Dean & DeLuca Invitational course preview: Colonial Country Club
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Dean & DeLuca Invitational course preview: Colonial Country Club

Ben Hogan statue at Colonial Country Club

The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week, moving from the Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons in Irving to Fort Worth for the Dean & Deluca Invitational. The host course is Colonial Country Club, which was designed by John Bredemus in 1936 with revisions by Perry Maxwell. The club was founded by Marvin Leonard, of the locally famous Leonard Bros. Department Stores. And just five years after opening, the championship course hosted the 1941 U.S. Open, won by Craig Wood.
Built on the south bank of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, Colonial is known as “Hogan’s Alley” partially because Ben Hogan won the Colonial Invitational tournament five times.

The other part is due to the fact the course is notorious for a bunch of curving dogleg holes that wind through the native pecan trees, most famously the banana-shaped fifth, that rewards exceptional ball strikers that know how to shape the ball versus a bomb-and-gouge technique. Though the terrain is mostly flat, the narrow tree-lined corridors make for a great shotmaking test. The intimate surroundings and setup of the course are uncommon among courses found on the PGA Tour and help differentiate it from the normal tour stop.

The Horrible Horseshoe from above

Holes to Watch: Colonial Country Club's Horrible Horseshoe

Holes 3-5 at Colonial are known as the “Horrible Horseshoe” (the third tee box is actually adjacent to the fifth green, hence the shape of a horseshoe), comprising the most difficult stretch of holes on the course.
Hole 3 - Par 4, 483 yards
The long dogleg left requires a perfectly placed tee shot around a large tree and bunkers. A long approach shot makes birdies very rare.
Hole 4 - Par 3, 247 yards
This is the longest par 3 on the course that plays to an elevated green complex that has never yielded a hole-in-one during the course of tournament play.
Hole 5 - Par 4, 481 yards
The hardest hole on the course runs between trees and a ditch on the left and the Trinity River on the right. A perfect baby fade drive is the only chance of getting a decent approach shot to have a look at birdie with a long, narrow approach to a green with a small front opening.

About the author

Ethan Zimman

Ethan Zimman is a proposal writer for a large federal government contractor by day and freelance writer by night. He's an avid golfer who started playing at age 13 and keeps trying to chip away at his 8.6 handicap index. His passion for golf course architecture began after reading Tom Doak's 'The Anatomy of a Golf Course' in high school. In his (non-golf-related) spare time, he loves visiting wineries and breweries with his wife, son, and their goldendoodle Bodie.