Thirty-three degrees with a 26-degree wind chill could not keep over 100 players from enjoying the inaugural round at the new Texas Rangers Golf Club
. The course, formerly known as Chester W. Ditto for 36 years, has received a complete makeover by Arlington-based golf course architects John Colligan and Trey Kemp of Colligan Golf Design
Colligan Golf Design was selected by the City of Arlington, owners of the course, to complete the design and oversee the construction of the $8.5-million-dollar project in 2013. Landscapes Unlimited was selected for construction of the course, which started in December of 2016.
The city parks and recreation department worked with CGD to create a wish list for the course. This included an overall yardage of over 7,000 yards, one par 5 over 600 yards, multiple tees with the forward set playing to a distance of 4,800 yards, a double-ended practice range and a short game practice area.
Wish list in hand, Colligan and Kemp went to work. When the conceptual design phase was completed, various routings were produced for the 164-acre site. This was after several meetings with the city staff and three public meetings. The final plan provided everything the city wanted – and more. It has a 23-acre double-ended practice range with realistic targets that can be played as a par-3 course, a practice hole for lessons and a four-green short game area.
The new routing bears no resemblance to the worn-out old Ditto tract. Now playing to a length of over 7,000 yards with 110,000 square feet of bunkers and mildly concaved fairways that softly roll, the golf course is forgiving and a visual delight.
Colligan feels the one thing that will impress former players as well as the new is the overall scale of the course. The old layout was somewhat claustrophobic with tight tree-lined crowned fairways. The new course has wide and friendly fairways with large greens, which hold approach shots, not reject them. Colligan likes to refer to the scale of Texas Rangers Golf Club as “Texas Big.”
Colligan and Kemp have completed several popular renovations in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex in recent years, including Stevens Park Golf Course, Rockwood Park Golf Course and Squaw Creek Golf Course in Willow Park.