10. Rochester, N.Y.
9. Portland, Ore.
7. San Jose, Calif.
5. Orlando, Fla.
3. Las Vegas
2. Columbus, Ohio
A couple things to know about this ranking: Golf Magazine only considered the 50 largest cities in the country; and their criteria appears to have relied heavily on a ratio of the average green fee in each city to the city's cost of living; on the number of big-time architects who've designed courses in the city; and on such things as weather and per capita number of courses.
After the magazine ran the numbers, Austin came out No. 1 and Dallas (DFW, actually) No. 4. San Antonio checked in at No. 13, Houston at No. 27.
Here's the blurb that appears on the Web site for Dallas:
No. 4. Dallas, Texas
Median home price: $145,500
Number of public courses: 107
Median green fee: $38
THE GOLF: Dallas is a giant for rich golf history and value play. You could explore the Ben Hogan trophy room at Fort Worth's Colonial Country Club, then check out Lord Byron's memorabilia after your round at the Four Seasons/TPC Las Colinas. Your lore tour can continue for $16, what residents pay at Tenison Park, Lee Trevino's stomping (and hustling) grounds back in the '60s.
THE REST: There's barbecue, the 'Boys, plenty of golfable winter days — and some great runways in addition to the fairways. Says our favorite Big D resident David Feherty: "Dallas has all the sophistication of a big city and none of the attitude. And if you lose a lot of money betting college football and have to flee, it has the best airport in the country."
And here's what they say about Austin:
No. 1. Austin, Texas
Median home price: $176,200
Number of public courses: 32
Median green fee: $40
THE GOLF: Austin, the cultural and economic pride of Texas, is a great city. No surprise there. But the Lone Star State capital is also a great golf city. The best, in fact. It has the nation's best combination of weather, name designs, and affordable, accessible golf. It's home to quality munis like Riverside, where Harvey Penick held court for 34 years; acclaimed resorts like Barton Creek, with two Tom Fazio courses at 68th and 69th on Golf Magazine's Top 100 You Can Play; and dynamite daily fee courses, including Circle C and Cimarron Hills. There are also exclusive courses, like Austin Golf Club, where Ben Crenshaw plays. While summers sizzle, the fall weather is perfect, and you can play virtually year-round.
THE REST: With its fabled 6th Street, and nearly 100 live venues in the area, Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." And it's arguably America's 'cue capital, with dozens of mouth-watering rib joints. You can add to those a new title: "The Best Golf City in America."
The full package is available here.