The Lone Star state and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in particular are teeming with fabulous golf courses and offers sun starved Canadians mild temperatures and a direct flight to stave off golf “cabin fever” in the winter months.
The premier golf resort in DFW is the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. It is a 400-acre oasis located minutes from the airport and is the only AAA Five Diamond resort in Texas.
The grounds are immaculately maintained and offer walking paths throughout the resort. Every golfer will stop in their tracks when they encounter the nine and a half foot tall bronze statue of golf legend Byron Nelson dedicated in honor of his 80th birthday in 1992. This impressive fixture located near the club house is a wonderful tribute to a golf legend.
A stone’s throw from there is the entrance to the Four Season Spa. This 12,500 square foot facility offers pure decadence including 16 treatment rooms, private lounges for men and women and an outdoor spa pool.
There are 5 delectable dining options available on property with the featured restaurant being Café on the Green.
The draw of the resort though is the world class golf. There are two 18 hole tracks on property. The premier course is the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, home of the HP Byron Nelson Championship held annually on the PGA Tour.
The course was originally designed in 1982 by Jay Morrish, with player consultants Byron Nelson and Ben Crenshaw. Needing to add teeth to it to make it a track to challenge tour players almost 30 years later, in 2008 the course was redesigned by former PGA Tour player D.A. Weibring and his partner architect Steve Wolfard.
The course is challenging with water coming into play on half of the holes and the tree lined fairways force you to keep it between to the pipes.
The 17th hole is most certainly a signature hole. It is a stunning downhill Par 3 with a lake and gorgeous flower beds guarding the right hand side of the green making or breaking many pars.
The 18th hole is a fabulous finishing hole with an elevated tee box and dramatic lake and cascading waterfalls featured down the left side of the fairway approaching the green. This is a fun and challenging course that will have you happily checking off your bucket list of fantastic PGA Tour venues.
Also on property is the Cottonwood Valley Course. This beautiful 18 hole layout was updated in 2006 and measures 7,120 yards from the tips. It is a private members club and is well maintained. There are several elevation changes and many strategically placed bunkers that snare tee shots and approach shots with good intentions.
The first hole is the signature hole and is the handiwork of the course’s original golf architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. The green is in the shape of Texas with a bunker in the shape of Oklahoma and a lake resembling the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to 2008 this course was also used for the HP Byron Nelson Championship but with the new changes to the TPC layout the tournament is exclusively held there.
Many fabulous packages are available throughout the year. Go to www.fourseasons.com/dallas/ and click on “Offers” for all of the newest Stay and Play packages including unlimited golf.
There are several courses in the DFW area that should be added to your itinerary. One is a relatively new track garnering much acclaim, The Old American. Located in The Colony, Texas, it is a half hour drive north of Dallas but well worth the trip.
It is a classic American golf course featuring naturally formed bunkers and native grasses. Course architects Justin Leonard and Tripp Davis made an effort to be authentic with the course design with very subtle elevation changes, and taking advantage of rolling hills and spectacular lake views from almost every hole on the course. Davis has commented that both he and Leonard have an affinity for “the Golden Age of Golf Architecture” referring to classic courses created between 1910 and 1937. They wanted to stay true to the land. He noted their design philosophy was “guided and touched, but not manipulated”.
This course has a true links style feel which is authenticated by the role wind plays on many shots. The 18th hole is an incredible finishing hole offering stunning views and water up the left side of the fairway with many risk reward opportunities that can either yield a birdie or bogey in a hurry.
Rates are $125 plus tax every day. This includes GPS carts and unique snack stations set around the courses that are unmanned and offer cold beverages and treats from crackers, to cookies and chocolate bars. For more information and to book tee times go to www.theoldamericangolfclub.com.
Finally, a must play course in DFW is the Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas. This is the first NFL-themed golf course in existence and debuted in 2001.The course has won several awards for its playability, beauty and affordability.
The clubhouse pays homage to the 5-time World Champions with a hall of honor that includes 5 replica Super Bowl trophies, classic Cowboy’s cheerleader outfits and merchandise, and recognition of legends of the game both past and present.
Each hole on the course also proudly displays a stone marker that gives tid-bits of Dallas Cowboy history and shares some of the famous plays and prominent players who put the Dallas Cowboys on the map.
Although this sounds like a gimmicky marketing trap, it is anything but. It is truly one of the best golf experiences you will have.
The course takes advantage of its gorgeous North Texas location on a sprawling 159 acres surrounded by lush densely forested areas that are different than any course you will play in the region. There are dramatic elevation changes and thick tree lined fairways that offer phenomenal views and privacy at the same time.
There are too many signature type holes to count but the 3rd hole is a great par 3 with a skinny green over water that offers a good shot at a birdie. The 13th hole is a hard par 5 requiring 3 accurate shots to hit this green. Favorites have to include the downhill par 3 17th hole well protected by bunkers and the fantastic finishing hole uphill par 5 with undulating fairways, and a deep sloping green that makes a par feel like a birdie.
The Cowboys Golf Club continues its unique feel with its VIP package for golf. All rounds of golf include, 18 holes of golf, cart fee, GPS and range balls along with complimentary resort style all inclusive “all you can eat” food service and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day in the clubhouse and on the golf course. Rates vary throughout the season and can be confirmed by going to www.cowboysgolfclub.com.
The DFW area offers fantastic entertainment, world class resorts and championship and resort golf experiences that will satiate your need for a memorable and frost free golf destination this winter. It may even help you find your hidden “cowboy”. Yahoo!
Lisa is the 7-Time Canadian Long Drive Champion and ranked #2 in the world. She can be reached through Caudio, the Traveling Golfer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.