As a golfer that aspires to a trip across the pond to play ‘real’ links golf in Scotland, I was really looking forward to getting a taste of it at The Tribute Golf Club just Northwest of Dallas, TX. Nestled in the The Colony, an upscale residential community, you might expect lots of holes lined by homes, but with virtually no trees and no homes alongside fairways you can see the links experience from everywhere. Each hole is modeled after some of Scotland’s greatest holes, including St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Muirfield and more…
I think the smartest decision they made was the opening hole. Modeling the first and the eighteenth hole after St. Andrews, thrusts you into perhaps the most famous starting and finishing holes in the world. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have a fairway that stretches over 150 yards wide to begin and end your round either. Don’t be concerned that you won’t get to experience ‘British Open’ conditions either as North Texas provides a very windswept, firm and fast track to force you into hitting the ball along the ground more often than you are used to. Thrown in three holes bordering Lewisville Lake and you feel just like you are seaside.
After taking in the 1st and 18th at the beginning of the round, you begin to appreciate a diverse collection of holes. My favorites on the front nine were the par-5, 3rd hole modeled after Hogan’s Alley at Carnoustie and the more famous Postage Stamp, the short par-3, 5th hole. The 3rd is a straight par-5 with humps and bumps that can propel your ball another 30 yards or stop it dead in its tracks. Play it correctly and getting on in 2 is a possibility. The 5th is a par-3 of only 125 yards or so but with the wind often coming hard off your right, a green severely sloped from left to right and a small bunker left and above the green, accuracy is the key.
My favorite hole on the back nine was getting the opportunity to play a simulated Road Hole, after #17 at St. Andrews. With a blind tee shot hitting over the stone wall and a building simulating the Hotel, it played all of the 450+ yards and the tee shot was just the beginning. Finding the fairway was important, but the back right pin placement we had produced an approach shot of some 215 yards bringing the infamous Road Hole Bunker very much into play. Coming up short on the front of the green, seemed like a good play until I paced off my 43 yard putt that I happily 3-putted and moved on to the closing hole and a quick stop and walk across the Swilken Bridge.
From the moment you pull onto property the clubhouse, the music playing and the atmosphere all say Scotland and what a treat to have a unique and extremely well maintained Scottish Golf experience. I highly recommend The Tribute as a great destination when heading to Dallas for your buddies golf trip or just a weekend getaway.
For more information visit www.thetributegc.com.
While I did not adjust my game well enough to take on the wind and the accessibility to roll the ball up on most of the greens, playing a very different type of game was tremendous and only peaked my interest in making the trek to Scotland soon.