Everyone had a fighting chance.
There were no droughts. No 80+ days of record heat. No massive snowfall or a harsh winter. Golf courses had no excuses if they had suspect course conditions or if they couldn’t reach or surpass last year’s total number of rounds with a fully functional golf course.
Everyone had a fighting chance.
And it seemed nearly everyone did all they could to better themselves in 2012. Bunker renovations. New greens. Updated amenities. Like a boxer in training, all the hard work behind the scenes could hopefully lead to a polished and refined product with a few titles.
This year’s Best of Public rankings were quite an eye-opener. Our panel – Craig Rosengarden, Rick Arnett and Robert Rodriguez – made it a point to visit nearly every public course in the Metroplex this year. Sometimes we came in twos or as a threesome; other times we dropped by as a single. Either way, we knew we couldn’t use the weather as an excuse for not checking out every course in our top-65.
What we saw was that the competition is getting quite fierce. Another course joined the fray in the Elite Category (those that charge over $100 for a weekend morning tee time), and many others opened up after significant renovations in the other categories. Basically, if courses rested on their laurels and didn’t do much to improve themselves in 2012, they suffered in the rankings.
After significant discussions by our panel, we crowned the Best of Public champions in their respective 11 weight classes … err, categories. We also tabbed who we thought was, pound for pound, the Best Overall Golf Club in the Metroplex.
Everyone had a fighting chance this year, and some had that championship valor. Please enjoy our Best of Public rankings for 2012.
Best Overall golf club
Cowboys Golf Club
Stronger competition. Some new wrinkles on defense. The same aura associated with the name and star that makes them such a fan favorite and a standard-bearer for their rivals.
Wait, why are we talking about the Dallas Cowboys’ season so far in 2012?
We aren’t, thankfully, or else Cowboys Golf Club would be taking quite a hit and fall somewhere in the middle of these rankings like the football team. Despite some new blood in their price category and some extensive renovations done to the several aspects of the golf club, Cowboys GC retained the top spot and our most prestigious honor in these rankings for the 11th straight year.
Since its opening 11 years ago, Cowboys has been considered one of the elite courses in town. Only a few other golf clubs could boast such status, but another entered the mix this year and plans to be a formidable opponent like the New York Giants or the Philadelphia Eagles in the near future for the Best Overall Golf Club honor.
Now, two clubs are following the Cowboys model of offering an all-inclusive package with exceptional service and top-notch amenities for over $100. To combat these clubs, which both either built or updated their digs and golf courses recently, Cowboys revamped several aspects of the club including the lone eyesore on the golf course – the bunkers – and perhaps its most popular hangout – the Sideline Grill.
The golf course now sports Caylor White bunkers, which were constructed using the “Better Billy Bunker” system, the same bunker lining and system used at Augusta National. The Sideline Grill was completely refurbished inside and out with all new equipment, restroom fixtures, paint and landscaping. The clubhouse also got some updates this year, as it was repainted and recarpeted.
Eagle Golf spent over $500,000 on the bunker renovation project alone, and more than $1 million over the past two years on making the golf experience better at Cowboys. When you’re king of the public golf course scene, you have to do that to remain successful. The golf course is still one of Jeff Brauer’s best creations, with striking elevation changes and impeccable course conditions throughout. A round at Cowboys – no matter if it’s for a tournament or just a round with the fellas – is always a treat, and one of the few public layouts that you’re always eager to play.
Competition for this title has indeed stepped up, especially this year. However, Cowboys Golf Club also stepped up their game – mind you, without increasing their rates – and is our choice once again as the Best Overall Golf Club.