The Dallas Morning News

Behind-the-scenes: Get a sneak peek at the new PGA headquarters being built in Frisco

Scott Bell

The new PGA HQ, scheduled to open in Q1 of 2022, will be the latest addition to the 600-acre, $500 million PGA Frisco project.

FRISCO – Earlier this week, the PGA of America gave The Dallas Morning News a behind-the-scenes look at its under-construction headquarters in Frisco. Construction on the four-story facility should be complete by Q1 of 2022. When the new headquarters opens up, it will serve as the latest milestone for the ambitious project in Northwest Frisco, which PGA of America president Jim Richerson referred to as “the new and modern home of American golf” at a groundbreaking event earlier this year.

PGA of America Chief People Officer Sandy Cross said the building will house roughly 150 employees when it opens next year. Currently 79 employees have relocated from Florida – the former home of the PGA of America – to Frisco, its soon-to-be permanent home. And that number continues to grow by the month, according to Cross. But the PGA of America is also looking to make new hires for its growing company. It currently has 39 open positions it is looking to fill, and Cross said the new headquarters should be able to hold north of 300 employees when the build out is fully complete.

The new headquarters in Frisco will be far more than just executive offices, though. There will be a number of on-site, indoor training elements inside, too. Those features include a massive indoor bunker, a state-of-the-art golf education center with indoor/outdoor hitting bays and plenty of instructional technology designed to measure all elements of a golf swing. There will also be a full green-screen studio for employees to create and produce video content.

“It’s going to offer us some things that we just couldn’t do outside,” said Dawes Marlatt, the PGA of America’s Senior Director of Education and Employment.

The adjacent Omni PGA Frisco Resort, another major element of the 600-acre, $500 million property, isn’t quite as far along in the construction process. Once completed, that facility will have more than 500 guest rooms, plus indoor and outdoor meeting space as well as restaurants and shops. It will feed into some of the unique golf-centric elements of the PGA headquarters, including a nearly two-acre putting green called “The Dance Floor” and fully lit, 10-hole short course called “The Swing.” Organizers hope both of those features can be selling points to get casual golfers out to learn more about the game and hone their skills.

But the main selling point of the property, and the part that takes up 550 of the 600 acres, are the 36 holes of championship golf on the East and West courses, designed by Gil Hanse and Beau Welling, respectively. Those two courses are already committed to host 26 PGA of America championship events in their first 12 years of existence, six of which are televised major championships. And while a grand opening for those courses will come long after the grand opening for the new headquarters, the courses are actually the only elements of the PGA Frisco project that are already well past the build-out phase.

“The golf courses themselves are complete,” Senior Director of PGA Golf Properties Jimmy Terry said. “All of the construction work going on now is all vertical.”

Up next for the courses: a required two-year maturation process, where the course grows into its intended state before its official grand opening in 2023. That’s when PGA Frisco will host its first major event: the 2023 Senior PGA Championship.

Terry said the course will likely have a soft opening in 2022 to iron out minor details and get feedback from invited guests. But most of the time spent between now and the first major event in May of 2023 will dedicated toward patiently waiting and letting the course grow out the way its designers intended it to.

“It’s hard to plant grass and just go and play a championship on it right away,” Terry said.

All six of the televised major championships will be played on the Hanse’s East course. Earlier this year, Hanse spoke the The Dallas Morning News about ambitions for the course beyond the events it has already committed to hosting. Most notably: a future Ryder Cup.

“Assuming we’ve done our job properly and the players react well to it and the course stands up as a championship test, I would think that the Ryder Cup is likely,” Hanse said. “This is going to be home. [The PGA of America] is going to be proud to show it off. All the indications I’ve gotten from the leadership of the PGA of America and from their officers is they’re really enthused about both golf courses.”

Said Welling earlier this year: “It’s certainly been planned to be able to host an event like that.”

The next Ryder Cup on American soil that has yet to be committed to a venue is in 2041, so you can probably hold off for now when it comes to making hotel reservations. Terry also made sure to emphasize that while a Ryder Cup may be a goal for everyone involved in this project (he referred to it as “The Super Bowl of golf”), it’s far from a guarantee.

“The Ryder Cup has not been promised here,” Terry said. “I don’t think the PGA has ever awarded a Ryder Cup to anyone before they have played some events there.”

Those tests likely come in 2023, 2025 and 2027 when three different televised major championships come to Frisco. Two years after the 2023 Senior PGA Championship will be the Women’s PGA Championship. Followed two years later by the PGA Championship in 2027 – the first major championship on the PGA Tour to come to the Metroplex in more than 50 years.


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