ARLINGTON, Texas -- In Texas, football remains king, so it's appropriate that the Dallas-Fort Worth area will finally play host to its first Super Bowl on Feb. 6. Golf is pretty popular, too, so if you were lucky enough to score tickets to Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium, bring your golf clubs.
Of course the weather in this part of Texas can be a little iffy in February, but golf courses here stay open year-round. Chances are, you'll get a day or two that's pretty pleasant. And there's plenty of golf from which to choose, with more than 150 golf courses in the Metroplex -- the majority open to the public.
And if you can't get here during Super Bowl week, visit in the spring, tour Jerry Jones' $1.2 billion stadium and play a few rounds of golf.
Here's a sampling of Super Bowl golf, some close to Cowboys Stadium, others with ties to the Super Bowl and some super municipals:
Even though the Dallas Cowboys aren't at home, you can still get your fill of America's Team at this wonderful facility that pays homage to the five-time Super Bowl champions. Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, no longer owns Cowboys Golf Club, but it's still all Cowboys, all the time, right down to the blue star painted in the middle of the fourth fairway. Designed by Jeff Brauer, the par-72 golf course stretches to more than 7,000 yards with plenty of deep bunkers, interesting doglegs, water hazards and huge greens. Even more impressive is the clubhouse and service, from the Lombardi trophies on display to the cart girls dressed in Dallas Cowboys jerseys. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the fees, and don't forget to try to the signature jalapeno sausage at the halfway house.
The Four Seasons Resort, in the Cowboys' former home of Irving, hosts a group of NFL owners groups during Super Bowl week. And the TPC Course, site of the PGA Tour's HP Byron Nelson Championship, will host plenty of corporate groups before the big game. The key to getting a tee time here is to stay at the resort, which helped set the standard for golf destinations in Texas. The par-70, 7,166-yard TPC Course, one of two 18-hole layouts on site, was recently redesigned by D.A. Weibring's Golf Resources Group. The improvements have been dramatic, especially on the par-4 18th.
In Euless near Fort Worth and only 10 minutes from DFW International Airport, Texas Star Golf Course ranks as one of several Dallas-area municipal gems. Designed by Keith Foster, this par-71 golf course measures just less than 7,000 yards. With plenty of elevation change and bentgrass greens, the golf course almost offers a Texas Hill Country feel. Foster made good use of Hurricane Creek, which plays an integral role on several holes, while other areas have something of a Scottish links flavor. A clubhouse with locker rooms, a grill and well-stocked pro shop complete the experience.
Just a 15-minute drive from Cowboys Stadium, Grapevine Golf Course remains one of just a handful of golf courses designed by the legendary Byron Nelson. It's another outstanding municipal, but the staff here dislikes the connotation that often accompanies such facilities. Grapevine was renovated in the late 1990s and got a new nine holes, designed by Weibring, to bring the facility to 27 holes. The layout, conditioning and topography -- including elevated tee shots, streams and ponds -- scream "upscale daily fee," but the prices and unpretentious service say otherwise.
On the opposite side of Arlington from Cowboys Stadium, Tierra Verde Golf Club is well worth the 20-minute drive. This Audubon Signature Sanctuary golf course opened in 1998. Designed by David Graham and Gary Panks, the par-72, 6,975-yard layout routes through a natural setting of wetlands, trees and meadows. The Ventana Grille is particularly impressive, with an eclectic menu rarely found at public golf courses. In addition to the usual golf course fare of hot dogs and hamburgers, the Ventana Grille offers an array of gourmet tapas, stuffed peppers and chicken empanadas. Tierra Verde G.C. even includes a lighted driving range.
Only a 10-minute drive from downtown Dallas, you'll find the 36 holes of Tenison Park, which traces its history back to 1924. The Tenison Park Highlands Course, which was redesigned by Weibring in 2001, is one of the most popular in the Metroplex. The 7,100-yard, par-72 layout features five lakes, 32 bunkers and Tif-Eagle greens among groves of hardwoods. The facility's original 18 holes, the Glen Course, isn't too shabby either. As Dallas' first municipal golf course, it was a favorite haunt of Lee Trevino as he honed his skills en route to a professional career. In 1968, the Glen Course hosted the USGA Pub Links Championship.
Although Tour 18 Dallas is located in Flower Mound north of Arlington, the novelty of this fantasy golf course appeals to visitors, making it a solid choice during Super Bowl week. Opened in 1995, it's actually the second of its kind, following Tour 18 Houston, which debuted in 1992. The golf course pays tribute to 18 famous holes. And although the Houston and Dallas layouts share a few holes, like Amen Corner at Augusta National, Tour 18 Dallas is quite unique. The Dallas location opens with Cherry Hills, for example, and also features holes from Winged Foot and Southern Hills. The golf course always appears in excellent shape, and its staff excels in customer service.
January 19, 2011