Have a few hours to spare on your next trip to Dallas? Then here are some great suggestions for you. With a blend of traditional and imaginative layouts, there’s a lot to appreciate about golf in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, whether you want to experience the pot bunkers on a replica of St. Andrews’ infamous Road Hole or play the very same hole where Jack Nicklaus clinched the AT&T Byron Nelson. There aren’t many towns where you can sample such diverse styles of golf, all within a few miles’ drive of each other. Here are a few designs to check out.
Cowboys Golf Club
With its location near the DFW airport, Cowboys Golf Club is a perfect course to start or wrap up your trip to Texas. Whether you’re a Cowboys football fan or not, you’ll have fun playing here. Throughout the round, you can gather tidbits on the team’s history (you’ll find great memorabilia inside the clubhouse, too, from replica Lombardi Trophies to Super Bowl Rings to signed jerseys). The course is tree-lined and hilly in spots, but its wide fairways and big greens are fan-friendly. The all-inclusive pricing policy makes it a destination for the day and includes all meals (think fried oysters and short rib tacos), non-alcoholic drinks, cart, range balls, on-course snacks at a really nice halfway house (go for the jalapeño sausage). The level of friendly service, unhurried pace and top conditions make it worth the splurge. Huddle up post-round at the Ring of Honor Kitchen & Bar to drink in the team spirit. cowboysgolfclub.com
The Tribute at the Colony
You might think it would be difficult to recreate an oceanside par 3 in the heart of Texas, but the designers behind the Tribute at the Colony, a replica links course just a short drive north of the city, have done a brilliant job of giving golfers the flavor of Scotland’s finest, from Carnoustie to to St. Andrews. If the wind is up you might feel like you’re on the Firth of Forth instead of the eastern bank of Lake Lewisville. The course opens with first hole at St. Andrews and finishes with its 18th, complete with a walk over Swilken Bridge. The Postage Stamp from Royal Troon, measuring a scant 123 yards, is one of the most memorable holes on the course. A recent re-do of the greens (from Bent to Bermuda) make them some of the best in the area. Add in an upscale clubhouse and amenities, memorable setting, a gracious staff and you’re in for a fun day. Enthusiasts say it’s a must-play for good golfers. thetributegc.com
The Old American Golf Club
Course designers Justin Leonard and Tripp Davis have given this course the strategic elements and visual appeal of such luminaries as Shinnecock, Maidstone and Pinehurst. The layout is open, with few trees and plenty of high grasses and lots of bunkers (a flood in 2015 reduced the number of bunkers by almost half, making a wayward tee shot less penalizing). There are six sets of tees, so the course is accessible for many skill levels. The crushed granite cart paths, old-style yardage book and shorter flagsticks add to the classic vibe. The feather logo comes from the Red Tail Hawk, whose nests you can see in the oaks along holes 13 and 16. Stick around for a drink on the spacious patio. oldamericangolfclub.com
TPC Los Colinas at the Four Seasons Resort Dallas
TPC Los Colinas was the home of the PGA Tour’s iconic AT&T Byron Nelson for 35 years until the spring of 2017, and you can still feel the aura of the game’s greats on every fairway, including past winners Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus. Before you tee off, stop for a photo op with a bronze statue of the late Byron Nelson, who called the TPC his home. It’s an inviting course for pros and resort golfers alike for its shot variety, top conditions, and telegenic water features. Although you might not go as low as Keegan Bradley did in 2013, when he shot a 60 for the course record, there are birdie opportunities for all. As you might expect of a tournament course, the finishing holes are dramatic. The 18th is a dogleg left that plays around a terraced pond with two waterfalls. You must be a guest of the resort to play TPC Los Colinas, but stay-and-play packages are offered. fourseasons.com/dallas
Texas Star is a municipal golf course ten minutes from DFW. Its approach is through an industrial park, yet upon arrival, golfers are quickly transported to a secluded world of plush fairways, natural woodlands and unusual burnt-orange bunkers that add a striking visual. The course has four sets of tees stretching from 4,900 to just under 7,000 yards, offering plenty of challenge and variety including blind shots, trees, forced carries, elevation changes and water hazards (Hurricane Creek traverses the course). The cart GPS will help you negotiate some of the tougher spots. Texas Star has a big clubhouse and a pretty outside patio overlooking the golf course for post-round drinks. Best of all, the price is right for such a well-conditioned course, making this muni one of the best public tracks in the metro area. Tee times tend to fill up fast so book ahead. texasstargolf.com
Looking to sneak in a little golf? Rent with Avis and they’ll chip in $25 toward your next round. Visit Avis.com/golfnow for more details.