Dallas The Tribute Golf Club pays homage to Scotland

By May 25, 2010, 7:55 am
tribute golf club dallas
A stone wall at No. 9 at The Tribute mimmicks the same hole at Muirfield

THE COLONY, Texas - How do you give a golf club designed to pay homage to the great courses of Scotland a true Scottish feel?

You hire a Scotsman, of course.

Which is exactly what The Tribute Golf Club did when they brought Keith Erskine over from Royal Troon Golf Club. It's Erskine's voice, not Ewan McGregor's, on The Tribute's voicemail, and if you're real lucky, Erskine is the guy who checks you in for your round in the golf shop.

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Course designer Tripp Davis met Erskine during a scouting trip to Scotland when he was looking for inspiration for this Dallas-area club. It took a little convincing, but Erskine says he's glad he made the move.

'I love it here,' he said. 'And it is a bit warmer.'

Erskine's Scottish brogue is the finishing touch on a club that paid attention to most every detail of recreating the feel of golf's birthplace. From the clubhouse pub to the first and 18th holes, which pay tribute to St. Andrews, to the old-world style rooms above the clubhouse overlooking Lake Lewisville, you feel somewhere other than Texas.

Inside the clubhouse Scottish décor abounds, including plenty of photos and artwork from British Opens, Scottish colors and displays of antique golf clubs. Just in case you're not convinced, bagpipe music plays regularly on the outside speakers.

On the 7,002-yard, par-72 golf course, it gets even better.

Beginning with golf's roots

The first and 18th holes, like on the Old Course in St. Andrews, share the same fairway, which means there's little excuse for getting the opening tee shot in play. Keep it low, even into the wind, and your ball will run on these firm fairways, setting up a short approach across the burn into a tricky undulating and sometimes quick bentgrass green.

Don't get used to wide-open tee shots. By the second and third hole, you're into Carnoustie, and we all know how difficult those holes can be. High grass starts appearing off the fairway, and you'll be hard-pressed to find your ball in it.

Fortunately, for pace of play - and to help keep your score down - the local rule at The Tribute Golf Club defines the native areas as lateral hazards, which can turn potential triple bogeys into mere bogeys if you take advantage.

Plenty of other great courses inspired Davis. The fifth is modeled after the famous Postage Stamp hole of Turnberry, one of the shortest holes in major championship history. True to form, it's easy to chip or putt off the green if you're not careful.

You'll also find holes from Prestwick, Muirfield, Western Gailes and Royal Dornoch, to name a few. And no Scotland tribute course would be complete without the Road Hole of St. Andrews and the Valley of Sin found on the Old Course's 18th.

The verdict

I've played several golf courses that either replicate or are 'inspired' by holes on great courses, and The Tribute tops the list.

Conditioning was outstanding, and getting a links feel wasn't a stretch, as wind is fairly common in the Dallas area. Of course, it's a little warmer here most of the year, which does little to take away from the experience.

The Tribute Golf Club also did a great job of creating a 33,000-square-foot Scottish-style clubhouse that exudes warmth with grand fireplaces, inlaid wood and the Old Tom Morris Pub, which serves a few traditional Scottish dishes and single malts.

The golf shop is also well stocked and includes memorabilia from the great courses of Scotland. Behind the clubhouse is a large practice green, and there's also an expansive range. Lessons are available from Erskine and other staff members.

The real treat here, though, is the eight guest suites on the floor above the clubhouse, overlooking the course and Lake Lewisville. Each features old world furnishings, including an old-style wardrobe, but also offer mini-fridges and high-def satellite TV.

It's perfect for a group of guys who want to take a quick golf vacation without having to fly across the pond.
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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

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In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.