Golf is a game that can drive you to drink.
So many swing thoughts, so few perfect swings.
But when the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial rolls around each spring, we clear our minds of all the sliced tee shots and doctored scorecards, lipped-out putts and lost balls, and focus on golf played by professionals at its highest level — all while swigging a longneck or sipping a margarita.
We may never drive it like Adam Scott, or hit wedges like Zach Johnson, or do anything like Masters Champ Jordan Spieth. Man, that 21-year-old is good, huh?
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But we can watch, we can dream, and we can raise a glass to Colonial, one of the best weeks on the Cowtown calendar.
In honor of that, we’ve drawn up a scorecard of 18 watering holes not far from the course that share some of the personality traits of the historic golf holes at Hogan’s Alley. We call it a little local knowledge, with a twist.
The hole: 565-yard par 5
An easy par 5 and a great way to start the round with birdie. But No. 1 is also home to the Wall of Champions, and it can be a bit intimidating teeing off in the shadow of Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson.
The watering hole: Woodshed Smokehouse, 3201 Riverfront Drive; woodshedsmokehouse.com
Located just a driver and a six iron away from Colonial, Woodshed, with its expansive patio overlooking the Trinity River, is the perfect spot for a pre-round snack or post-round cocktails.
Don’t be intimidated by celebrity chef Tim Love’s gourmet barbecue menu. And don’t mention that he was fired after last year’s turn as Colonial concessionaire — unless, of course, you want to incur a two-stroke penalty.
Local knowledge: Splurge on the Woodshed’s Texas Trinity of sausage of the day, pork ribs and beef brisket, with sweet and spicy pickles — it’s $88, but meant to be shared with your foursome. Wash it down with a martini — the Texas pecan is like pie in a glass.
The hole: 400-yard par 4
At this shortish par 4, most big hitters will drive it over the trees on the right and have less than 100 yards to the hole. But an aggressive approach shot here could roll off the back, and that birdie opportunity just became a bogey.
The watering hole: Chimy’s Cerveceria, 1053 Foch St.; chimys.com
This great Mexican food and margarita shack has Colonial specials all weekend — Caddy Shack parties Friday and Saturday, and a Plaid Jacket Party on Sunday. The only challenge is finding this little gem, wedged behind the shops on Foch Street.
Local knowledge: A Cadillac Rita on the cozy patio, with some Chimychangas, is what we call a whole lotta yum.
The hole: 476-yard par 4
This is the beginning of Colonial’s vaunted “Horrible Horseshoe,” a three-hole stretch that will test every nerve. Play smart and don’t try to cut the corner too much on the dogleg left, and maybe you’ll escape with par. Get greedy, and say hello to Mr. Double Bogey.
The watering hole: Joe T. Garcia’s, 2201 N. Commerce St.; www.joets.com
It’s a Fort Worth icon, but it’ll test you. Lines will be long (especially during Colonial), it’s cash only, and primo patio spots will be hard to come by. But once you settle in, surrounded by the lush gardens and familiar sizzle of fajitas, you’ll remember why you waited so long.
Local knowledge: Get greedy at Joe T.’s and order too many of the turbo-charged margaritas, and you’ll be saying hello to Mr. Hangover.
The hole: 247-yard par 3
Saddle up, PGA tour stars. You’re in Cowtown now and this here is a beefy par 3. Take an extra club, or you’ll end up stuck in the deep front-left bunker for sure.
The watering hole: Fred’s Texas Cafe, 3509 Blue Bonnet Circle or 915 Currie St.; fredstexascafe.com
A big, juicy par 3 deserves to be paired with bodacious burgers and “cold-ass beer” — the two calling cards of Fred’s, another Cowtown original.
Local knowledge: Order the Diablo, a spicy masterpiece with chipotle peppers, Swiss cheese, grilled onions and mustard, among other things, and you’ll feel like you’ve made a hole-in-one — something that’s never been done in tournament play on No. 4.
The hole: 481-yard par 4
One of the more famous holes in golf and definitely the hardest of the Horseshoe, the fifth is a long, narrow, old-school test of golf. Drives that leak right will sink into the Trinity. Pull it left, and you’re in jail behind giant trees. Plain and simple: This hole is a bear.
The watering hole: Angelo’s, 2533 White Settlement Road; angelosbbq.com
Speaking of bears, a giant taxidermied critter greets you at this old-school Texas barbecue joint that’s known beyond Cowtown for its tender brisket, ribs and ice-cold beer. While the bear isn’t nearly as terrifying after a few visits, the fifth hole at Colonial never gets any friendlier.
Local knowledge: Angelo’s is closed Sundays, so cue up for your ’cue after Friday’s or Saturday’s round.
The hole: 406-yard par 4
After surviving the Horrible Horseshoe, you will want to feast on this par 4 with a gentle bend and generous spirit.
