Austin is a gateway city to the storied Texas Hill Country—home to German beer, Texas wines, barbecue and some excellent golf courses. The rolling hills, dotted with lakes, limestone cliffs and caverns, natural springs and stands of cypress and oak, make for dramatic and challenging layouts. Add to that the state's golf pedigree—Ben Hogan, Harvey Penick, Kathy Whitworth and Byron Nelson all hail from here—and you've got a historical backdrop as well. Even better, golf is a year-round sport in Austin. October, when it's still warm enough for shorts, and March, when the bluebonnets are out in force and the World Golf Championship and SXSW are in swing, are ideal times to visit. Hotel rooms can be scarce on festival weekends and when the University of Texas Longhorns are playing at home, so book early.