Dallas is known for many things: cattle, cowboys (NFL and for real), and BBQ. But “Big D” isn’t all belt buckles and brisket. The city is growing its reputation as a golf getaway replete with high-end, resort quality courses and daily fee gems.
And as any business traveler knows, hundreds of daily direct flights into DFW and Love Field make getting to Dallas as easy as a dead-flat three-foot putt. The winter months bring wide temperature swings, but “have clubs will travel” types who can break away on short notice can enjoy highs in the 60s and even 70s on occasion.
A sure-fire must-play for golf course trophy hunters is Old American Golf Club, a 30-minute drive north of DFW. Designed by Norman, Oklahoma-based Tripp Davis and PGA Tour player and Ryder Cup hero Justin Leonard, Old American is a tip of the cap to the “Golden Age” of golf course architecture from 1910 to 1937.
Golf purists and weekend warriors alike will appreciate Davis and Leonard’s homage to classic designers like Seth Raynor, A.W. Tillinghast, Donald Ross and Perry Maxwell. Old American’s “core golf” experience – the layout is almost totally devoid of housing – and serene location along the shores of Lake Lewisville are unique among Metroplex facilities.
Because of its proximity to the lake, the wind is often the course’s best line of defense. On calm days, it relies on its strategic elements, wooly brush and native grasses bordering holes, and subtly undulating greens to protect against par. With world-class practice facilities, Old American is also a regular stop for local PGA Tour pros like Leonard, Rod Pampling, K.J. Choi and John Senden.
Other notable features found at Old American include a steel railroad bridge between hole Nos. 2 and 3 that once crossed over the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma, a barn that was situated in Michigan, deconstructed, shipped and rebuilt at Old American, and a garden in back of the carriage house where Chef Nick Baker cultivates produce for his succulent menu items at the Old American Grille.
Overnight options include the boutique NYLO hotels in Plano (15 minutes from the course) and South Side (downtown), which offer a golf package with Old American starting at $213 per person. The new Omni Dallas Convention Center – a state-of-the-art, 1,000-room shrine to cutting edge hotel design – is a great option for those who prefer a more traditional business hotel setting.