Public more than welcome at fun Frisco Lakes Golf Club north of Dallas

By Travel ArticlesOctober 31, 2012, 4:00 am

FRISCO, Texas -- If you're an average golfer -- or even above or below average -- and you have a chance to play a golf course built in a retirement community like Frisco Lakes, go play it. It's almost always guaranteed fun.

Why? Because they don't build golf courses for retirees that are overly difficult. That much is obvious. Fortunately, they also don't build them overly short. So if you've got a little game, you can still get find challenge, but you're not going to get beat up.

That's certainly the case with Frisco Lakes Golf Club, located within the Del Webb Community of Frisco Lakes, just north of Dallas.

This 7,099-yard Gary Stephenson design will play plenty tough from the tips -- especially with water on half the holes -- but the fairways are not only wide, but they slope toward the middle. You really have to spray it to get in trouble off the tee.

'It's a very fair golf course,' General Manager Josh Morgan said. 'But at the same time, there is trouble out there.'

No doubt about that. Both nines -- which were recently flipped for pace of play -- feature par 5s that end with greens pretty much surrounded by water. There's an island-green par 3, the eighth, and the seventh has a peninsula green.

But if we're making this sound like Frisco Lakes has a bunch of forced carries, that's not entirely accurate. The majority of the course can be navigated around water, and even the island green is just 106 yards from the blue tees.

Frisco Lakes Golf Club: Very open to the public

The other notion about golf courses that are set in retirement communities is that they're private. That, too, is not the case. In fact, Frisco Lakes encourages outside play, especially on the weekend.

'We want to get the word out,' Morgan said. 'Friday, Saturday, Sunday -- that's when I want the public to come in.'

The course has only been around four and a half years, and the club's spacious clubhouse just opened in 2010. Earlier this year, businessman Young Han bought the course from Pulte Homes and almost immediately started making improvements. The biggest project is continuing this winter as all 113 bunkers are being rebuilt and should be ready by spring.

'The benefits of having private ownership is you're not working for a management company,' said Morgan, who was hired by Han from nearby Bridlewood Golf Club. 'You don't have to go through five or six people to get something done. For example, on the bunker renovations, I went right down the street to his offices and showed him that this is what we need to do and showed him the plan. And it's either yes or no.'

Right now, Frisco Lakes Golf Club is still a tale of two nines. The front nine goes through the development, but there are 1,400 homes that are planned for the back nine over the next few years. For now, it's the nine that's still part of nature with plenty of mesquite trees and wildlife.

Frisco Lakes Golf Club: The verdict

If you're looking for a fun time, look no further than Frisco Lakes Golf Club. Excellent conditions, including terrific MiniVerde greens, combined with the fact that you won't be looking for many balls, make for a pleasant and fairly quick round.

The club also has terrific practice facilities, including a large grass range and giant short-game area.

Lessons are available from the staff pros, and clubhouse dining is good enough that you don't have to be a golfer to stop by and grab a beverage or a bite to eat.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.