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Texas two-step: For golf and football in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, think Grapevine

Mike BaileyBy Mike Bailey,
Senior Staff Writer
Cowboys Golf Club - 18th hole
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Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas may be the most football-centric course of all time. (Courtesy of Cowboys G.C.)

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- It's football time in Texas, and you know what that means -- time to play more golf.

That's especially true in places such as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where temperatures are commonly in the triple digits during the summer, but in the fall, the air conditioning starts to come on. Football weather means great golf weather.

And the two go together quite well. There's nothing like an early round on the weekend, then going into the clubhouse for some post-round brews while the games are on. Fortunately, today, many clubhouses double as sports bars, and so you really don't have to go anywhere to catch the games.

Launch from Grapevine

Perhaps nothing in the DFW area is more golf-centric than Grapevine. Its central location puts you right in the middle of more than 100 golf courses, and close by is the most football-centric course of all time -- Cowboys Golf Club.

This wonderful Jeff Brauer design is Cowboys color through and through, from the trophy-cased clubhouse to the Cowboys logo painted on the fourth fairway to Dallas Cowboy-like cheerleaders there to serve you on the course and the halfway house. Plus, the green fees are all-inclusive, minus liquor. So you can have breakfast and lunch after the round and perhaps enjoy the Cowboys on TV.

Right next door is the Gaylord Texan Resort, a grand domed-shaped structure with more than 1,500 rooms, 400,000 square feet in meeting space, a half dozen restaurants, water park and facsimiles of famous Texan themes inside, such as the Alamo. It's also the official hotel of the Dallas Cowboys, meaning that's where the team stays before a game.

Inside, you'll find one of the state's largest sports bars -- the Texan Station, which features a 52-foot big screen. There's also a Riverwalk, a nightclub with live entertainment and a full-service spa.

Beyond the Cowboys

Of course, not everybody's a Dallas Cowboys fan, so you may want to venture away from America's Team central for your golf and football fix. Fortunately, there's plenty of other places to play and watch games.

In addition to Cowboys Golf Club, Grapevine also has the terrific and value-priced Grapevine Municipal Golf Course, of which 18 of the 27 holes were designed by none other than Byron Nelson. But within a half hour or so, you have your picks of dozens of other courses.

For example, it's a quick trip to Fort Worth, where you'll find the Golf Club at Champions Circle, which was laid out on the gently rolling hills of a former cattle ranch. Also in Fort Worth is the Golf Club at the Resort, and 15 minutes from downtown in Aledo, you'll find the fun and challenging Lost Creek Golf Club.

A little north past the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, golfers can check out the D.A. Weibring-designed Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound. Or you can head a little further north to Frisco to play the Trails of Frisco or the Golf Club at Frisco Lakes, a cool Gary Stephenson design located within the Del Webb Frisco Lakes Community. At Nearby Denton, there's another terrific Stephenson design, the highly rated Wildhorse Golf Club.

If you're looking for some courses with a little more history, the area has that covered as well. One of the most historic is Glen Garden Golf & Country Club, which recently celebrated its centennial celebration. The course was once the stomping grounds for the likes of Nelson, Ben Hogan and Sandra Palmer. Jack Nicklaus' former teacher, Jack Grout, was also a pro there once upon a time.

Or head over to Dallas and play the Golf Club of Dallas, a once exclusive private club now open to the public. It was also the home to the PGA Tour's Dallas Open.

Much ado about Grapevine

While the Gaylord Texan is Gaylord's most notable hotel, it's certainly not the only option. It's not even the only resort. Great Wolf Lodge, with its giant water park, is great for families. There's also an Embassy Suites adjoining one of the largest Bass Pro Shops in the United States.

Grapevine also has a historic downtown and a 9/11 Memorial to the brave crew and pilots of American Airlines and United Airlines (American is headquartered nearby). There are also art galleries and wineries (hence the name) and plenty of other things to do, such as riding the historic train of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. The attraction features two Victorian-style locomotives, including "Puffy" the 1896 steam locomotive -- the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South -- and "Vinny," a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive.

And as you might expect, Grapevine is also a great place to shop and eat with dozens of restaurants and bars -- many of them, undoubtedly, showing football on television.

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Golf Club at Champions Circle - hole 15Cowboys Golf Club - hole 4Gaylord Texan -- Texan StationGlen Garden Golf and C.C.Gaylord Texan resort

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.

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