Day 2 of our 3-day golf review feature of Arcis Golf managed courses in greater Dallas included a former resident of my home town of Prince George, BC. Living in Dallas for the last 25 years, Dean Banser and his wife Dana, had invited us to join them at an NHL game on Saturday afternoon at the plush and ultra-modern American Airlines Arena in downtown Big D.
I thought it was only fitting that I invite Dean to join us for a round of golf and he was very pleased stating that he knew Fossil Creek very well.
After being welcomed by Assistant Pro, Mason, we had a brief warm up and then after some brief instructions from the Starter, Tim, the three of us teed off in calm and warm temperatures.
Not only was Fossil Creek designed by the late great Arnold Palmer, the King, he also was there to play it on its grand opening back in November, 1985.
Photographs of Arnie and the tee sheet from that day are displayed in the clubhouse. Although that doesn’t affect the way you hit your ball, it does give you confidence that this is a course well laid out.
The course has numerous very unique looking holes with an abundance of sedimentary rock out croppings exposed along the many sections of Fossil Creek that come into play throughout.
The undulating design of the course with the prevalent meandering Fossil Creek puts a great deal of emphasis on dealing with shots that must either carry the creek or optionally be laid up. Adding to that necessitates the ability to play shots from downhill lies as many of the fairways slope downward towards Fossil Creek.
The course is not particularly long, so its main defense is the creek. Also, the holes are impacted by the large trees with their limbs often over hanging the line of approach.
Dean, a very busy local business owner, admitted he doesn’t get out near as much as he wants, but still didn’t show as much rust as one might think. Myra struggled a bit with the creek holes but still managed many good approach shots and getting a good par helped lift her spirits.
My goal of a birdie per round didn’t materialize the day before at Cowboys Golf Club so I made up for it with a 2 birdie day. After a disastrous attempt at the signature hole, the Par 3 13th, over the lake which for all intents and purposes is to an island green I gave myself a stern talking to.
It seemed to work as I finished the last 5 holes even par and birdied the daunting and amazing final hole a Par 5. Hole 18 requires precise placement off the tee and then positioning the blind second to a spot setting up an approach shot for a birdie. It worked!
As we were meeting Dean and Dana for another vibrant night of NHL hockey, we set off straight after the round. We not only appreciated the pace of play at exactly four hours, but the rate of $40 is more reasonable than for a course of this pedigree. Please note this is not a country club atmosphere. Artis Golf, the management company in charge, has positioned it exactly where it should be in the market place, public golf with challenging holes, quality greens and a friendly staff. Operations like this endure the tough times and flourish during the good.