If you follow the coverage of this week’s PGA Tour event in Dallas, Texas (The HP Byron Nelson Championship), you’re obviously going to see and hear a lot about the host course: the TPC Las Colinas, part of the Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas.
What you probably won’t hear much, if anything, about is the Cottonwood Valley Golf Course located just across the street.
You won’t hear about this Jay Morrish design (which was part of the Nelson Tournament mix until 2008) because it’s private, but if you find yourself traveling to, or through, the “Big D,” and want to play this very good course, here’s how to do it.
First, if you were to simply look on the Four Seasons Resort Dallas’ website or take the word of its reservationists, you’d think there’s no way to play Cottonwood Valley without being, or knowing a member.
However, if you stay more than one night at the resort and make a request directly through the pro shop, you will likely be able to secure a tee time on Cottonwood Valley.
Many members actually prefer it to the newly toughened TPC Las Colinas, also designed by Morrish (and redesigned in 2007 by D.A. Weibring).
For one thing, Cottonwood Valley plays several shots easier than the TPC course, mainly because there’s plenty of room to hit the ball all over the yard and still make par.
The round starts off with a memorable two-shotter whose fairway leads down to a water hazard crossing dangerously close to a Texas-shaped green. But Cottonwood Valley’s best moments occur on the back nine, where more water holes get your adrenaline going.
The course sees much less traffic and enjoys a more secluded ambiance, too, though the routing runs closer to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport, a noisy neighbor that affects both courses.
I guess it’s the price you pay for convenience; you can go from tarmac to tee here in about 30 minutes.
If you visit, be sure to leave a little time before or after your round to visit the golf shop, a full emporium for golf and tennis players alike. The corridor just outside the shop features storyboards of the past winners of the Byron Nelson Championship and an extensive collection of Bryon Nelson memorabilia.
Have you played Cottonwood Valley or TPC Las Colinas? Have any comments or tips of your own? Please share them below.
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