As we continue our series, this time we’re looking at the best public golf courses in Dallas. Alongside Fort Worth, Dallas is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
There is a real depth of quality golf courses, both private and public, in this area. In fact, doing the research and coming up with this list was a real challenge. Any given week, there could be three or four more courses creeping up in the place of others.
The likes of the Golf Club at Fossil Creek, Hawk’s Creek Golf Club, Lake Arlington, Steven’s Park all just missed out but are arguably right up there.
That said, we have a strong list and without doubt these are some of the best public golf courses in Dallas. Let’s dive into them now.
See also: What are the best golf courses in Texas?
The best public golf courses in Dallas, Texas
|1||Old American at Golf Clubs at The Tribute|
|2||Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club|
|3||Tierra Verde Golf Club|
|4||The Tribute Golf Links at Golf Clubs at The Tribute|
|5||Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club|
|6||Texas Star Golf Club|
|7||Coyote Ridge Golf Club|
|8||Cowboys Golf Club|
|9||Buffalo Creek Golf Club|
|10||Tangle Ridge Golf Club|
|Value for money||Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club|
|Groups||Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club|
|Clubhouse||Cowboys Golf Club|
|Views||Golf Clubs at The Tribute|
1. Golf Clubs at The Tribute (Old American & The Tribute Golf Links)
Wow….what a club to kick off this list of best public golf courses in Dallas. Although something doesn’t feel right about putting a mock-links course towards the top of a ‘best golf courses’ list in Texas?!
Golf Clubs at the Tribute is positioned on an isolated and exposed peninsula off Lewisville Lake. From downtown Dallas, you’re looking at about a 45 minute drive north, but boy is it worth it.
There are two championship courses onsite; The Tribute Golf Links and the Old American Golf Club.
The Tribute Golf Links was designed by Tripp Davis and is what it says on the label; a tribute to the greatest and most famous golf holes in Scotland.
This is a true links-style layout including those stereotypical features which define golf in Scotland. Undulating dunes with long wispy grasses. Whilst cross-winds seem to constantly blow in from Lewisville Lake wreaking havoc with your club selection.
This is a masterful replication which feels truly authentic. And this sentiment is shared by those who come here to play. The course has received many different awards and is one of the highest rated public golf courses around Dallas on the various tee time websites.
The second course is the Old American Golf Club, yet another creation by Tripp Davis with input from ex-PGA Tour pro Justin Leonard.
On this occasion, the course is a tribute to the great Golden-Age, American layouts. These include the likes of Prairie Dunes and Shinnecock Hills. Expect native grasses, naturally formed bunkers and spectacular views.
A trip up to The Golf Clubs at The Tribute is without doubt one well worth making. And if you’re prepared to play a twilight round, rates start from $70.
2. Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club
High up in Tarrant County is the wonderful Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club. Located between Keller and Southlake, it’s just a half hour from Dallas International Airport.
This superb layout was designed by the world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr and opened for play in 1999. Trent Jones was supported in his endeavors by Donald Knott and Gary Linn.
Over the years it has received its fair share of awards. Golf Digest awarded it 4 out of 5 stars and Golf Magazine highlighted it as one of the ‘Top 100 You can Play in 2012’. Granted, 2012 wasn’t yesterday, but the club remains immensely playable and enjoyable.
The conditioning is fantastic as this championship course weaves through pristine swathes of land with towering oaks. The site is littered with lush foliage and there are some magnificent sweeping vistas.
Trent Jones was clearly feeling generous on this occasion, with from the tips the course measuring under 7,000 yards. But this is still a challenging layout. The Big Bear Creek meanders right up through the middle of the site and comes into play on a number of occasions.
There is without doubt a premium of your approach play with many greens elevated. Miss the putting surface and you’ll have a tricky chip back up. Likewise, the greens are firm and fast. This is not for the faint-hearted.
That said, this is a good ol’ Texas layout which is fun even if it demands you play strategically. The course has a natural feel to it and with afternoon tee times starting around 50 bucks, good value too.
