By Roger Cox, Editor
It is a Four Season's trademark to go beyond what is merely expected, and so I was not surprised when Director of Tennis Jerome Millet got in touch even before a friend and I left from New York City about what we wanted in the way of tennis. Knowing we'd have a clinic the evening we checked in and some mixed doubles the next morning before we departed gave us something to look forward to. Arriving in a light rain after a five-hour drive from another part of Texas, we needed to hit come balls, and at many other resorts, the damp outdoor courts would have meant the clinic was canceled. But the Four Seasons Resort Golf & Sports Club has that rare fallback option: indoor courts. And not just any indoor courts, but four hard-surface platforms covered in shock-absorbing Cushion Extreme (a recycled rubber) and brightly illuminated by high-quality indirect LED lights. Everything could take place as planned.
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Those four indoor courts are part of one of the most impressive indoor sports clubs I've ever come across. Encompassing a whopping 176,000 square feet, and faced in a peach-hued dimpled brick, this two-story complex is a short stroll from the hotel, an elegant 431-room tower covered, like the Sports Club, in peach-hued blond dimpled brick. Behind it stretches a serpentine swimming pool bordered by lounge chairs with umbrellas set off by lush landscaping and pots of flowers. At lobby level is the restaurant Law, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and focused on poultry, meats, and fish sourced directly from Texas farms, fisheries and ranches. During the summer the Agave Pool & Bar at the hotel pool serves American favorites and cocktails..
Those features notwithstanding, this Four Seasons is most widely known as the home to the annual AT&T Byron Nelson Classic, a PGA Tour event that has taken there each May and has been played here on the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas course since 1983.
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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 Tennis Jerome Millet the key has been to integrate resort guests into the ongoing programs for members.
Tennis Staff. Millet brings extensive local and national experience to the Sports Club. He coordinates the on-court programs, among them Tennis 101 and 201 programs, Cardio tennis, Early Bird workouts, evening drill sessions, and studious game matching. In addition, the Four Seasons has a long history of connecting with former ATP tour players and coaches: Craig Kardon, former coach of Martina Navratilova among other WTA No. 1 players, contributes his expertise on a part-time basis. Former ATP Tour player and Grand Slam doubles champion Mark Knowles trains at the Sports Club. 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. Court fees: $35/hour indoors; $25/hour outdoors.
Golf Courses. There are two 18-hole championships golf courses as well as a golf school.
The Tournament Player's Course Four
Seasons Las Colinas: Stretching 7,166 yards, this course was redesigned in 2007 by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolford.
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. The Well & Being Spa combines a Zen-like with spa treatments focused on wellness. There is a salon adjacent to the larger women's spa area, while both locker rooms dry saunas, steam rooms, heated whirlpools, and cold plunges. There's also another pool on the spa roof. Spa dining is available in the relaxation area of both the men's and women's areas. The Sports Club encompasses a vast fitness center, a mind-body movement studio, indoor and outdoor jogging tracks and lap pools, international squash and racquetball courts, golf and tennis pro shops, a half basketball court, and a child-care center. There is also a full schedule of group programming, including TRX, WellFit, yoga, Pilates, AntiGrvity Aerial Yoga class, nutritional counseling and more. Cyclists looking to train indoors can build their skills in the Technogym Group Cycle experience, the first in the U.S.
"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 13. 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, 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.
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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.