The Takeaway: Dallas National is deservedly revered as one of Texas' elite tracks as Tom Fazio came through again at a big budget club. The lack of housing, impeccable conditions, variety of design, and impressive views add up to an elite Lone Star state experience that is second only to Whispering Pines and runs neck-and-neck with Spanish Oaks. That being said, Dallas National is ranked a little higher in the national magazines than I feel it deserves especially considering the number of other Fazio designs that trump it in greatness namely Shadow Creek, Gozzer Ranch, and Victoria National. I found myself thinking of Hudson National as much as any other Fazio design while at Dallas National though I find Hudson's property, views, and engaging hole designs superior to Dallas. Grade A-
Designer: Tom Fazio in 2002
Phone Number: (214) 331-4195
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Dallas National Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1515 Knoxville Street, Dallas, TX
Accolades: Ranked 61st on Golf Digest's 2015-16 Top 100 Greatest Courses in America list and 1st in the state of Texas. Ranked 37th on Golfweek's 2015 Top 100 Modern Courses list.
What to Expect: Dallas National is the envy of every course in the north Texas for many reasons but perhaps the biggest is the impressive elevation changes found throughout the property. North Texas is notoriously flat and Tom Fazio was put to work transforming this property into a golf course which worked well since the unstable terrain could not be used for traditional development. I sometimes stereotype Fazio designs as having the closing holes as the most climatic part of the routing, however at Dallas National the middle stretch that includes the 9th and 10th holes provide the most impressive views and dramatic holes. It is a good thing that caddies are provided during your round since I would classify this course as harder than most Fazio courses to contend with, particularly at the greens. Some of the members elect to walk the course though I would only recommend it if you walk courses often and can handle the undulated terrain and distances between holes. The exceptional conditioning, fast greens, and challenging routing create a natural fit for professional golfers like Hunter Mahan to call Dallas National home. Other than the 10th hole, the course isn't as photogenic as other Fazio designs which can be attributed to the general lack of water hazards, the forest style tree lines, and muted contrast in the green tones throughout the course.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 10th Hole – 610 Yard Par 5 – In a city that is known for being flat, the elevated 10th hole at Dallas National offers the best views a player could dream of while in the Lone Star State. Not only is this the signature hole of the course, it is the signature course of the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area. It will be difficult to reach this 600+ yarder in two, especially playing uphill to the green, so play to your strengths here and navigate the bunkering in a way that will at least leave you a birdie putt.
Best Par 3: 5th Hole – 225 Yards – This lengthy one-shotter plays over a ravine to one of the most uniquely contoured greens on the course. Pins on the right third of the green are flat out awnry to get close to and very difficult to save par on when missing the green. The two deep bunkers on the left side of the green are a death trap for players that struggle getting lift from the sand.
Best Par 4: 15th Hole – 458 Yards – The finest two-shotter on the property, the 15th has a small forced carry off the tee before doglegging left around a ravine. The approach shot plays uphill to a green that tilts back towards the ravine and is thus less receptive from the safer right side of the fairway. There is an opening in front of the green to bound a ball up to the putting surface which can prove beneficial to players coming in from a lengthy distance. This is hole represents the best combination of architecture and difficulty on the course.
Best Par 5: 2nd Hole – 552 Yards – This hard dogleg right is reachable in two for players successfully challenging the bunker on the corner. That being said, holding this green from a long distance is absolutely brutal given how hard the putting surface slopes from left to right and front to back. There is plenty of forgiveness in the fairway for golfers trying to play the hole safely, but the green site is still crazy nasty and can produce big numbers for players struggling with their short game.
Birdie Time: 7th Hole – 356 Yard Par 4 – Dallas National's only driveable par four is this slight dogleg left with a right-to-left sloping fairway and two bunkers on the right side. The fairway is rather generous so players that can't reach the green should still be left with a short approach to a receptive green.
Bogey Beware: 16th Hole – 489 Yard Par 4 – At nearly 500 yards, there are not a lot of players hitting this green in regulation. The fairway features a small bunker on the right and two larger bunkers on the left before banking to the right. Even big hitters will likely be faced with their longest approach of the day and contend with a green that is rather wide but not very deep.