While no longer the hidden secret it was when it opened 20 years ago, Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club, just outside the Allen city limits, still is as popular as ever for Collin Country golfers and others eager to enjoy private club golf at public golf prices.
Don’t let the name country club put you off from your latest golf journey. Heritage Ranch, recently acquired to be managed by Troon Golf, has a large and active private club membership in the gated community, but it’s fully open to the public all the time.
Approximately 40,000 rounds a played here a year, with golfers looking for the same things: challenge, beauty, top course conditions and a good pace of play.
“I tell our staff and our players the same thing all the time.,” said longtime Heritage Director of Golf Charlie Mabie tells Local Profile. “we offer quality, top customer service and good pace of play.”
The Arthur Hills designed course (Hills also did one local Trophy Club course) opened in 2002. This may be his best and most complete work yet after courses TPC-Coral Springs in Florida and Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio.
The course is chock-full of personality with fantastic routing, elevation changes and strategically placed water features that will challenge every aspect of your game. With a par-72 layout that plays 6,998 yards from the tips, the course has some teeth but won’t leave you considering selling your clubs in the parking lot when you finish your round.
The layout is part of a planned massive active senior community, measuring 6,988 yards from the back tees. Set on 575 wooded acres, Hills created holes framed by huge trees in many places along with massive bunkers and lakes, plus open fields.
Two other touches familiar to pros, but not always the public golfer, are the large use of chipping areas which emphasize this often neglected skill and thick collars of rough which surround many of the greens and won’t allow many of the familiar bounced-up approach shots.
“The course has plenty of wide-open fairways, 40 yards in some places, with not that many bunkers (20-30), but you better hit the green complexes at the right level for where the pin in because there are some pretty tough pitching and chipping areas,” says Mabie.
Water comes into play in several locations on the front nine with a creek and several ponds as well.
Three of his best holes are on the back nine including the par-4 10th hole, which is downhill and drivable for the biggest of hitters, but only if they avoid the huge tree and larger bunker guarding the front of the green. The par-3 12th hole has a large mound in front of the green with sand left and water right.
The par-3 16th hole is the best of the bunch and could be one of the best anywhere in North Texas. At 208 yards from the back tees, the fairway crosses a small stream and then goes steady upward in a series of plateaus with exposed limestone and a hidden lake on the left.
With tee boxes spaced between nearly 7,000 and 5,000 yards, there is a correct teeing spot for every level of golfer with Tift eagle greens and 419 Bermuda fairway all in expert condition thanks to longtime superintendent Monty Ashworth.
According to Mabie, another factor local golfers may not have considered when booking a round at Heritage Ranch is the ease of play on the weekends, different from most local courses.
“Because we have a large retirement community, much of the play during the week is from members who can play anytime they want with no jobs to go to,” says Mabie. “During the weekend, they don’t play much with grandkids and other activities so it’s probably 60-70 percent public on Saturday and Sunday.”
Yardage 6,899 to 5,188 yards
Ball Count Needed: 1-plus sleeves should be fine here. Some water and some trees.
Toughest Hole: The par 3 16th at nearly 210 yards from the back tees with a long carry to the green, water left with a large bank and a narrow green. It’s all you want.
Bonus: The grinder, an Italian meatball sub at Corral Grill, is a bestseller. Plus golf legend Lee Trevino's son Tony is the GM. He's got stories!
Heritage Ranch Golf & CC
465 Scenic Ranch Circle
Fairview, Texas 75069