Course Review – Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club

Course Review – Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club

Almost 25 years after the first dirt was moved, Heritage Ranch Golf & Country Club continues to thrive. This 55+ active adult development in Fairview, just 35 minutes northeast of Dallas, is one of the most complete club experiences in the area. Around 1,200 homes sit on this near 600-acre property, which comes complete with a country feel, rolling vistas, towering oaks and glistening water features. The 24,000 square-foot clubhouse, with warm wood accents, ballroom, pools, fitness center, tennis, pickleball, and dining in the Corral Grill, has everything you want from a great club, all with the inviting atmosphere that also caters to the general public. 

It’s no secret that early tee times for public play can be a bit tricky, as the membership usually scoops up the primo times, but with a little due diligence, you can find one here and there. Afternoons can yield a little more success finding a public time, but don’t fret, even during the hotter summer months, there is plenty of shade on the course, and coolers come prepared for beverages with plenty of ice. There are even icy cold towels at the turn and when you complete your round to help you cool off after one of our brutal summer afternoons. Greens fees can run around $110 should you find one of those sought-after morning times, but can drop to as low as $50 should you want to try to squeeze in a three-and-a-half-hour round by hitting the opening tee around 5 p.m. on a weekday. We stuck a peg in the ground around 4:30 in the afternoon when we visited and easily got around the course in just a bit over three hours. So, for $50 around 5 p.m., there is some real value there. 

Golf at Heritage Ranch is top of the food chain for their members and public guests. Course conditions are fantastic year-in and year-out, with plush greens and tees, nicely manicured fairways, bunkering that frames the course wonderfully and architectural elements by Arthur Hills, who also designed other Metroplex tracks like Trophy Club’s Whitworth Course and Wolfdancer in Cedar Creek. 

Four sets of tees, that also include some combinations, can make the par 72 play as long as 6,988 from the tips, or as short as 4,000 from the forward tees. It’s great for the upper-crust ball-striker and also enjoyable for seniors and junior players who may be new to the game. 

The opening hole at Heritage is a slight dogleg left that narrows the farther you get into the fairway. If you are bold, you can hit driver or three-metal and chase something down the hill that can get fairly close to this green. But should you come up a little short, you will face an awkward downhill lie to a green that runs away from you. A more conservative play of a long iron followed by a short iron or wedge can give players a nice chance at an opening birdie or simple par.  

The second hole at Heritage was one of my favorite holes on the entire course. Nicknamed “Watering Hole,” this gorgeous downhill tee shot has a large water feature at the end of the fairway. Longer hitters can definitely bring the water into play but favoring that line will allow for the best angle of approach, depending on pin placement. Short of the green is water-bound, but over the back presents a difficult chip to an elevated green from a grassy runoff. A smart play is to play to the fat part of the putting surface and try to chase in a 25-footer rather than be too aggressive. 

The first par 5 of your round comes at No. 3. Playing 524 from the tips, a good tee shot that avoids the bunker in the middle of the fairway will leave somewhere around 200 yards in, but the second shot is no cupcake, as there are a trio of bunkers as players approach the green – each deeper and more treacherous than the last – making this a hole where a layup might be warranted to navigate the traps and the elevated green. 

No. 7, known as “The Gambler,” plays as the No. 3 handicap on the course, and although it doesn’t look all that intimidating from the tee, players can find themselves in the hurt locker quickly with a stray tee shot. A hard dogleg left, this one requires a right-to-left ball flight. If you don’t get to the corner, you will have to sling a hook around the overhanging trees to an elevated green across a creek. Hit it too far off the tee, and you’ll likely be stymied among the trees and be forced to chip back into the fairway. It’s a tough customer, where a precise tee shot in the center of the fairway is absolutely paramount. Don’t get too greedy trying to go all in, or this hole might call your bluff and bust you. 

After the second par 5 of the day at No. 8, the front nine wraps up with a par 4 that plays slightly uphill off the tee. Hit a good tee ball that skirts the large tree on the right side of the fairway and a short approach will remain. Avoid the large bunker short and left of the green and this can be an easy two-putt par or better. 

The back nine opens with a downhill par 4 that plays significantly shorter than it reads on the card. Longer hitters can carry the bunker on the left side of the fairway and even possibly chase a ball into the greenside bunker, with dry summer conditions adding extra roll. Avoid the tree on the left and the pot bunker short of the green for a legitimate chance at a birdie to begin the inward nine. 

No. 12 is one of the prettiest holes on the property. A small pot bunker short and left of the green can gobble up any tee shots that fall short and leave players with the dicey 25-yard bunker shot. The dual fountains in the water down the right side are visually stunning, and a large single tree short of the green adds intimidation factor. Miss too far right, and the water can come into play. On this putting surface, putts want to break toward the water, so be aware of that as you look to roll in your birdie. 

One of the most unique holes at Heritage Ranch is the short par-4 15th. Nicknamed “Mae West,” this hole plays just 356 from the tips and 327 from the one-in white tee box. Bombers can take on the hole and try to get one close to the green by choosing a line over the left side of the visible bunker. Execute, and this can leave a short pitch or even a putt for eagle. Miss too far right, and a small creek bed can leave your second shot stymied among trees and lead to a forced pitch out back to the short grass. The alternative would be an iron or hybrid layup right of the fairway bunkers followed by a short-iron or wedge. 

“Billy the Kid,” or No. 16, will give players all they can handle playing at nearly 210 yards from the blue tees. The elevated tee offers a great view of this tricky par 3. Anything left can find the water or ricochet off a rock outcropping, sending your ball into a number of unsavory places. A large bunker on the right is a good miss but will lead to a slick downhill sand shot that will be hard to stop. Fire your iron to the middle of the green, two-putt and get on the next hole. Par is your friend and will leave you a couple more bullets in the chamber for the final two holes. 

The final hole of the day is a solid par 4. Playing at 433 yards, this slight dogleg left has a pair of bunkers that narrow the landing area about 280 yards off the tee. If you can thread the needle, the approach shot is manageable. If you choose a three-metal to stay short of the traps, then the second shot could be as much as a mid-iron. Be sure to choose the proper club here, as long off the green leaves a nightmarish up-and-down attempt from a deep, closely mown swell behind and left of the putting surface. 

When you have finished up your round, be sure to pop in the Corral Grill or the Outpost for a quick lunch, dinner or cocktails. We chose the Outpost for our post-round meal, and the food was stupendous. A modestly priced (just $10) club sandwich comes with turkey, ham, bacon, Swiss and American cheeses, mayo and mustard on toasted bread and was a hit. Simple, tasty and great if you happen to be in a hurry. If you are looking for something a little more substantial, then go for one of Outpost’s pizzas. We went with a pepperoni, sausage and bell pepper pie, and it was cheesy, delicious and had some dynamite crust. Of course, a post-round stop to the clubhouse would not be complete without a delightful beverage, and both Corral and Outpost have a wide variety of beer and spirits to wet your whistle. 


From top to bottom, Heritage is one of the few properties in DFW where you can truly get the country club experience without being an actual member. Sure, you can’t just pop in, jump in the pool or play tennis as a non-member, but you can book a tee time and see the tremendous course, and the restaurants are also open to the public. The value is as close to unbeatable as you will find in the area, with great attention to detail and rock-solid overall value. 

Heritage Ranch should be added to your list of courses to play if you haven’t seen it, but be prepared to scratch and claw for a prime tee time if you are looking to play as a daily fee guest. If you can pull it off (or play in the afternoon), it’s more than worthy of your time and money.