“From Small Things, Mama, Big Things One Day Come.’’
- Bruce Springsteen
In his then-role as president of the Northern Texas Section of the PGA of America, Paul Earnest, along with the Section’s board of directors, in 2014 began to explore the concept of an “urban golf park.” This proposed concept would deliver two primary benefits:
1. It would allow the NTPGA to own a fixed asset that would become a permanent home for the Section from where it would operate all Section affairs.
2. It would give the Section a facility from which to grow the game across all segments of the community, but especially among juniors.
“We had pitched it to a number of cities,’’ Earnest said. “Frisco was the one that came in.’’
Discussions with the City of Frisco began in March of 2014. Those discussions, Earnest said, quickly became a series of “What if’’ questions regarding going beyond a junior golf park all the way to building a golf course that could host a Major championship.
Thus the seeds were sown for the combination PGA Frisco campus and Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which is scheduled to open in May as one of the more ambitious golf resort destination projects ever created in the U.S.
The $550 million project in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will feature golf courses designed by Gil Hanse (Fields Ranch East) and Beau Welling (Fields Ranch West); a 500-room Omni hotel; 10 Texas Ranch Homes, 127,000 square feet of meetings space, four pools, 13 restaurants, a 10-hole lighted course (The Swing); two-acre putting course (The Dance Floor): and outdoor golf-centered entertainment area, complete with shopping and dining.
The 660-acre property also will be the new home of the PGA of America.
Over the next 12 years, Fields Ranch will host 26 high-profile Championships. Among those events are the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (2023, 2029), National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship (beginning in 2023), PGA Professional Championship (2024, 2030, 2033), KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (2025, 2031) and the PGA Championship (2027, 2034).
“It’s a series of dreams being answered,’’ said Earnest, now Director of Golf and Operations of Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco. “We ended up far exceeding those dreams.’’
Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas.
“A destination resort that is absolutely in the top 10 in the country and worldwide,’’ said Jeff Smith, Omni Frisco Resort’s Managing Director. “When you start with that expectation, it’s a pretty high bar.. The theme of the resort is that of a modern Texas ranch, because the original property was a working ranch.’’
Smith and his team currently are in the midst of hiring up to 1,000 employees before its opening day.
“We started taking reservations in mid-December,’’ of 2022, Smith said. “We started nearly two years ago with group sales. The amount of group sales business on the books is off the charts.’’
Photo Courtesy of Omni PGA Frisco Resort
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