Beau Welling’s resume is impressive enough — he designed Bluejack National outside of Houston and oversaw a massive renovation at Quinta do Lago North Course in Portugal, to name a few notable projects — but when he was chosen as one of five architects to design the two courses at the PGA of America’s new Frisco Resort headquarters, the Brown University graduate was ready to put his ego aside.
“This is a huge, huge deal,” Welling remarked at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort’s groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. “When they called me — and they originally set it up like they were going to hire one architect to do everything — and they called me after and said, ‘hey, we really want to get you involved, but we don’t think we can let you do the whole thing. Would you be willing to do a part of it?”
“I was like, man, I’ll design the parking lot!” said Welling.
While the parking lot will undoubtedly be spectacular, the PGA of America has tasked Welling with designing one of the two championship courses on the property north of Dallas — the other was designed by Gil Hanse — as part of a complex that will host 26 championships over the next decade, including two PGA Championships.
Welling, like many other speakers on Tuesday, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, claimed that the Frisco Resort project is a gamechanger.
“I just wanted to be a part of it. I could see it so clearly that the vision of this was going to be even bigger than the visionaries could see,” said Welling. “You bring the championships here, you bring the PGA brand here, you bring Omni here to be able to offer hospitality and take care of these people, it’s going to be a big event, period. But what will happen is the members of (the PGA of America) will travel from all over the country to learn something new that they will take back to their clubs and courses. Then they’ll bring their members, their students, and the halo effect will begin…”
Welling’s West and Hanse’s East are only two of the many activities planned for this northern DFW suburb. One component is the Omni project, which has 501 hotel rooms and seven four-bedroom golf villas. The hotel will include a destination spa, 127,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, three pools (including an adults-only rooftop infinity pool).
The site will also have a 10-hole short course named The Swing and a 75,000-square-foot putting course dubbed the Dance Floor.
“Does it get any cooler than that? The Dance Floor, the Swing, the East and West Course,” said Jim Richerson, the PGA of America president. “This is not only going to be a resort project, it’s going to be a project that’s going to make memories and create moments for families and generations to come. Not only to get into the game, but to spend time as families.”
Richerson was one of a handful of people that stood near the groundbreaking site on Tuesday a half-dozen years ago, when the PGA of America was seeking for a new home away from its current location in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Not only do we want to raise the status of PGA professionals, but we also want to develop the game.” “We got a chance to search throughout the country for a new headquarters, and it all started with a new building,” he explained. “It began with the question of where we could relocate for the next 100 years for our new home.” It turned into an incredible collaboration.
“As an organization, we’re ecstatic to be here. We’re ecstatic to be relocating to this location. And we’re ecstatic to be a part of what will be America’s new and modern home of golf.””
Abbott praised the state’s economy, saying it had strengthened its global status as a result of the outbreak. The groundbreaking marked the start of a fast-paced timeline that will see the Omni open in 2023. If all goes according to plan, the two golf courses will open to the public in the summer of 2022.
“The PGA is learning what the Omni has long known and what Frisco loudly preaches — Texas is the best state in America for doing business, and it’s just getting better day-by-day,” the governor added.
But it was Welling who shone the brightest. Even when explaining the project’s obstacles, he kept a bright smile on his face as he strolled through the luncheon, talking with local and national media members about it.
“I’m confident it’ll have an impact on the game of golf across the country,” Welling said. “I could see all of this from the start, which is why I said I’d design the parking lot.” I just wanted to be a part of it. I’m incredibly grateful and honored to be a part of it.”
The Omni Project at Frisco Resort has sore than just an optimistic plan, they have action. This “Silicon Valley of Golf” will have the golf world in a buzz as a golf destination resort has never attempted what Frisco Resort is actively doing.