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Austin to Dallas, there are some big plays at Texas' top golf courses

By S. Adam Cardais,
Cowboys Golf Club, No. 4
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Despite the football-team-logo overkill, Cowboys Golf Club is one of Texas' top plays. (Chris Baldwin/GolfPublisher.com)

From private, long-time PGA Tour site Colonial Country Club to Tom Fazio's whopping Dallas National, Texas golf is as big as you'd expect. If you're heading to the Lone Star State for a golf vacation, here are some can't-miss Texas golf courses.

Texas is known for many things - oil millionaires, great football - that imbue its citizens with a certain arrogance, er, confidence. But Texas is not always known for golf.

Still, while the Lone Star State may have nothing on Florida or Arizona as a golf destination, it's home to plenty of first-rate tracks, including some PGA Tour favorites. Here's a quick guide to the cream of crop in Texas golf courses.

Dallas National Golf Club, Dallas: They say everything's big in Texas, and Dallas National fits the bill to a tee. Tom Fazio's layout stretches 7,326 yards from the tips with a whopping 155 slope rating.

But you don't have to be a Bubba to tackle the course rated No. 1 in Golf Digest's 2007-'08 list of Texas' best. The fairways are wide, and there are few carries and little water. Dallas National's challenge is in its dramatic elevation changes and rolling terrain.

No. 10 is the classic here, offering a spectacular view from the tee of the 575-yard par 5 below.

Cowboys Golf Club, Grapevine: Yes, it's owned by the football team the rest of America (or at least Washington, Philadelphia and New York) most loves to hate. It's also one of the finest plays in Texas.

Designed by Jeff Brauer, Cowboys boasts well-conditioned fairways, lightning-fast putting surfaces and some serious elevation changes. The highest tee, on the par-4 fourth, offers tremendous views of the surrounding landscape and the Texas-sized Dallas Cowboys star painted in the middle of the fairway.

"Cheesy? Sure," Chris Baldwin wrote in a WorldGolf.com feature. "But it's also a heck of a fun target to aim at."

Falconhead Golf Club, Austin: The first course to carry the PGA Tour Signature Course tag, the 7,302-yard Falconhead opened in 2003 to great expectations. It didn't disappoint.

The PGA Tour Design Center team put together a beautiful course, criss-crossed by streams and creeks, that'll put every club in your bag to use.

"The Tour's seal of approval means you will find the kind of excitement you would expect to find at a tournament-level course," Steve Habel enthused in a recent GolfTexas.com review.

Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth: Opened more than 70 years ago and ranked second-best in the state by Golf Digest, Colonial is one of the most storied courses in Texas, if not all of Dixie.

The first southern golf club to host the U.S. Open (in 1941), Colonial is currently home to one of the longest-running Tour events, now called the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

The 7,054-yard, par-70 track "is the best, most traditional course without an ocean we play every year," Davis Love III has said. It's also known as one of the toughest plays in Texas. Watch out for No. 5, hemmed in by a left-side ditch and a river to the right, which demands precision off the tee.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Austin to Dallas, there are some big plays at Texas' top golf courses

    Calvin wrote on: Jul 25, 2007

    I agree with the first comment. You choice to feature two clubs that the public has no chance in hell of playing, let alone even being allowed to get out of your car at Dallas National seems absurd. What about Texas Star Golf in Euless, or Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound. Have you heard of Terre Verde in Arlington? What a about TangleRidge in Grand Prairie? These are all top-notch public facilities that resemble resort-style courses. And anyone can play them. Let's try to remember who your audience is. Don't tease us with things beyond our reach. Be real with your readers.


  • Texas golf article

    Richard Rogers wrote on: Jul 24, 2007

    I'm curious as to why you would write an article on playing golf in Texas and write about ultra privaate clubs where the traveler doesn't have a prayor of playing. Why not devote your time and efforts to courses that are actually accessable to the traveling or local golfers? You insinuate the traveler has a chanch to play these courses when in reality he won't even be able to buy a beer in their 19th hole.