The Dallas Athletic Club, one of the first and most prestigious athletic clubs in Dallas, is home to two outstanding golf courses. The Gold Course and the Blue course were originally designed by Ralph Plummer and subsequently redesigned by Jack Nicklaus. After his first major win at the 45th PGA Championship played on the Blue Course in 1963, Jack Nicklaus graciously agreed to be the architect of the Blue Course which was badly needed after an extremely harsh winter in 1984. Jack subsequently remodeled the Gold course five years later.
And Jack did a fantastic job of remodeling the Gold into an excellent 18 holes of golf - it's scenic, memorable, challenging, and fun to play. The Gold Course is aesthetically very pleasing with eight lakes (that are not your typical Texas brown stagnate color), water fountains, natural gently rolling terrain, water falls, gracefully arched stone bridges, and a wide variety of different types of mature and stately trees. All of that plus bunkers and 7169 yards makes the Gold Course not only fun to play but very challenging.
On a number of holes, when we stepped up to the tee box, looked at the hole layout, and checked the yardage and handicap, our initial thought was "what's so hard about this hole? It looks pretty straightforward and easy." But what Jack has done is make it look easy when it is really deceivingly very challenging. On most every hole he'll throw something at you that will test your game. You'll encounter elevated tee shots, forced carries, dog legs, strategically placed bunkers, challenging green complexes, water, narrow fairways, tough approach shots, and gentle up hill shots to elevated greens - plus the Gold Course is a little long at 7169 yards. Maybe all of that is why it has a slope of 142 and a rating of 75.1. Some examples of what you will encounter include:
The first time you play the course you may struggle with some of the challenges, but with local knowledge and more rounds on the Gold Course you'll learn how to manage the course - and you won't get tired of playing it because there are a number of fun and memorable holes. For example:
The fairways are all tree lined with a variety of different trees and most of the fairways are a tad tight. When we played, the rough was cut thinner than normal and very playable thanks to a member guest tournament that day. Miss the rough and you're under the trees or in the other fairway. The grass under the trees makes it fairly easy to chip back to the fairway. The fairways and rough were in near perfect condition and the course is meticulously maintained and very well landscaped. The fairways are flat to gently rolling with some big uphill and downhill shots on a few holes. Homes line a couple holes and can come into play.
The bent grass greens were in very good condition, held the ball well, were very slick and fast, and hard to read thanks to subtle breaks. Some have severe slope and undulation and pin placement can be a killer. We hadn't played bent greens for awhile and we had a hard time getting used to them and two and three putts were common for us. I would think that the members would love the greens after playing them for a few rounds.
The bunkers were in perfect condition with soft thick sand. They varied in size from pot sized to huge and long. Most had an average face but make sure you do what you can to avoid the ones that are steep and deep.
Bottom line - the Gold course is fantastic and I wouldn't think that you would get tired of playing it. It will test your game and give you plenty of opportunity to try different clubs and a different strategy each time you play the course.
Initiation Fees: $10,001 to $25,000
Monthly Dues: $201 to $400
The Dallas Athletic Club has a lot of prestige and tradition and the facilities and service are first class. The practice areas are perfect, the pro shop is very well stocked with everything a golfer could want, and the grill and restaurant are excellent.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.