PGA Frisco is a Texas Treasure

Fields Ranch complex at PGA Frisco is worth the wait

By Tom Mackin

Ever wonder who coined the phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas”?

No single person seems to get the credit. But whoever he or she was, they were right. The latest example? The East Course at Fields Ranch, a centerpiece of the Omni PGA Frisco Resort that debuted in 2023.

The substantial Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner-designed layout is massive in scale: 7,863 yards from the championship tees. And the adjacent West Course, by Beau Welling, is no pint-sized layout itself. There’s also a 2.5-acre putting course called The Dance Floor, with a stadium-size scoreboard screen overlooking it. The Omni hotel on-site? Merely 500 rooms. And the headquarters of the PGA of America, which moved its offices here in 2022 from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, covers 106,000 square feet.

It’s all located 30 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (United, American, and Frontier have direct flights from Denver clocking in around 2 hours each way). The surrounding area is a hotbed of development, with headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys just 11 miles to the south.

But it’s the two courses that have been gaining attention since opening last May, particularly the East, which will host five major championships over the next 12 years, including the 2025 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and 2027 PGA Championship. Steve Stricker edged Padraig Harrington in a playoff to win the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, the first major already played here in 2023.

Fields Ranch East

“One of the things I find interesting is that the architects both consider the courses to be cousins,” said Paul Earnest, Director of Golf and Operations. “Not brother and sister, but enough of a bloodline for a similar look and feel. I think both have nice space to move the ball around and play from.”

The slightly wider and hillier West has the larger greens, while the East, as befitting a major championship venue, is another story. “As you get closer to the hole on the East, it gets more exacting,” noted Earnest. “The hole locations are certainly tighter, with really small target areas to give yourself birdie opportunities. You end up playing for par a lot more on the East Course (than the West). If you make a mistake there, it’s much more difficult to manage par or even survive those moments.”

There will be plenty of those at the uphill par 4 15th, which can play from 224 yards to 358 yards, for example. Going for the green perched on top of a hill means carrying an ocean of bunkers right below it. Lay up short of those and you face a blind uphill shot. Play to the left though, and you’ll have a much easier pitch shot. The secret here? Lots of room behind the green for long shots, including a slope that often feeds balls back down to it. It’s also a geographic high point in the best stretch of holes–13 through 17–which includes both the longest (13) and shortest (17) par 3s on the course. The par 5 18th will be a polarizing closer; drives landing on the right half of the fairway can bounce off into no man’s land, and the approach shot needs to cross a mini-chasm that seems out of place with the rest of the course. But overall, it’s another showcase for the much-admired work of Hanse and Wagner.

While walking is always encouraged (and mandatory at certain times of the year, with carts on the path only the rest), this is a very long walk, even with a caddie. “It’s a physical challenge to play the East,” said Earnest. “Most rounds are eight miles of walking. It’s not a brutal up-and-down walk, but it is something. A lot of people are not accustomed to that.” If there was ever a course where you should move up a tee, especially factoring in what can be strong winds, this is it.

“No one comes off the course and say, wow, that was too short,” Earnest noted. “Or I didn’t enjoy the experience because of the lack of length. The strong holes will still be really strong, like 5, 6 and 10 (all par 4s). You still have to hit great golf shots to score. I think Gil did a great job of balancing a championship layout but in a resort setting.”

PGA Frisco

Carts are the norm though at the West Course, which is a shorter experience than its sibling but only slightly less challenging thanks to some beguiling green contouring. It helps to have five par 3s (three on the back nine), although it does conclude with a pair of straightforward par 5s. According to Earnest, most golf buddy trips here are playing the West twice and the East once.

Any resort course that hosts a major championships is never a bargain. In this case, green fees for the East Course are $252-$315 (peak pricing from April 1- June 18 and Sept. 22 – Nov. 26; plus a mandatory caddie will run you from $40 to $125, plus tip) while the West will cost $202-$252 (same peak pricing schedule as the East). Expensive, yes, but also less than other resorts that have served as recent PGA Championship venues, including Kiawah Island in South Carolina and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

And there’s more golf, too. A round on The Swing, a 10-hole par 3 layout that’s lit up at night, is $30 (or free for kids 12 and under with a paying adult), while anyone can roll putts on The Dance Floor for free. Both are located a short walk between the Omni (try the brisket breakfast tacos at The Apron on the ground floor) and the PGA of America headquarters (tours of public spaces there are available upon request).

So is a PGA Coaching Center, which comes with all the high-tech you could imagine (recent clinics have included tips on playing in the wind, an especially useful skill here), plus dining options like the Ice House (with outdoor hitting bays), Lounge by Topgolf (with simulators), and a Ryder Cup Grille in the clubhouse.

So will that eatery’s namesake event be played someday at PGA Frisco? Currently, the next open date for a U.S. host venue is 2041. Landing that one, even with an inside track thanks to the PGA of America’s presence here, would be a huge deal. But then this is Texas, where bigger is more normal than just about anywhere else.


Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via

Tom Mackin is a former senior editor at Golf Magazine and writes for Colorado AvidGolfer from his home in Arizona.

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