First Peek: PGA Frisco (East)

The PGA of America is building it and golf ’s top events are coming. Eventually.

The majority of the Gil Hanse-designed East Course at PGA Frisco—part of the 36-hole municipal development at the heart of the PGA of America’s new headquarters 40 minutes north of Dallas—has been grassed and should be ready to debut by summer 2021. But it won’t be.

The world’s largest sports organization has instructed Hanse and course builder Heritage Links to give the course an extra year to grow in, sparing no detail in establishing maintenance practices and getting the complex tournament-ready for a soft opening in June 2022.

PGA Frisco East
PGA Frisco (East) (Photo by Heritage Links)

Built on the rugged, rolling terrain of a former ranch, the East Course will first host the 2023 Senior PGA Championship ahead of two scheduled PGA Championships in 2027 and 2034.

Hanse’s design retains the land’s character and convinces visitors that the course has been there for close to a century. On a sprawling site that reminds him of Oklahoma’s Southern Hills—the “Golden Age” Perry Maxwell design that Hanse restored in 2019 in preparation to host the 2030 PGA Championship—Hanse’s “dramatic” bunkers will serve as the course’s calling card. Other ranch-style aesthetics are being installed, from trees planted to mimic fenced roads to ropes of barbed wire that will guide future galleries.

Drivable par fours on each side and a critical stretch of holes from 13 to 16 were clearly constructed with tournament play in mind: It’s a foregone conclusion that the course will eventually host a Ryder Cup.

When it is finally ready to open, the $520 million development dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Golf” by PGA CEO Seth Waugh will also include the Beau Welling-designed West Course, a 10-hole short course, and a 100,000-square-foot putting course, as well as a 500-room Omni-branded resort.

What do you think of the East Course at PGA Frisco?