Arlington

Texas Rangers Golf Club will be the new name for Arlington’s Ditto course

Picture of the new Texas Rangers Golf Club in its early transition from Chester Ditto Golf Course.
Picture of the new Texas Rangers Golf Club in its early transition from Chester Ditto Golf Course. bhanna@star-telegram.com

It looks like the Dallas Cowboys will soon have a familiar playing partner as a professional sports team that lends their name to an area golf course.

Tuesday night the Arlington City Council will consider a promotional and licensing agreement to rename the Chester W. Ditto Golf Course as the Texas Rangers Golf Club.

In its report to the City Council, the staff report said that Ditto will become “the only MLB-branded course in the country.”

The Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine is branded in a similar way. It opened in 2001 and is billed as “the first and only NFL-themed Golf Club in the world.”

“This is a great opportunity with the Rangers willing to lend their name to it,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. “It is a tremendous enhancement for golf and for our citizens in Arlington. It is also an improvement that will help with property values in the neighborhoods around the course.”

While the renovated golf course should attract and keep visitors in Arlington for longer stays, Williams said the course will still be accessible and affordable for Arlington residents.

Texas Rangers spokesman John Blake said the team would wait to discuss specifics until the City Council votes.

“The Rangers have been in discussions with the City of Arlington for several months regarding a partnership with the Ditto Golf Course,” Blake said. “We feel it presents a great cross-promotional opportunity for the Rangers while bringing additional exposure to that facility.”

Ditto Golf Course in Arlington is being carved and shaped in to a brand new course, the city intending for it to be a top five course in the Metroplex.

‘Unique branding element’

The Rangers are building the $1.1 billion Globe Life Field in Arlington that is scheduled to open in time for the 2020 season. The stadium, along with the $250 million Texas Live! entertainment complex next door and AT&T Stadium just down the street, gives the area a major tourism draw.

If the promotional and licensing agreement is approved Tuesday night, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will begin developing brand concepts for the course and clubhouse, the staff report said.

“This unique branding element for the City would provide the opportunity to create another tourism element for sports enthusiasts of all kinds, residents and visitors to our community,” the staff report said. “The vision of this partnership is to create marketing and promotional opportunities between the City, ACVB (Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau), UTA and Texas Rangers.”

Ditto is undergoing an $18.3 million renovation that includes a full realignment of its 18 holes, lengthening the course — from 6,800 yards to 7,200 — and adding more water features along with elevation changes.

Already new grass has grown in on the rolling fairways and traps are filled with bright white sand.

The 164.45-acre course, at Brown Boulevard and North Collins Street, is scheduled to reopen this summer with a new clubhouse opening in early 2019.

‘A draw to visitors’

City officials believe the agreement can increase revenue per golf round as well as “extend hotel stays, attract student athletes to UTA, attract higher quality housing developments in North Arlington and be an overall positive impact to the Entertainment District,” the report said.

The course hopes to compete with the likes of the Cowboys Golf Club, Waterchase Golf Club in east Fort Worth and Texas Star in Euless as a public golfing destination.

Ditto is one of four public golf courses in Arlington.

Ron Price, president and CEO of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the golf course is a perfect fity for Arlington’s future.

“We believe the newly renovated course will be a draw to visitors in town for meetings and events and entice them to stay ‘one more day’ in Arlington,” Price said. “Meeting planners look for off-site activities for meeting attendees to do, and the course location makes it attractive to those looking for an option near the Arlington Entertainment District.”

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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