After a two-week private club host hiatus, the Tour is back in action this week with the AT&T Byron Nelson, held at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas. Considering a trip to play where the pros play? Here's what to know:
AT&T Byron Nelson
Where? TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas
This course, which plays to a par of 70 and just under 7,200 yards for the pros, was heavily redesigned by Tour veteran/journeyman-cum-architect D.A. Weibring in 2007. He did so primarily with pros, rather than members and resort guests in mind, which means the course is challenging, with extensive mounding around many holes meant to create the "stadium" viewing experience that exists at other TPC courses that host Tour events. Greens are heavily bunkered, and water comes into play on nine holes. The resort's closeness to DFW International Airport also means that planes overhead - and their attendant noise - are a frequent companion.
The strength of the course lies in its putting surfaces, which are undulating and fun to navigate. Sometimes they verge on the excessive, at least in the pros' eyes, but we would prefer a course whose greens risk over-undulation rather than flat blandness ten times out of ten. Peak green fees at the TPC course sit around $200 for resort guests (though golf packages are available and can bring down the cost somewhat) and $250 for outside visitors.
Despite the prestige that comes with hosting a PGA Tour event each year, the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas struggles to crack many "Best in State" lists (it does come in at #9 on Golfweek's such list). It also sits in the bottom half when pros are asked to rank the PGA Tour courses they play each year. That said, pros' preferences are not always aligned with ours, but nevertheless we would call this course one where your enjoyment will be directly correlated with your passion for playing PGA Tour tracks.
Being an enormous city, Dallas has plenty of everything to go around, including golf. In fact, the TPC's sister course, Cottonwood Valley, is more popular among resort guests and members. But do note that in order to access it, you must stay at the Four Seasons. In the area, Cowboys Golf Club is a favorite, as is the Tripp Davis/Justin Leonard-designed Old American Golf Club.