Plan your next trip with our new Dream Weekend series, combining expert picks from GOLF.com staff and the travel gurus at Travel & Leisure. We’re bringing you the best recommendations for golf courses, hotels, restaurants, and sightseeing--so you can focus on your round instead of your itinerary. Now on the tee: Dallas.
So you’ve got your eyes set on the Lone Star State, huh? The PGA Tour locks its eyes on Texas multiple times each year, with two stops in the Dallas area, the AT&T Byron Nelson and the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. This area attracts the attention of the golf world for good reason: it’s a great golf destination, and not just for Tour pros. Here’s an itinerary for a great golf weekend in the Dallas area.
One of the major flying hubs (or fly-through hubs) in the country, Dallas offers multiple airports to its visitors. Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) is the most popular choice, but if that doesn’t suit your fancy, Love Field is a solid second option, and much closer to downtown. If you get in early enough in the afternoon, you’ll be worry-free from traffic.
Each airport is on the northern side of town, so you can fly in early in the afternoon and head straight to Old American Golf Club for a phenomenal start to your golf weekend. The semi-private club is open to public play all week, but only after 11 a.m. on the weekend. Avoid the busy weekend and grab a Friday tee time instead.
The course promises (and delivers) aspects of many classic courses, from Shinnecock to Maidstone and Pinehurst. Nineteen ninety seven British Open Champion Justin Leonard worked with Tripp Davis to make this golf experience a bit of an homage to classic courses and their designers. Just last year we ranked the course fifth-best in the Lone Star State.
Sure, one look at the price tag ($150) might have you wondering why visit an expensive course, especially on the first day of your trip? Well, that rate includes use of the practice facility, so spend a good hour out there fine tuning your jet-lagged game (and possibly even after the round) and you should be set for the entire weekend.
To see all that Dallas has to offer, it’s best to stay downtown. Leave the suburbs for your golfing exploits. Now that you’re getting acquainted with the city, take a look out over all of it with dinner at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. The popular joint is located in Reunion Tower, the tower smack dab in the center of the city, which stretches to the sky and allows all restaurant-goers to peer out over everything in town.
Travel & Leisure Tip: Visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. This history buff's haven is a must-stop destination for anyone fascinated by the life and death of John F. Kennedy. Thorough and mesmerizing, the museum takes guests through JFK's life, assassination, and legacy through the use of different media. Get there early, because it's popular and the museum is at its best when it's not packed.
This weekend is about golf, sure, but it isn’t ALL about golf. Get your golf mind right with a morning visit to the Dallas Arboretum. Too relaxing? This might be exactly what your golf game needs. Remember, we haven’t even reached the halfway point in this weekend. Be patient!
Grab a morning chicken biscuit from the nearby Hypnotic Donuts (you’ll have to show up to see why that makes sense) and warm up with a stroll-and-eat breakfast though the Arboretum. Short of a personal massage, there will not be a more relaxing way to prep for your round.
Now that you’ve got your golf-zen mental game situated, it’s time to play your best round of the weekend. You’re headed to Texas Star, a course that won’t ask for A TON out of your game (or your wallet—$77 for a weekend round), but is a fair test from every tee box. Everything is bigger in this state, but the ‘Texas Tees’ stretch to just 6,900 yards, and the senior tees reach just over 6,000. The course asks for all kinds of tee shots — split fairways, accurate layups, do-or-die carries — so you may want to warm up extensively with your hybrids or fairway woods.
On your way back into town, it’s time for some Texas BBQ at Lockhart Smokehouse. If you visit Texas and don’t try the local fare, did you really visit Texas? This place is as authentic as it gets between the brisket and ribs options. If you don’t have much time, you can generally get served quickly, but even if you have time to sit down, the prices will not disappoint.
Dallas is a hotbed for American sports. Between the Rangers, the Mavericks, the Stars, the Cowboys or any of the many college sporting events that visit the city, you have options galore. There will always be football in the fall, basketball and hockey in the winter/spring, and baseball in the summer. And if you can’t find a collegiate or professional game, chances are there’s a serious high school football game happening not far away.
Travel & Leisure Tip: Check out Community Brewing Company, a centrally located Microbrewery with a lively taproom serving classic and seasonal beer. A big hit with locals comes on Saturdays, when the brewery holds an open house complete with tours, food trucks, live music, and lots of beer.
If Texas is your alternative to Scottish golf, you’re dealt an odd stroke of luck with The Tribute in The Colony, Texas. Just a short drive north of Dallas, The Tribute is exactly as it sounds: a memorial of sorts to the great holes and courses offered six time zones east, where the game was born.
It starts and ends with an imitations of nos. 1 and 18 at St. Andrews, with all the classics filled in between, like Troon’s Postage Stamp or Carnoustie’s Brae. It also helps this course isn’t going to gouge you at the check-in counter. Weekend rates ($89) will keep you south of triple digit fares.
Now that you’re all golfed out and ready to return to your normal life, grab one last plate of Dallas elegance at Liberty Burger. One of their four north Dallas locations should work for you on your way to either DFW or Love Field, and even if it’s slightly out of the way, it’s well worth it.
Liberty specializes in exquisite burgers, combining a number of ingredients you might not normally find paired up on a hamburger bun. You’ll have to find your favorite on the menu, but if you want a tip, go for the Baby Bella (white queso on top of mushrooms on top of an onion ring on top of a burger). Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
It’s true; all great things must come to an end. An underrated part of what makes Dallas a great golf locale is that when you leave, it won’t cost you much time commuting. Unless your destination is Hawaii or Alaska, you can get anywhere in the country in less than five hours. Trips to remote locations like Bandon Dunes might set you back an entire travel day, but with Dallas, you’ll unfortunately be ready to head right back to work. Enjoy!
Travel & Leisure Tip: Enjoy the Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile trail that is Dallas's most popular place to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you are walking, running, biking, or rollerblading, the Katy Trail has more than a dozen places to hop on, starting at the American Airlines Center and ending at Southern Methodist University. The Katy Trail Ice House is a popular spot to stop and enjoy food and drinks along the way.