Cowboys Golf Club Nears Opening

When kickers for the Dallas Cowboys “tee it up” here, the balls they hit will be much smaller than footballs and they’ll be aiming between tree lines instead of goal posts. The Cowboys Golf Club is on track to open in spring 2001.

Golf Works of Austin, the course’s builder, completed its work on the 18-hole, Jeffrey D. Brauer-designed course, a joint venture between Evergreen Alliance Golf Limited (EAGL) of Irving and The Dallas Cowboys’ Blue Star Investments, a Jerry Jones company. “To have this great a site in this particular spot is an unbelievable opportunity,” said Brauer, president of the golf course architectural firm Golf Scapes in Arlington, a Dallas suburb. “It is a rare combination of being a perfect site in the perfect location. You usually have to go way out of town to get a property like this that is fully wooded and has dramatic elevation changes.”

Steven Jones, Cowboys vice president and the son of owner Jerry Jones, is spearheading the organization’s involvement in the golf club which, he said, is unprecedented for an NFL franchise. “We’re highly enthusiastic about pioneering this golf concept and its potential,” he said. Cowboys’ players are expected to play often and the organization intends to hold various activities there year-round – from press conferences and Cowboy appearances to charity tournaments and other events.

The course winds over “some of the nicest land I have seen in the area,” Brauer said. “It cried out for a low-profile, traditional design to complement its beauty and let nature dominate. It has the feel of a country club that has been in play for many years. And there are lots of massive oak and pecan trees.”

Keeping with the traditional feel of the course, Brauer let the woodlands frame the holes and moved just 180,000 cubic yards of earth – 100,000 of that on one hole, where an old sand-mining operation was raised above the floodplain. Holes 2 and 4 wind 100 feet downhill, a rarity in Texas. The greens are moderately sized, averaging around 6,000 square feet, “to convey that old-time feeling,” Brauer said, and the course tips out at 7,000 yards. The front nine meanders through woods and the back nine skirts Lake Grapevine.

Just minutes from DFW International Airport, the property sits below the dam for Lake Grapevine. In three years developers expect a half-dozen hotels to be built in the immediate vicinity, which already boasts the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World and Grapevine Mills Mall. Also planned is the Opryland-Texas Hotel, which is discussing construction of its own golf course to function out of the same clubhouse as the Cowboys Golf Club.

EAGL Marketing Director Philip Martin said the company “has done a lot of work with Jeff (Brauer) and it was our call to engage him. His projects have had a lot of success.” Among those have been Canterberry Golf Course in Parker, Colo., and Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn., which are rated among the best affordable public courses in the U.S.; Wild Horse in Davis, California, which opened in 1999; Painted Dunes in El Paso; and StoneBridge Ranch near Dallas, now under construction.