Four Seasons Resort and Club
By Roger Cox, Editor
Off the top of my head, I can't think of another tennis resort that offers an "Early Bird" drill session at 6 a.m. during the week. But in an era when people frequently head for their health club before going to work, it makes perfect sense to provide the alternative of a tennis workout instead. So director of instruction John Mullman added that option to the roster in order to accommodate not only members who want to be able to get their tennis in that early but also hotel conference guests, whose only opportunity comes before the day's meetings begin.
Granted, if you've come to the Four Seasons Resort and Club on vacation, you're probably not about to get up at 6 a.m. for anything. But the mere fact that something is available at that odd hour suggests how responsive Mullman and his staff are to the needs of members and hotel guests. And at that early hour, Mullman himself is often one of the pros awake and on court helping jumpstart the players' days.
The resort recently invested $60-million
on enhancements. Those included new Club Villas, a redesign of its
signature Tournament Player Club golf course, home to the
annual Byron Nelson Classic PGA Tour event; a renovated clubhouse tennis court
in U.S. Open blue; and a new restaurant,
Racquets, that opens onto the new Family Pool.
For tennis players, the great allure of this Four Seasons is its 176,000-square-foot Sports Club and its complex of four indoor and eight outdoor tennis courts. Enclosed in dimpled, peach-hued blond brick, this vast space embraces an expansive fitness center, a saltwater lap pool, a running track, squash and racquetball courts, the golf and tennis pro shops, and a members-only restaurant and lounge. Blond wood paneling, broad carpeted hallways and decorative oriental vases give the club a Dallas-inspired panache throughout. Just outside there is a children's play area adjacent to the family swimming pool, and between the Sports Club and the hotel runs the subterranean spa, with its own swimming pool on the roof.
Pro Shop: 972-717-0700
Having both indoor and outdoor courts to work with gives this Four Seasons options when it comes to tennis programming. At the same time it has to balance the needs of members with those of social and conference guests. For Director of Sports Robin Scott the key has been to integrate resort guests into the ongoing programs for members.
Tennis Staff. Scott oversees all the sports programming for the club and resort. A former No. 1 player in Scotland, he has over 20 years of teaching experience. Mullman, who himself has more than two decades of service at the Four Season, not only shows up for those "Early Birds" workouts but also coordinates the broad-based tennis program. A typical week's roster includes Cardio tennis classes, evening drill session, weekly clinics, Saturday morning group play, studious game matching, and the option to substitute in leagues. Mullman and his staff also specialize in tailor-making long weekend events for tennis groups and teams.
Scott and Mullman head up a strong professional team that includes former Top 30 doubles player Brent Haygarth. Craig Kardon, former coach of Martina Navratilova among other WTA No. 1 players, and former Top 40 WTA Tour professional Tara Snyder also contribute on a part-time basis, and ATP Tour player Mark Knowles trains at the Sports Club when he's in town. In an annual survey of members, the tennis staff ranks higher than any other Sports Club department, for overall service and quality of instruction.
Courts & Fees. 12 hard courts (all individually lighted), 4 of them indoors. All of the outdoor courts have now been resurfaced in U.S. Open blue.
Golf Courses. There are two 18-hole championships golf courses at the Four Seasons Resort and Club and a Byron Nelson Golf School
The Tournament Player's Course Four Seasons Las Colinas: Redesigned in 2007 by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolford, this 7,166-yard course is home to the annual PGA Tour HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Cottonwood Valley Course: Designed by Robert Trent Jones and Jay Moorish this Par 71, 7,120-yard course is available exclusively to Sports Club members. Its No. 1 green is shaped like the state of Texas, with a sand bunker in the shape of Oklahoma.
Spa & Fitness Center. Thoroughly remodeled in 2004, the spa retains its Zen-like atmosphere but has been completely modernized. There is a salon adjacent to the larger women's spa area, while both locker rooms have electronic key lockers, dray saunas, steam rooms, heated whirlpools, and cold plunges. Spa dining is available in the relaxation area of both the men's and women's areas. The Fitness Center encompasses some 6,000-square-feet of the Sports Club, where it has a full array of Nautilus and Body Master equipment; a forest of Stairmasters, exercycles and other Cardio equipment; free weights, indoor and outdoor jogging tracks, indoor and outdoor lap pools, and a full schedule of free exercise classes (aerobics, yoga, Pilates, water aerobics). Personal training and nutritional counseling are also offered.
And ... There are two international squash and four racquetball courts, half a basketball court, a program studio, and a child-care center.
"Kids For All Seasons" (KFAS) program provides drop-in child care throughout the year. During the summer, KFAS offers a complimentary program from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for resort children ages 5 to 12 supplemented by "The Scene," a supervised space for tweens and teens to hang out5. In addition, the Sports Club schedules a wide-ranging array of recreation and classes for kids as young as 2 years old as part of its "Summerfest" series. That includes junior tennis camps and classes on selected dates from June to August. During the rest of the year the Sports Club offers weekend and after-school junior tennis programs for kids ages 4 and up. Children of hotel guests can easily be integrated into these sessions.
The main nine-story hotel has 307 rooms, in blue, gold and red color schemes and slightly formal dark woods. Most have views of the serpentine swimming pool or golf course. In addition there are 124 villas to the north and south of the hotel along the golf fairways.
The main dining option in the hotel is Cafe on the Green, a handsome semi-circular room with an elegant Asian feel and New American cuisine with an Asian flair.
Mar. 10-16, 2014: The Dallas Tennis Classic
This ATP Challenger event, with a purse of $125,000, draws a strong field of 32 men in singles, 16 teams in doubles. Last year, Austrian Jurgen Meltzer defeated qualifier Denis Kudla from the U.S. in the singles final and then teamed with Germany's Philipp Petzschner to take the doubles title as well.
For comparison's sake, also check out:
- The Broadmoor, Colorado
- The Greenbrier, West Virginia
- JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, California
- The Phoenician, Arizona
- Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, Florida
Rates and Reservations
Rates on request.
4150 North MacArthur Blvd
Irving, TX 75038
Web Link: Four Seasons Resort and Club
Travel Instructions. The resort is 7 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
General Tourist Information. For general information about vacationing in Texas, visit the Texas Tourism website or contact them at 800-888-8TEX.