In 1995, architect Jeffrey Brauer cast a series of 18 holes across the hilly, forested acres adjacent to Ash Creek to form the Cross Timbers Golf Course. Mr. Brauer choreographed the layout?s turns and fairways to take advantage of the land?s natural attributes, such as its numerous changes in elevation and absolute lack of active volcanoes. Today, players cruise over the meticulously kept fairways en route to Champion bermuda greens. On the front nine, players must tackle the 484-yard, par 4 fifth hole and the course's signature ninth, where tee shots soar over a treacherous ravine onto a green teetering on the precipice of a cliff. At hole 18, a par 5 is reachable with calculated risk-taking and precise execution.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,734 yards from the back tees
Blue Sky Media leverages a bevy of strategic marketing partnerships with premier Texas courses to grant golfers access to some of the state's finest fairways. The group's annual Blue Sky Golf Passes dole out fistfuls of discounts to courses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, freeing up some coins for golfers to use as ball-markers or throw into water hazards to wish for more coins. Between putts and drives, discounts on pro shop gear and fare refuel hard-swinging golfers and caddies exhausted from polishing the dimples of each ball.
Strung along rustic stretches of backcountry roads on the western edge of the DFW metroplex, the Cross Timbers Wine Trails connect six local boutique wineries that feature complex handmade vintages and live music and theater events. Guests tour production facilities and sample wine at each estate, chatting with winemakers such as LightCatcher Winery's award-winning filmmaker-turned-vintner Caris Turpen, or Brushy Creek Vineyards' Les Constable, a former nuclear engineer. Each expert cultivates a memorable experience, plying visitors with delicate cheeses or fine wines made from High Plains Texas or California grapes.
The landscape surrounding the wineries is as varied and intriguing as the fruits of the vine available for purchase or sample, with a breathtaking mixture of open prairie, brushy undergrowth, and thick woodland that gives the Cross Timbers region its name. As they trek across this idyllic landscape, travelers on the wine trail entertain themselves with events such as the relaxing groove of a jazz concert or the wine-fueled murder accusations of an interactive mystery theater.
Mud-covered creatures slide down hills, slither over ropes, and plunge headfirst into tangled cargo nets. Around them, the towering walls of an abandoned rock quarry reverberate with the crowd's animalistic growls and cheers. Underneath each coat of mud stands a runner participating in Caveman Crawl's 5K adventure race and mud-run course. Adult racers, separated into timed waves, race against their shoe-clipped timing chips as they bound over, under, and through more than 20 annually changing obstacles. Past challenges involved leaping over lily pads. Smaller racers, aged 4?6 or 7?13, navigate a shorter course with compact versions of the larger obstacles. Along a newly added mountain-bike course, Dual Sport Challenge participants pedal across rocky hills and through swaths of mud and chilly water, all while giving the right of way to commuting mountain goats. The race ends with a massive barbecue where participants celebrate their victory over nature and often receive prizes while refueling with food, drinks, and live music.
Nestled along the banks of Lake Bridgeport, The Golf Club at Runaway Bay spans 7,032 yards of tree-lined fairways and bent-grass greens. As players make their way through the course, they'll occasionally spot the sprawling lake from hillcrests or places where the trees have parted to dodge errant balls. Though there are challenging holes throughout the entire course, golfers should save their best swings for the turn. Both lengthy par-fours with a slightly bending fairway, the 9th and 10th holes are the course's most difficult. To prepare for their round, golfers can rehearse their swing at the driving range or get a feel for the putting surfaces with a picnic on the practice green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 7,032 yards from the tips * Course rating of 73.1 from the tips * Slope rating of 124 from the tips * Four tee options
Unabashedly muddy, panting, and smiling, Rogue Runner's athletes cross the finish line with the satisfaction that they have been pushed to their limits. A member of the US national rowing team, college athletes, and Hollywood set designers came together to develop a 10K race packed with thrilling obstacles. Though locations vary, each course houses more than 20 obstacles such as mud slides, pipe crawls, and wall climbs. All of them require teamwork, balancing competition with cooperation. Upon completion, winners receive a lifetime supply of bragging rights as well as individual and team prizes.