From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten:
Stevens Park Golf Course, a municipal operation in a revitalized area of Oak Cliff just southwest of downtown Dallas, isn’t exactly a preservation of the past, but a celebration of it. The original design was by a pair of club pros, Jack Burke, father of 1955 Masters champ Jack Burke Jr., and Syd Cooper, father of Lighthorse Harry Cooper, one of those “best players never to have won a major.”
The course was built on land donated by Walter A. Stevens and his sister Annie Laurie in memory of their parents, Dr. and Mrs. John H. Stevens.
In the early days, Stevens Park was a fun but funky affair, crisscrossed by so many hills, creeks, gullies, trees and city streets that one par 4 required a snap hook off the tee and three others demanded snap-slices.
In 2010, Metroplex course architect John Colligan and his then-associate Trey Kemp reconfigured the course, straightening holes and eliminating blind spots. They kept several original corridors, reversed the direction of seven holes and created eight fully new holes, increasing the length from 5,700 yards to about 6,300, a par 70. They also vastly improved turf conditions with modern irrigation and Bermuda grasses.
But they retained the fun factor at Stevens Park, mainly by emphasizing the geometric arrangement the old layout always had. Greens are still uniquely shaped, some rectangular, some diamonds, one perfectly round. Fairway mowing patterns zig and zag. There are six par 3s, some downhill, some uphill, and two of them back-to-back. It has four gambling par 5s, including the novel 16th that plays down a slope to an intersecting creek, then up and over a high cliff wall to a hilltop green. (The only hole even remotely resembling its configuration is the sixth at Pebble Beach.)
Most holes at Stevens Park are tight and tree-lined, many tees sit atop hills so drives are downhill and the par-4 15th offers an incredible, up-close view of downtown Big D. Best of all, green fees with a cart never exceed $60.