The watering hole: Del Frisco’s Grille, 154 E. Third St.; delfriscosgrille.com/fort-worth
Feast on a steak at this hot spot on Sundance Square Plaza, which also has a good bar scene. The Renaissance Worthington Hotel is only a few blocks away, so you might spot a PGA Tour player strolling around downtown.
Local knowledge: The Grille isn’t quite as upscale as the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse down the block, but it’s still plenty pricey. Make sure you’ve made the cut before you make reservations.
The hole: 427-yard par 4
Another tight driving hole at Colonial — they don’t call it Hogan’s Alley for nothing. But this is a birdie opportunity for straight shooters. Avoid the trees on the right, and knock a wedge in close.
The watering hole: The Pour House, 2725 W. Seventh St.; pourhousefw.com
The king of Fort Worth sports bars is due for a name change May 29, but its Cowtown and Colonial cred remain intact. Owner Eric Tschetter’s sister, Kris, played on the LPGA Tour (and Tschetter is a decent golfer himself). And the Pour House regularly shoots in the 70s — as in 75 draft beers on its glorious tap wall.
Local knowledge: Try the Tschetter (get it?) bacon burger and wash it down with one of the numerous North Texas brews on tap.
The hole: 194-yard par 3
A cool but claustrophobic hole that runs along the Trinity. Tall trees block the wind on the tee box, so it can play games with even the best pros.
The watering hole: Buffalo Bros., 3015 S. University Drive; buffalobrostexas.com
A small but stellar sports bar in the heart of the TCU campus. The food, from owner/chef Jon Bonnell, is a cut above most pub grub. You can’t go wrong with the meatball pizza, some authentic Buffalo-style wings and a potent Buffalo Bros. hurricane.
Local knowledge: Wing Stock, a Memorial Day weekend tradition, runs Saturday through Monday with live music and a wing-eating contest.
The hole: 407-yard par 4
A fun hole for fans, who can sit in the stands or beneath the shade of the fairway trees to watch tour stars take on the green-front pond. When the pin’s up front, better control the spin or your Titleist will be going for a swim.
The watering hole: Landmark Bar & Kitchen, 3008 Bledsoe St.; www.landmarkfw.com
Landmark opened last summer with a 4,000-square-foot patio, complete with games and a mechanical bull. And it quickly became one of the most popular spots in the jam-packed West 7th entertainment district.
Local knowledge: Try the Budweiser queso and Heart Attack Burger at Landmark, and on the course keep an eye out for another landmark, The Champions Club, adjacent to the ninth fairway. If it rains this week, the covered, air-conditioned club could be one of the hottest tickets in town.
The hole: 408-yard par 4
An iron or hybrid off the tee requires a delicate touch to a tight landing area. If it’s not positioned properly, short of the ravine and in between the trees on both sides, No. 10 can become a bogey hole quickly.
The watering hole: The Usual, 1408 W. Magnolia Ave.; theusualbar.com
Fort Worth’s pioneering craft-cocktail bar specializes in updated takes on classic drinks. Position yourself properly at the bar before the crowd arrives and the mixologist will fix you up with an amazing concoction.
Local knowledge: The cardigan daiquiri — rhum agricole, clove, cardamom, honey, lemon, walnut eau de vie and Angostura — is an award-winning drink for a reason. And Arnold Palmer wore cardigans, so there’s that connection, too.
The hole: 635-yard par 5
The longest hole on the course, this par 5 is a straight shot off the tee with bunkers down the left. Only the biggest hitters will try to reach the green in two.
The watering hole: Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza; billybobstexas.com
“The World’s Largest Honky Tonk” is a straight-up shot of Cowtown cool in the Stockyards. Leave your golf shoes in the trunk and pull on your cowboy boots for a some two-steppin’ beneath the rhinestone saddle.
Local knowledge: This year’s post-Colonial concert lineup includes the Swon Brothers (Friday) and Josh Turner (Saturday). Get your Turner tickets in advance. He’s a popular dude.
The hole: 445-yard par 4
An elegant, understated par 4 that lures you into a sense of security with a fairly generous fairway that doglegs to the left. But the heavily bunkered green demands a near-perfect shot if you hope to make birdie.
The watering hole: AF+B (American Food and Beverage), 2869 Crockett St., americanfoodandbeverage.com/fortworth
The popular restaurant was called “a fun exercise in perfectionism” in last year’s DFW.com review. The same could be said for the Colonial. AF+B is typically the beginning of a night out in the West 7th corridor, much like No. 12 is the calm before the storm on No. 13.
Local knowledge: Try the Wood-Grilled Butcher’s Cut Steak; it’ll make you feel like a champion. So will the “MKT” price tag. Wash it down with the Texas-flavored Sweet Water cocktail.
