Golf Club of Dallas Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 70
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Golf Club of Dallas Review

Reveiw of The Golf Club of Dallas

The Golf Club of Dallas, formally known as Oak Cliff Country Club, was the last course designed by Perry Maxwell before he died in 1952.  His son, Press completed the design and the course opened for play in 1953.  Perry designed a number of courses, including Austin Country Club and Brookhollow in Texas.  In 2002, with Charles Coody’s assistance, The Golf Club of Dallas was renewed and slightly renovated, primarily to restore its purity as a Perry and Press Maxwell design.

The Golf Club of Dallas is rich in history and tradition and was host to the Dallas Open, now known as the Byron Nelson Golf Class, from 1958 to 1967 where Sam Snead, Julius Boros, Bert Yancey and others played and collected trophies.   From 1953 until early 2012, The Golf Club of Dallas was a private members only club but it's now open to the public and it's one of the Dallas courses that you've got to play. 

The Golf Club of Dallas is a classic traditional layout with tight tree lined fairways, surprising elevation changes, and small greens.  When you look at the scorecard and notice that from the tips it's only 6719 yards, your first reaction is "piece of cake, let's play the tips!"   Surprise, the slope and rating (72.7 and 133) are your first clue that something is amiss and then you'll notice that its a par 70 - which means there are some really long and demanding par 4s.  And the tight fairways and small greens put a premium on shaping the ball and on accuracy over distance.  The first time you play the course, don't bite off more than you can chew!

The Golf Club of Dallas is one of those courses that has a lot of things we really like about a golf course and few that we don't for example, we really liked:

  • the conditions which were excellent - great greens, perfect sand bunkers, and very good fairways
  • the variety, particularly on the back is very good with each of the holes a little bit different
  • you'll encounter a little bit of everything during your round - dog legs, sloping contoured rolling fairways, guarded greens, water, strategically placed bunkers, forced carries, and more
  • an excellent price for such a great course
  • it's tight and challenging but very fair and fun to play
  • some really good holes that you'll want to play again and maybe a little different than the way you played them the first time
  • a couple great risk reward shots off the tee
  • an outstanding back nine with some really fun and interesting holes
  • small greens that once you hit them were easy to read and put

That's the good part about playing The Golf Club of Dallas, but some of what we didn't like included:

  • small greens that were challenging to hit and a fringe that was thick and tough to chip or putt from
  • several side-by-side holes where you might encounter players on another hole in your fairway, bunker, or tee box  
  • a good value but that typically results in lots of  inexperienced golfers which can mean a slower pace of play
  • on the front nine, some traditional straight-forward holes with what you see is what you get

Don't let any of the dislikes discourage you from playing The Golf Club of Dallas - it's a fantastic layout, that's fun, fair, demanding, in excellent condition, and a heck of deal.  Can't beat all that! 

When we played in early September the fairways were in very good condition.  All of the fairways are tree lined and most are fairly tight where you might consider leaving the big dog in the bag.  If you do spray it, in most cases you'll find the ball under the trees with a recovery shot back to the fairway or you'll be in another fairway with a decision to make - try to fly the trees toward the green, play up the wrong fairway toward the green, or worm burn it under the trees back to the right fairway.  Several of The Golf Club of Dallas fairways are sloping and contoured and you'll need to manage that or you're in trouble.

The greens are much smaller than average but they were in very good condition when we played - soft, true, and running at a good speed of around 9 to 10.  Most of the greens are relatively flat but a very few have some significant slope and one has a tier.  The all seem to have some small subtle breaks requiring careful study before you putt.  When we played the fringe around the green was a tad thick making a putt or chip toward the pin challenging. 

The bunkers range in shape and size from small to some larger multi-fingered monsters.  Most have a manageable lip, except for the few I found that seemed a little steep and deep.  The bunkers were in great shape with soft, thick, fluffy sand.  The majority of the bunkers are guarding the greens. 

Bottom line - some excellent holes, fair but demanding, excellent conditions, a great value, and a pleasure to play.  

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,202 70.0 129
White 5,727 67.5 124
Gold 6,719 72.7 133
Red 5,472 72.6 127

Course Information

Course Architect:
Press Maxwell
Greens Type:
Tif Eagle
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 48 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.8 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$29.00 to $59.00

Service is excellent. The pro shop is well stocked. The clubhouse is classic and the practice facilities are adequate.



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! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

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.