In Dallas-Fort Worth area? Don't skip these five courses

The stars of Dallas, Texas: Five must-play golf courses in the DFW area

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.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, 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 25 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 @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
4 Comments
Commented on

I agree. If I were doing this list today, I would put Stevens Park on the list. Stay tuned, I'll probably do another. I;; defend Tenison Highlands, though, because that's how much I liked the course despite the neighborhood... These are personal preferences and we, of course, appreciate and value your feedback. (Living in Texas, however, I have played a lot of golf in the DFW area.)  I picked Cowboys and The Tribute because I enjoy them, but I agree that they're not great values. As a pilot, the air traffic next to Cowboys has never bothered me. 

Default User Avatar
Commented on

the fact that Stevens Park is not on this list shows how little you know about Dallas area golf. Granted this was written 3 yrs ago, but Cowboys and The Tribute should not be on this list. Both are overhyped and too expensive and all together are not very good golf courses. Old American would be a nice replacement for the Tribute. I would also have a tough time including any course that sits right next to DFW (Cowboys) and the constant air traffic on any list.

to the comments below, Tennison Highlands is a dump

Commented on

have to agree with Robert, Tennison Highlands is a great course but the area it is in and lack of security is why i tend to stay away. if they would but some security in the parking lot it would be a different story.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

Tennison? Really? You're not from around here, are you. It's nice enough, but the all too near sound of gunfire coupled with the high likelihood of your car being stolen before you get back to the parking lot keep the locals away.

Related Links

Golfers like you rated the top 25 courses in Texas. From Dallas to Houston and San Antonio, these were the best golf courses and resorts in the state.
2 Min Read
From Houston to San Antonio and Dallas, here are four public courses in Texas that host pro golf events.
6 Min Read
The Dallas area offers lots of great golf, including a handful of strong daily-fee courses. Cowboys G.C., Tour 18 Dallas, Old American, Heritage Ranch and Bear Creek are among veteran Texas golf writer Mike Bailey's favorites.
6 Min Read
More from the author
6 Min Read
May 28, 2019
PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Golf is being redefined at Palmilla Beach Resort and Golf Community on the Texas coast.
9 Min Read
May 24, 2019
University programs, both large and small, continue to invest in their golf facilities
5 Min Read
May 21, 2019
New owner Escalante Golf has made considerable investment since 2017.
8 Min Read
May 20, 2019
Not all Texas country clubs have had the steadfast history of Fort Worth's Colonial. But while some of these sites have been lost, others are now public and affordable.
5 Min Read
May 3, 2019
Debate rages on whether a golf course property be based on current or highest use
7 Min Read
April 25, 2019
How four facilities got their stride back, and what struggling courses can learn from it
Popular
6 Min Read
August 9, 2022
GolfNow Compete, developed with input from Rory McIlroy, offers GPS yardages, hole maps, multiple games to play and a place to fire up your friendly, competitive juices.
5 Min Read
July 25, 2022
Dundonald's new luxury accommodations and clubhouse complement a Kyle Phillips-designed links that has hosted men's and women's Scottish Opens.
5 Min Read
August 1, 2022
Tips to enjoying special golf trips to Scotland, Ireland and Pinehurst highlight this month's Secrets column.
7 Min Read
August 10, 2022
Now 30-years mature, the statewide system of affordable golf courses offers adventure that doesn't have to break the budget.
Load More
Now Reading
The stars of Dallas, Texas: Five must-play golf courses in the DFW area