3. Tierra Verde Golf Club
Heading west out of Dallas toward Fort Worth, veering south past Arlington, you’ll soon find Tierra Verde Golf Club. You’ll be about a 35 minute drive away from Dallas not far from Highway 287. This is a lovely quiet part of the world.
The fantastic Tierra Verde Golf Club is a multi-award winning club and is a pleasure to visit. It has received numerous awards from the likes of Golf Advisor and others for being one of the best places to play in Texas.
One of the features which distinguishes Tierra Verde from many other publicly accessible courses is the resplendence of its site. Alive with thick vegetation and hundreds of trees, it doesn’t feel like a stereotypical Texas course.
In fact, the club puts such an emphasis on protecting and caring for the environment, it was certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary. This was quite a feat, being the first golf course in Texas and the first municipal golf course in the world to receive that certification.
The routing was devised by Gary Panks and Gary Stephenson in 1998 and it is known as a challenging layout. In fact, the key to playing well at Tierra Verde is choosing the right tee box.
Many tee shots are blind or dog-legs with fairways relatively unforgiving. Stray shots will find the thick and penal undergrowth.
That said, don’t be put off. Tierra Verde is a superb golf course. Yes it is tough, but put your ego aside and pick the right tee box. You and your scorecard will be better for it.
4. Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club
Yet another golf course littered with accolades and awards, this is the superb Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club.
Heritage Ranch is a fair drive from central Dallas, around 45 minutes heading north. But boy is it worth it. Continue on past Plano and once you get through Allen, before hitting Fairview, you head east towards Lavon Lake.
This is a picturesque gated community set within 575 acres of landscaped grounds. There are areas of dense woodland, serene water features and open plains. Within the heart of the community is an Arthur Hills designed golf course.
Hills was one of the country’s leading architects around the turn of the century. And Heritage Ranch is unquestionably one of his top rated public course designs.
For starters, the setting is exceptional. Gently rolling terrain just primed for a top class golf course. The fairways are lined with numerous ancient trees, including pecans, cedars and oaks.
From the back tees the course is just shy of 7,000 yards, with four sets of tees to choose from to encourage playability.
There is also a sensational clubhouse. 24,000 square feet of luxury surroundings reminiscent of a traditional Texas ranch. This is an exceptional day out and it still surprises me this isn’t a private club!
5. Texas Star Golf Club
Up next on our list of best public golf courses in Texas is Texas Star Golf Club. We’re in Euless, not far from the main freeway linking Dallas and Fort Worth.
Texas Star is a club which deserves its place on this list, but definitely splits opinion.
The course is a Keith Foster creation who has been prolific designing courses around the country. Much of Foster’s work has been creating private courses. But there are some fine public layouts on his C.V.
Opening for play in 1997, the course has been constructed in three parts. The southern part south of Trinity Boulevard. The central section between Trinity Boulevard and the South Pipeline Road. And finally the northern section which is characterized by the snaking Hurricane Creek, a concrete tributary, running north to south.
This stop and start nature of the routing is one of the main reasons it divides opinion. At times it feels a little like the course was forced into the available land.
But don’t let that put you off. Yes, the concrete Hurricane Creek comes into play on a few holes, but this is a fine layout nonetheless.
As you venture away from the Hurricane Creek there are some unexpected changes in elevation. Particularly on the back nine at the 13th hole, when you are confronted with a sudden valley.
There is enough in the design which is unconventional and unexpected. Likewise, the conditioning is superb and the verdant surroundings are a pleasure.
If you can look past the disjointed flow, this is a fantastic layout and ever-popular with the locals.
6. Coyote Ridge Golf Club
Up in North Dallas, is the fantastic public facility of Coyote Ridge Golf Club. It is located in the Indian River neighborhood with the meandering Elm Fork Trinity River just nearby.
This fine golf course opened for play in 1999 and was designed by George Williams. Williams isn’t what we’d call a marquee course architect, but sometimes the underrated ones produce stand-out tracks.
Here at Coyote Ridge, Williams should be proud of the course he’s designed. It is immensely playable and is literally like playing two different courses. The two nines couldn’t be less alike.
The front nine is characterized by open rolling fairways. Like a seaside links, the breeze blows across the course and plays havoc with your shot-selection.
