Each year, Golf Digest publishes a supplement called the Golf Digest Index. It's one of those golf magazines dedicated to luxury - you know the kind: articles about fast cars, expensive liquors and cigars, and so on.
This year, among the golf articles in the Index was a ranking of the Top 75 practice areas in America. And Texas facilities did pretty good in the rankings. Here are the ones that made the list, along with the short blurb that accompanied each ranking:
19. Dallas National Golf Club. Covering nearly 12 acres, this double-sided range also has three putting greens - two with undulations and one that's flat.
22. The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands. Both courses have a double-sided range and a short-game area where you can practice different lies.
30. Boot Ranch Golf Club, Fredericksburg. "Land was not an issue for this club, and the practice facility reflects it," says one panelist. A three-hole practice course is included.
50. The Vaquero Club, Westlake. The two-sided range accommodates a variety of wind directions. There's also an 8,000-square-foot chipping and putting green.
53. Whispering Pines Golf Club, Trinity. Take your pick from among a double-sided range with 23 covered bays, a three-hole practice course and an indoor area.
62. Briggs Ranch Golf Club, San Antonio. Oak trees let members seek shade without sacrificing quality turf. They can also practice bunker shots of up to 150 yards.
65. Champions Golf Club, Houston. This double-side range has recently had new grass installed. It also has short-game practice areas at each end.
This is a better showing for Texas than in almost any national course ranking I can recall. The bad news, for most of us, is that these are all high-end private clubs and most of us won't have the chance to experience the facilities.