Following my work trip southbound on I-35 for Dallas Cowboys Training Camp at the Alamodome in San Antonio, it was time for a relaxing road trip. In this case, we headed northbound on I-35 to the WinStar Golf Course at the WinStar World Casino. The entire complex is located just north of the Red River at Exit No. 1 in Oklahoma. The drive from my house in Fort Worth is actually an easier trek than a visit to North Park Center over in Dallas -- and it takes the same amount of time.
Our first stop of the day was the WinStar Golf Academy that basically doubles as a golfer's nirvana complete with two PGA TOUR AboutGolf Simulators and a plethora of state-of-the-art teaching equipment. After a quick lunch of boneless buffalo wings inside the clubhouse grill, my buddy CJ and I were in our golf cart (complete with GPS) and ready to tee it up. The 27-hole course designed by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard (the same team behind the impressive re-design of the TPC Four Seasons in Las Colinas) is my kind of golf course. Translated, it is wide open with plenty of forgiveness for an errant drive or three while remaining a challenge. Apparently celebrities agree as the course annually hosts tournaments featuring NFL and MLB players and has seen familiar faces including Michael Bolton, Blake Shelton and Larry "The Cable Guy" on its greens.
According to WinStar Golf Course General Manager Mike Hammond, the area has not had any rain since June 18. That means that Mr. Hammond, a PGA Member of over 26 years and former PGA TOUR player, and his staff have done a remarkable job with the course conditions as the manicured fairways were in great shape and the Bermuda greens rolled very true -- and very fast. We played the East and West nines for our round. That just means we will be returning soon to try out the South nine. And since WinStar is a 27-hole facility, they can not only accommodate VIPs from the casino, but a regular guy like myself who does not park his private jet at nearby Gainesville Airport.
Since our pace of play on the golf course was so fast, we had plenty of time to venture over to the ultimate 19th hole, the WinStar World Casino -- the third largest casino in the world. After grabbing steak and shrimp at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, we relaxed over at the sparkling new Palladium Sports Lounge. The upscale lounge located between two gaming plazas had plenty of flatscreens showing sports and was the perfect cap to a wonderful day away from DFW.
WinStar Golf Course (ranked No. 2 in Oklahoma by Golflink) is owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation. Tee times and rates, visit here. Information on golf memberships, visit here. Details on "Stay & Play" packages that include golf packages and deluxe accommodations at the 12-story 395-room WinStar World Casino Hotel, visit here.
WINSTAR GOLF COURSE I-35 EXIT 1 THACKERVILLE OK 73459 (580) 276-1240 or (866) 466-1482
FOLLOW JAY ON TWITTER @THEFAMOUSJAY