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Old American Golf Club Debuts at The Tribute - Texas

By Brian Weis


Tripp Davis, Justin Leonard Collaboration Features Design Treatments from 'Golden Age' of American Golf Course Architecture

The Old American Golf Club at The Tribute, a Tripp Davis/Justin Leonard collaboration evoking the timeless features of the "Golden Age" of American golf course architecture, has opened its doors for a select number of preview rounds.

The course is fully designed and nearly grown in from tee to green. A handful of golfers and golf writers and raters have sampled the layout over the past few weeks, and the feedback is that Old American will be one of the top courses to "grand" open in the U.S. in 2010.

Old American is PGA Tour, President's Cup team member Justin Leonard's first Texas-based design project and the culmination of a long-time relationship with Davis, who he teamed with to design Shorefox Golf Club in Granby, Colorado. Old American will captivate students of classic architecture, featuring holes inspired by masters Donald Ross, C.B. MacDonald, Alister MacKenzie, A.W. Tillinghast and other legends.

It will join the Scottish-inspired "Old Course," also designed by Davis' Oklahoma-based firm and featuring holes from famous British Open venues, to create one of the truly unique and inspiring 36-hole golf experiences in the U.S. By way of these two 18-hole layouts, golfers will be able to sample actual holes and design treatments from far-away and extremely-private golf clubs they may otherwise not be able to access in their lifetimes.

"Tripp and Justin share many ideas and opinions about golf course design, and we are excited about the partnership and their vision for the Old American Golf Club," says Jack Matthews, President of Matthews Southwest, developer of Old American and The Tribute. "Tripp has a deep understanding of classic golf concepts, developed during the extensive time he spent in Scotland studying many of the British Isles' most storied courses. Justin has the insight gained from years of playing the world's best courses at an extremely high level."

Davis and Leonard's design work conjures the natural contours, hazard styles and green shapes of masterpieces such as Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links, Prairie Dunes and Crystal Downs. Large, flowing bunkers, native grasses and subtle elevation changes will challenge players and mark the New Course as a wholly unique test of golf. Eight holes front Lake Lewisville, which provides a stirring backdrop to the 36-hole facility located just 23 miles from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport.

"Old American matches golf's most enduring design elements with a spectacular canvass," says Davis, also an accomplished amateur player who stared at the University of Oklahoma. "It will delight architecture buffs and everyday players with recognizable features from famous and storied courses throughout the U.S. and Texas. Everyone will enjoy the views of Lake Lewisville and a stirring test of golf."

Davis, an admitted hands-on designer who only takes on a small number of projects simultaneously, says Leonard has been as involved and exacting as any player/designer he has worked with over the years. Adds Leonard, a Dallas-native, about Davis:

"I knew Tripp when he was playing golf for OU (University of Oklahoma). I knew at some point that I wanted to test the design waters, but I also wanted to wait for the right person and the right project. I turned down several opportunities until Tripp came along. It was kind of natural with me being from Dallas and with Tripp's experience on designing quality courses. He's challenged me to think about why I like certain holes, and then to be able to take that from paper to the field and see it come life."

In stark contrast to many modern courses that are heavy on "eye candy" and visual stimulation, Davis set out to create a classic, strategic design with Old American. The first few holes are "hard pars" if players confront risk, but very reasonable if risk is avoided. Holes eight and nine entice players to "get shots close to the pin" says Davis, as they position themselves for the second half of the match.

The back nine, Davis adds, was designed to present par as a "good score," with holes 12-14 playing along Lake Lewisville and presenting a myriad of environmental factors and playing options. Holes 16-18 provide one of the most dramatic finishes in golf, according to Davis.

And in typical Davis "mind over matter" fashion, it isn't because of sheer length.

The par-4 16th is the shortest on the course and tempts long hitters to go for the green. Poor tee shot placement can lead to bogey or worse, however. The 17th is the shortest par-3 on the golf course, and features the smallest green and a steady cross-wind.

"At the 18th, we provide the most reachable par-5 on the course, while the green is the most elevated with the most severe challenging around the green," says Davis. "An aggressive play at the hole can produce another short birdie putt, but a miss can again leave a stern challenge. It is a finish where a player could enter three down and still have a very good chance to halve the match - a great and dramatic finish.

For more information about Old American Golf Club and current real estate offerings, visit

Article Tags: Old American Golf Club Debuts at The Tribute

Revised: 05/11/2010 - Article Viewed 34,054 Times

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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