Texas Star Golf Course is a municipal offering between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, designed by Keith Foster during 1997.
The course is subdivided into separate sections by the deep concrete creek that divides the property as it travels southward toward the Trinity River. This tributary will merely provide an interesting view during some holes, however it will also provide a testing forced carry at the closure of both nines. On the front, the creek splits the fairway (and is in play from the tee for big hitters) and then wraps up alongside the right of the green.
On the closing hole, it remains along the left until about two-thirds of the way through. A three-shot hole for most, players must decide whether that third shot is a short one (by crossing the creek in two) or a long one (by laying up).
Although holes that play parallel to the creek are fairly flat, the land on either side of the tributary rises quickly and can provide some dramatic changes in elevation, traveling both uphill and downhill.
Those with deep knowledge of American history will appreciate that the longest hole on the course is named after President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Texas Star starts off with three good birdie oppties, so make sure you get off to a good start. The first hole is a straightaway welcoming par four. There is a bunker front left. The 2nd leans a bit to the right and has three bunkers in front of the green. The 3rd is the shortest hole and rated the easiest, a bunker front middle and two back left and right. The 4th is a bit tougher slightly uphill fairway bunker left and one greenside right. The 5th parallels the 4th and is the longest par four on the front. The sixth leans right and there is a fairway bunker left in the landing zone that really compresses the fairway. The kidney shaped green has two bunkers front left. The par five 7th is the fourth parallel hole and is reachable. Ideal drive will be just right of the left fairway bunker. There are a couple of fairway bunkers left about 100 yards out and then two more short right. The8th is a long par three to a guitar pick green with a bunker short right. The 9th is a fairly straight par four with a creek cutting across the hole about 125 yards out. There are two greenside bunkers front right.
The back starts with a par five that stallions may go for in two. However, the creek cuts across the hole right in front of the green. The 11th is a short double fairway par four with bunkers in the middle. I think it would be a better hole with a single option. The 12th is the longest par four dogleg right with three bunkers on the inside elbow. From the front of the first bunker to the green is about 225 yards, so play left of the bunkers. Tough hole and deserving of the number one handicap designation. The 13th flips the table and is a dogleg left. From the front of the left fairway bunker one still has 200 yards into the green with two bunkers front. The 14th is a 245 yard par three with two bunkers front. I hit driver sand wedge. The 15th is a fun hole that bends left with a water hazard left. There is also a small one right. I think the best approach is to drive at the cross bunker and leave yourself with an attack iron approach over the water. The 16th is a mid-yardage par three with a water hazard sneaking in on the right side. The 17th is the longest par four. Favor left of center to avoid the right fairway bunker and give yourself a chance. The 18th is a double carry par five. The creek stays left most of the way before darting across the fairway at a 45 degree angle about 110 yards out. Play it as a three shotter and choose your attack yardage wisely.
A fun course that I would pay to play again
Texas Star, considered a top public golf course in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, comes off a bit overrated when compared to other spots in the city. The Euless course has a nice layout and the greens are acceptable, but it does not live up to the hype or the hefty price tag attached to a round.
Conditions were a little rough at Texas Star (though to be fair, we played in spring), but there were some nice holes on the course. The 18th is a great high-risk, high-reward par five that can be played a million ways around water and other hazards. Hole 15 is a fantastic par four.
Don't get me wrong: Texas Star is a decent course, but for the money I'd rather play at The Tribute, Coyote Ridge, and several other of the area's public tracks.
At the risk of speaking “too soon,” architect Keith Foster’s work at Texas Star on the West side of Dallas is a metaphor for his duelling careers. On one hand, Conservative Keith generated acclaim for his work restoring classic American golf courses. On the other of things, Dangerous Keith ran into trouble with the FBI by illegally trafficking exotic animal parts for clients at his antique store.
The ironic twist within this review is that “Dangerous Keith” is the version we’re eager for (neither this correspondent nor, presumably, this publication, encourage the trafficking of exotic animal parts).
Visitors are greeted by one of Dangerous Keith’s more bombastic creations as they pull up in the lot. The Par 5 No. 18 is twice crossed by deep, concrete creek that came packaged with the previously industrial lot. Toward the back of the property, players may be surprised by the sudden valley that appears at No. 13, plummeting toward a green fronted by multiple bunkers. Dangerous Keith peaks at No. 15, perhaps the signature hole at Texas Star, where the player must consider laying up to the end of the first fairway, and then carrying the pond to the green; or carrying the creek that flows from said pond to the reachable second fairway. The approach from that position is only a tad safer, as the fairway capes around the fairway to a green perched over the lake. If laying up sounds like the easy option, know that a small bunker plopped right in the middle of the fairway may change your mind.
That bunker may also make you question the round thus far. On one hand, holes like 13 and 15 are quite fun. But 15 would have been just as fun without that last fairway hazard. And so would No. 18, which has a similar bunker, where the creek’s threat would have sufficed just fine. And then you consider long, straight Par 4s such as Nos. 4, 5, and 17, which could have used some spice. The price of this round (very reasonable) probably suggests the relative budget Foster had to work with, perhaps preventing manufactured sloping or similar. Instead, the aforementioned holes have some occasional, and strangely artificial humps in the fairway. It’s a tad surprising that Foster couldn’t muster—between his obvious penchant for the exotic and his skills restoring Golden Age courses—something a tad more creative and/or utilitarian with what he had to work with. The course’s strongest hole is not a shocking one, but it is a clever one. No. 6 features an uphill, dogleg right featuring a fairway bunker that limits the view of players who stay away from the corner. The approach, rewards risk accordingly, but still demands players consider how much they can cut off from the two bunkers guarding the green and get home safely. After two holes that threaten to veer into “freeway” architecture, it’s a blast of fresh air.
This is a splendid opportunity for those living in the area, but certainly not a “Top 3 public” option for those in Dallas for a stretch.
Texas Star is often ranked in the top 20 of Texas public courses but for the life of me, I can't figure out why. There is a good-to-great course hiding in the land but with the routing fluctuating between extremely boring to confusing, any subtly has been bulldozed away.
Yes the 18th hole looks beautiful and finally brings water into play. Yes some of the looks off the tee are intriguing with the bold choice of putting bunkers directly in a straight line from the tee box (rather than off to the sides to punish a wayward shot). Other than those few holes this course could use a serious makeover.
Let's start with the fest or famine nature of the course. Either the hole has zero elevation change and is laid out plainly before you or forces blind tee shots and second shots over the crests of multiple hills.
Next let's talk about the greens, admittedly in good shape for a winter round, but which borrow heavily from the Pinehurst tabletop model with undulations thrown in for good measure. You cannot really attack these greens so much as survive them
Finally, let's talk about the GPS, which is an additional charge on the credit statement. Almost every hole has the championship tees on the other side of the cart path causing constant warnings about "blind shots". Couple this with multiple other warnings and beeps, I wanted to chuck the GPS out of the cart by the 5th hole.
I really wanted to like TS and was super stoked given the high rating and maybe I caught the course on a bad day in the middle of winter but still, it was confusing how this course could be considered good. Sure the greens are slick, there are unusual looks off the tee and the bunkers have great sand but no matter how pretty the house looks, if it is built on a lousy foundation, it is sure to collapse. I would love to take a bulldozer to this course and give it another go, there is a great course in there somewhere!