The back nine couldn’t be more different. Tight fairways, at times tree-lined, which twist and turn along an old gravel quarry. Expect lush greenery with all manner of trees, natural grasses and seasonal flowers. This is also without doubt the more challenging of the two nines.
Considering the course is pretty flat, there are some great views. And what better place to relax post-round than in Grill 19 and the superb 27,000 square foot clubhouse.
7. Cowboys Golf Club
Now how about this for a golf experience. A Dallas Cowboys-themed golf club, the first of its kind for the NFL.
But I get it, there is a fear this could become a little gimmicky. All the Cowboys memorabilia on show in the clubhouse with rings and trophies for all to see. The blue star at points on the ground throughout the course. Even Cowboys stone markers with facts of the team on them.
But fortunately, there are two important facets which ensure this is no gimmick. Firstly, the course is fantastic and great fun. Secondly, the clubhouse is immense. Modern sleek design just oozing class.
The club is located just 20 miles from the AT&T stadium, bordering the Grapevine Lake and its conservation area. It’s literally a mile or two north of Dallas’ International Airport.
The course was designed by the award-winning architect Jeff Brauer. Brauer’s routing meanders through 159 acres of pristine natural landscape. There are dense forests, natural waterways and an abundance of wildlife.
The course was designed to be challenging to lower handicaps, whilst providing a range of tee options for those less confident. A consistent feature is the constant elevation changes and rolling terrain. Greens are large and immaculately maintained, a real pleasure to putt on.
It has to be said though, depending on the time of day you play, the rate can jump massively. Just be flexible with your timings.
8. Buffalo Creek Golf Club
Within just 30 minutes drive from downtown Dallas, you could be driving through the gates at Buffalo Creek Golf Club.
It also couldn’t be easier to get to. Head east towards Lake Ray Hubbard, crossing the lake on Interstate 30. When you hit Rockwall, the club is about a 5 minute drive south.
Buffalo Creek opened in 1992 and is a creation by two outstanding course architects, Jay Morrish and the ex PGA Tour pro Tom Weiskopf.
Between these two, they’ve designed some outstanding golf courses nationwide. Silverleaf Golf Club in Scottsdale, The Rim in Arizona, The Club at Kukui’ula in Hawaii….the list goes on.
And here at Buffalo Creek, is another fine course which is a huge hit with Dallas golfers.
The landscape features gently rolling hills with swathes of densely packed trees. You’re not quite on the shores of the lake, but you’re far enough away from the stresses of modern life.
There is a real variety in the routing making this immensely fun to play. Holes with large expansive fairways are followed by treacherous doglegs. And then immediately after you’re required to find the narrowest of fairways and hit your approach shot over water to the green.
In recent times the management have been investing heavily into improving the course and practice facilities. Expect to see this course slowly climb up the rankings.
9. Tangle Ridge Golf Club
Last on our list of the best public golf courses in Dallas, is Tangle Ridge Golf Club. Tangle Ridge is a fine layout located to the south of Dallas in Grand Prairie, just off Joe Pool Lake.
This wonderful layout is immersed in the Pleasant Valley Park, a heavily wooded area skirting the lake. Subsequently, you’ll find Tangle Ridge has much of this dense woodland flanking fairways.
This dense blanket of woodland also promotes and protects the wildlife, which is often visible from the playing surfaces.
The course was designed by Jeff Brauer and opened for play in 1995. Since then, it has quietly but assuredly grown in stature and crafted a reputation as one of the best public courses south of Dallas.
There are some great elevation changes keeping things interesting with some spectacular water hazards to carry. Greens are often well protected by bunkers, whilst there are creeks dissecting fairways you need to avoid.
All in all, Tangle Ridge is a real hidden gem. And for the value, you just can’t go wrong. A ‘late twilight’ will only set you back $25, whilst playing at peak times is still only in the mid-sixty dollars.
What is the best golf public golf course in Dallas?
The best public golf course in Dallas is the Old American course, at the Golf Clubs at The Tribute. One of two championship courses onsite, this fantastic layout was designed by Tripp Davis. It is located a 45 minute drive north of Dallas towards Lewisville Lake.