Location: Las Colinas, the Colony, and Dallas
What You’ll Need: Big Bertha driver, GPS range finder
The Dallas area is home to three golf courses that allow players to experience what the game is like at the top level. You can play the same holes the pros have played, and you can achieve the duffer’s grand slam: 72 holes in 48 hours. I took my 23-year-old son, Barrett, along for company (and for his keen eyes, which can locate my misdirected shots), but to squeeze in all that golf, we had to start on Friday. We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort and Club, in Las Colinas, the only way we could play TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, the site of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. We arrived in April, and with the tournament less than a month away, the conditions were flawless. The fairways are generous, but the course has more bunkers than the Siegfried Line. A 2007 redesign by D. A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard altered every hole except the 406-yard fourteenth. You can’t improve on impossible. The only way to play this dogleg right is a high fade around imposing trees; hit it straight and you’re in the water. The second shot is into the wind across more water to a peninsula green. Amateurs, of course, can choose a friendly tee box, though it was not friendly to me.
We rose at 5:30 to make our 7:12 tee time at the Tribute Golf Club, which Golf Digest rated as the number one public golf course in the area. Located in the Colony, north of Dallas, Tribute pays homage to the greatest holes of the British Open from the Scottish championship courses. Among the ones represented are St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Muirfield, and Turnberry, where the 2009 Open will be held. You can play the famous Road Hole at St. Andrews (minus the road), and yes, I did hit my drive into a dreaded pot bunker, from which the only escape