The hole: 190-yard par 3
The tee shot is all carry over water to a shallow green. Pay no mind to the 10,000 or so party-happy patrons surrounding the hole. They may not notice you either, unless you hit it in the water. Then brace yourself for a chorus of boos.
The watering hole: Reservoir Bar, Patio & Kitchen, 1001 Foch St.; bar-reservoir.com
This open-air, ultra-modern bar and patio is one of the hottest party spots in DFW, much like No. 13 at Colonial. People-watching and alcohol consumption are the most popular sports at both locales.
Local knowledge: After his dramatic playoff win last year at Colonial, Adam Scott celebrated deep into the night at Reservoir, so keep your eyes peeled for plaid jackets this year.
The hole: 464-yard par 4
Not much relief from the pressure cooker of No. 13, the difficult par-4 14th doglegs left and requires a precise approach between the bunkers guarding the green.
The watering hole: Thompson’s, 900 Houston St.; www.facebook.com/thompsonsoffthebooks
This new downtown cocktail bar opened in March, and its speakeasy atmosphere provides relief from a pressure-cooker day on the course. But it requires a precise approach: The bar’s sign doesn’t exactly broadcast its presence on Houston Street, and Thompson’s is actually two bars, a street-level one with a book theme (it’s in a former bookstore) and a pharmacy-themed underground space accessible by an outdoor staircase — although there is a secret passageway inside.
Local knowledge: In keeping with the literary theme, drinks are named after books, some well-known, some not. Try the Cinnamon Gun Powder, a bourbon concoction with house-made cinnamon syrup. If you want to show off, find out who wrote the book it’s named after.
The hole: 430-yard par 4
Parallel to Mockingbird Lane, this is a hole where you definitely don’t want to go too far right, because you’ll either end up behind a confounding tree grove or on the street. Hit a good tee shot, however, and you can be aggressive with the approach shot.
The watering hole: Scat Jazz Lounge, 111 W. Fourth St., No. 11; scatjazzlounge.com
Direction is important here, too: The entrance is down an alley off Fourth Street, and then you take an elevator ride to a basement club — one of downtown Fort Worth’s coolest nightclubs.
Local knowledge: As the name indicates, Scat is a music venue, and if you really want to see people throw down, check out the Black Dog Memorial Day Weekend Jam at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, after Colonial. Scat also has a martini menu that would make the Rat Pack proud.
The hole: 192-yard par 3
Another tee shot over water. Players tend to overclub and hit the back of the green, which can make for a tricky downhill putt on the course’s steepest green.
It’s another party hole, too — the greenside bleachers and corporate suites are typically buzzing by mid-afternoon thanks to Colonial’s powerful margaritas.
The watering hole: The Whiskey Garden, 2800 Bledsoe St., Suite 150; on Facebook: The Whiskey Garden
The brand new West 7th hot spot, from the same group that brought us Reservoir, had its standing-room-only opening last weekend. The swimming pool, complete with swim-up bar, made a Vegas-style splash.
Local knowledge: Check out Whiskey Garden’s Shot 30, a wall of signature shots. There is also a small barbecue-themed menu.
The hole: 387-yard par 4
The shortest par 4 at Colonial, but also one of the most vital. Try a timid tee shot and you’ll be blocked by trees on the right. Too strong, and you’re stymied again. Better be on your game here, especially if you’re in the hunt come Sunday.
The watering hole: The Flying Saucer, 111 E. Third St.; beerknurd.com/stores/fortworth
The Flying Saucer, with its perfect patio, is the beating heart of Sundance Square’s nightlife scene. And its encyclopaedic beer list ensures everybody’s pint glass will be full when it comes time to raise a glass to another great Colonial on Sunday.
Local knowledge: The Saucer isn’t just for beerknurds. The menu is chock-full of hearty dishes, like the shepherd’s pie and IPA mac and cheese.
The hole: 441-yard par 4
The final act in this tough test of golf features a slight dogleg off the tee with a green protected by three bunkers and water on the left. It’s called Crampton’s Lake, for golfer Bruce Crampton, who sunk two balls in there in 1962 before falling to champion Arnold Palmer.
The watering hole: The Social House, 840 Currie St.; socialhouseuptown.com
The 18th hole at Colonial is one of the most social places, especially on Sundays, when the crowds take over the 10th fairway and surround the finishing hole, which backs up the venerable clubhouse. The Social House has its own prime location, inside the West 7th development across from AF+B, the Movie Tavern and Waters. It has become a very popular destination on weekends, both day and night.
Local knowledge: The Social House has happy hour specials, 4-7 p.m. weekdays, on all 100 beers on tap and food, so look for the patio to be packed after the opening rounds come to a close.
Staff writer Robert Philpot contributed to this report.