Golden Bear, El Niño Project Scheduled For Grand Prairie

By David R. Holland, Contributor

DALLAS, TX -- The Golden Bear and El Niño are coming to The Metroplex.

At the same time Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods defeated Lee Trevino and Sergio Garcia at The Battle at Bighorn in Palm Desert, Calif., Nicklaus Design announced a new project -- a 36-hole complex called Wildflower Resort in Grand Prairie.

Nicklaus Design says the 18-hole Nicklaus course and 18-hole Garcia design will be the centerpiece of a project spread across a 1,000-acre lakefront peninsula in Grand Prairie, and located just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

Joe Pool Lake highlights the site with a 7,500-acre lake and 4.5 miles of shoreline.

It will include a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and Garcia's first golf course design. Nicklaus Design has been contracted to support the design work of Garcia.

The $200 million resort will include a 500-room, four-star luxury hotel, and a 60,000-square-foot conference center designed as an international group-meeting destination. The project is scheduled to begin construction by the end of 2002, and both the resort and golf courses are expected to be open and fully operational in late 2004.

"We are pleased for Wildflower to be the site of our first Signature Course in the Dallas area, and, particularly, for the opportunity to support Sergio in his first golf course design," Nicklaus said. "It's a special piece of property, and with four and a half miles of shoreline to incorporate into the strategy, it should produce an exceptional golf experience."

Garcia said he wants to learn the golf design business, but he will maintain a focus on professional golf. "My plan is to work only on a very few courses. The Wildflower Resort will be a spectacular start to my design career," Garcia said.

The hotel will be built in a Texas ranch-style. Troon Golf will manage the golf courses.

Harbor Lakes Golf Course

Colorado Hall of Famer Dick Phelps' new course on the banks of Lake Granbury, Harbor Lakes Golf Course, is set to open this fall. Phelps' routing takes the golfer through scenes of the lake and heavy bunkering. He also designed Firewheel in Garland and Iron Horse in Fort Worth.

Last summer Rick Phelps, son of Dick, opened Devil's Thumb Golf Club in Delta, Colorado, a desert-like course on the Western Slope that has received much praise.

This year, Rick is hard at work on an 8,000-yard prairie-links style course just below the Black Forest, near Falcon, northeast of Colorado Springs. Antler Creek Golf Club is scheduled for a summer or fall 2003 opening.

"This will be the first 8,000-yard course in Colorado," he continued. "But it will have six sets of tees and the location is at 7,000 feet so I think with the 10- to 15-percent additional carry, it will play like a 7,200-yard course," Phelps said.

Rick's dad Dick, a 40-year veteran in the business, is spending much of his time in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the duo are about to change the name of their company from Richard M. Phelps, LTD to Phelps Golf Course Design.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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