart required.
Notes: Aging resort, but perennially high-ranked course. With a state-high slope of 137, Ram Rock is almost comically difficult from the tips, but Jones's eye for precision and fairness earns respect, not dread.