DALLAS -- There are about 200 golf courses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with more than half of them open to the public. So if you're planning a trip to the Metroplex, there are no shortage of choices. If you've never been there before, trying to narrow down your selections can be tough, but there are a few that you might want to put on your "A" list.
Here are five recommendations:
Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine
Even if you're not a Dallas Cowboys fan (impossible since they are America's team, right?), you'll love the Cowboys Golf Club experience. The club, which used to be owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is a tribute to the history of the five-time Super Bowl champs. And no matter what you think of the team, it does have a storied history.
Inside the clubhouse, there are all sorts of artifacts, such as replica Lombardi Trophies, signed jerseys and more. The golf carts have the numbers of former Cowboy greats on them, and in the fairway of the fourth hole is a giant blue star. Best of all, though, Cowboys Golf Club has a fantastic Jeffrey Brauer-designed golf course, which is both challenging and fun to play.
At more than more than 7,000 yards, it will challenge the better players, but four sets of tees, wide fairways, big greens and great course conditions are a treat for everyone. The green fee reflects the premium experience, but it does include food and non-alcoholic beverages.
The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony
As far as replica-type courses go, this one is as good as it gets. Designed by Oklahoma's Tripp Davis, The Tribute Golf Club pays homage to the great courses of Scotland such as Muirfield, Royal Troon, Prestwick and the Old Course at St. Andrews. In fact, the first and the 18th replicate the first and 18th at St. Andrews quite well, which means you have a fairway a mile wide on the first tee shot, provided you don't go right.
It's always in terrific shape, and you'll love the Scottish castle-style clubhouse and pub. You can even book an overnight stay in the clubhouse.
As a side note, if you get a chance to play Old American Golf Club next door, grab it. Another Davis design, this one pays tribute to great early American architects with fantastic bunkering and interesting greens complexes. Both course are set around Lake Lewisville.
Tenison Highlands Golf Course in Dallas
One thing the DFW area isn't short on is a good to great municipals, and Tenison Highlands Golf Course probably represents the cream of the crop. Just 10 minutes from downtown Dallas, the Highlands Course opened in 1924 and was renovated to near perfection in 2001 by D. A. Weibring and architect Steve Wolfard.
The result is a well conditioned layout that traverses up and down hills, around five lakes, and over and around White Rock Creek. Mature trees line the fairways as golfers negotiate 32 bunkers on their way to the Highlands' well maintained TifEagle greens.
The golf course can play as long as 7,078 yards, but with four sets of tees, it suits almost anybody's game. The clubhouse has a well stocked golf shop, offers rental clubs, and food and beverage. Tenison Park also has excellent practice facilities and offers lessons from its staff of golf professionals.
TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas in Irving
TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas is the home of the PGA Tour's HP Byron Nelson. The Jay Morrish-designed course has been tweaked over the years, but a dramatic redesign by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolford in 2009 improved several holes, including the 18th.
As a PGA Tour course, you can expect excellent conditioning, including large, undulating bentgrass greens, big bunkers, and a variety of creeks and ponds. It's worth noting that for the past couple of decades, one of golf's all-time great players and gentlemen, Byron Nelson, called the club home. A statue honoring Nelson is near the first tee.
Texas Star Golf Course in Euless
Another really good muni is Texas Star Golf Course near Fort Worth. Only 10 minutes from DFW International Airport, this par-71, Keith Foster-designed gem can be stretched to near 7,000 yards. Better yet, it offers topography unique to the area, with elevation change and holes fashioned around Hurricane Creek. Many of the holes, which feature bentgrass greens, also have a Scottish links-type feel. The course also has bentgrass greens.
The facility also offers a large clubhouse with 7,000 square feet of conference space as well as Raven's Grille, where golfers and non-golfers alike can dine on breakfast, lunch, brunch and fine dining.