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An Inside Look At Playing Golf At PGA Frisco

Golf writer Art Stricklin checks out the greens at PGA Frisco
Photo: PGA

North Texas has plenty of golf courses — more than 300 depending on how big you want to draw the circle on our golf-rich area. There are 26 in Collin Country alone.

But the coming public golf earthquake in North Frisco should change the game forever for both golfers, would-be golfers, curious non-golfers or those who just want to check out the latest entertainment hot spot.

Omni PGA Frisco, Fields Ranch East and West on 660 acres of former North Texas farmland in far North Frisco will be a game changer for golf, sports and entertainment. Located at the new, modern PGA of America headquarters, the courses are owned by Dallas-based Omni Hotels, which will have a massive 550-room resort here and the PGA (Professional golfers of America) of America will oversee golf operations on city of Frisco land.

PGA Frisco's green | Photo courtesy of PGA

Almost every spare inch of this new North Texas golfing utopia will be open to the public from the huge, Texas-sized putting green (the Dance Floor)  to the 10-hole short course (The Swing) to the resort and two courses, The East designed by Gil Hanse and The West, a Beau Welling design. Heck, even the Northern Texas PGA will have an awesome synthetic putting and chipping complex here open to the public when not in use for NTPGA activities.

Add nearly a dozen public eating, drinking and shopping establishments, the PGA District, all overseen by a huge electronic TV screen, plus a three-mile walk/bike/pet trail and you’ve got a golfing paradise no matter if you’re a thoroughly hooked hacker, a casual golfer or just somebody who wants in on the non-stop action. In the final construction phase, everything should be open in spring 2023.

“We were always going to make everything public here because that fits into the PGA of America’s mission of attracting golfers and non-golfers to the sport,” says PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.

The east course, which will host 26 major golf championships starting with the PGA Seniors Championship in May, two future PGA Championships and likely a Ryder Cup include a drivable par 4 on both the front (No. 7) and back nine (15). Is walkable with caddies.

There is a nearly 300-yard par 3, (No. 13 from the championship tees)  along with the largest green on the course followed by the smallest, just to confuse golfers’ already confused minds. Then a bunkerless par 4 16th hole which seems simple, but is anything but!

Then, for the closing act, there is a dangerous 17th hole par 3, at 141 yards, the shortest on the course, plus a par 5 18th hole with a large stream and a hard dogleg right plus a 10-foot earthen wall you’ll to hit over to reach the final green after crossing Panther Creek for the final time.

The west course by Welling, who did Bluejack National with Tiger Woods outside Houston, did the more player friendly with lots of wide open North Texas prairie spaces, elevated views and some truly funky, rolling greens.

It’s a course to be ridden for sure, but one to take in the scenery with risk and reward challenges. Welling said the two courses are not identical sisters but in the same family.

While the public will make up more than 80% of the rounds on the Hanse East course, he designed the course to be player-friendly, but certainly not pain-free if you don’t hit the correct shot from the correct tee.

The course can easily play more than 7,800 yards from the back tees, but PGA officials said the length will rarely, if ever, be used on a daily basis.

But playing the correct set of tees will be critical to resort player enjoyment for the triple-figure rates which will be charged to Omni Hotel guests and general public play. Frisco residents will pay considerably less.

The opening hole on the east course is a par 5 with a dogleg right, which features some thick rough and the first appearance of native Panther Creek.

A less-than-optimal shot could mean the first lost ball early despite the best effort of the caddies. If fact, when Woods opened his private Bluejack National course three hours southeast of here,  he said he hoped most players could play his course with a single ball.

If an amateur plays PGA Frisco East with a single ball, they might be drug tested or sent straight up to the PGA Tour.

Holes 10-12, all par 4, play in full view of the huge Omni Resort, making them prime spots for tournament watching, but players of all skill levels will have their full attention captured when they get to the par 3 13th hole.

Panther Creek cuts across the fairway and curls up the left side, but it will be one of the most attractive features on the backside.  The par 4 15th is another uphill drivable par 4 which is surrounded by bunkers to embrace the risk-reward factor.  

Public golf and green grass entertainment will never be the same in North Texas again.

In case you missed it, check Local Profile's look inside PGA's new home.