DALLAS – As the Dallas Athletic Club heads into the second half of its landmark 100-year anniversary, the historic Northeast Dallas private country club recently wrapped a five-year architectural renovation project on its 36 holes of championship golf and hosted a lavish Party of the Century in Sept. 14 to celebrate the milestone event.
For one special night, the storied clubhouse was transformed room by room to represent the many decades of the private club, which began in 1919 as a premier downtown Dallas dining and workout facility. In the decades which followed, it has moved to two other locations, including where it sits today on 340 acres of prime real estate, which was once cattle land, and has hosted generations of friends, families, members and their guests.
“We wanted to make this 100-year celebration unique in every way for the club and this Party of the Century and culmination of the Chet Williams course renovation is just one more way of adding to our ongoing legacy,” said DAC General Manager Brent Burkhart.
“From the Jack Nicklaus Day we had in May to the many great tournaments and events at the club, this is just one more way to make this year special.”
Golfers can enjoy the many course renovations to the Blue and Gold Championship courses overseen by longtime Jack Nicklaus associate and Texas golf architect Chet Williams over the last five years.
The Blue Course hosted the 1963 PGA Championship, the first of five such major championships won by Nicklaus, who designed both the Blue and Gold courses at DAC. The club’s legacy includes championship golf, including the 1996 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, great tennis, numerous celebrities and a century’s worth of memories.
As part of the upcoming celebration, the club engaged Williams, who knows Nicklaus and his style as well as anyone, to upgrade the courses as part of a lasting anniversary present to current and future members.
“This is something the board considered from Chet five years ago and decided it made sense and we have continued to work on it,” said head golf professional Lance Patterson. “It has really worked out great, is finally done and there is no doubt it’s made the course better in many ways.”
Williams, working with longtime course superintendent Kevin Nettles and his talented team, started on the bunkers on both the Blue and Gold course bringing them up to championship caliber and added new premium sand to each one.
Next, he went to work on the fairways and some of the greens on the 36 holes of golf, clearing some of the areas around the course. He finished up by leveling some of the fairways on the Gold Course and totally renovated the practice facility, which sits next to the clubhouse and runs along the 18th fairway of the Blue Course.
While no routing or hole structure was marginally changed on the two courses, the improvements will last years for the golfers and guests who will be playing here well into the next century of fun and memories.
“I’m really pleased with the way everything turned out here, “Williams said. “Every project is a little different, but this was a long process that eventually everything worked out. I’m certainly proud of the work and I believe the club is as well. “
Tennis, with its newly renovated, lighted courts will be highlighted with the annual Pro-Am in September to celebrate its friendly competition.
A time capsule will be buried on New Year’s Eve 2019 to cap the year-long celebration at the new DAC clock tower which now stands as a symbol of the celebration truly 100 years in the making.