Located slap bang in the middle of Mosier Valley’s industrial area, five miles east of downtown Fort Worth, the golf course at Texas Star was designed by Keith Foster and opened for play in 1997.
Operated by the City of Euless in Tarrant County, the Texas Star course is one of the best daily rate venues in the Dallas/Forth Worth area with significant elevation changes occurring on many of the tree-lined holes.
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!