Once a month, the quaint little
town of Canton, which sits roughly 60 miles east of Dallas, becomes the seventh-largest
city in Texas. That’s when about 400,000 shoppers attend the world-famous First
Monday Trade Days. It’s billed as the largest flea market in America, and
modern-day treasure hunters come from far and wide to search for one-of-a-kind
Even if antiquing isn’t your
thing, there are plenty of other good reasons to visit Canton. For those whose
idea of a good time is tracking down pars and birdies while enjoying some fresh
air and beautiful scenery, then a chance to play Van Zandt Country Club is incentive
enough to plan a trip to the charming community on the western edge of the
Van Zandt Country Club is
conveniently situated just off Interstate 20 and only a few minutes from the
din of activity that surrounds First Monday, though you would never be able to
tell with the semi-private club’s peaceful and secluded setting.
The course was designed by Leon
Howard and opened for play in 1966. The traditional layout Howard crafted
blends perfectly into the natural landscape. Measuring just under 7,000 yards
from the back tees, the par-72 course features gently rolling terrain, fairways
lined with tall pines, sculpted bunkers and water hazards coming into play on many
of the holes.
As for the greens, the putting
surfaces are as smooth as any to be found for miles around.
“We have MiniVerde bermudagrass greens,
and we feel they are some of the best-conditioned putting surfaces in the area,
even when compared to courses in major cities with much bigger budgets,” said Magee
Burns, the club’s president. “We’re not Augusta National, but if you love
greens that roll fast and true, then you really should come check us out.”
For nearly 60 years, the course’s engaging
mix of long and short holes, left and right doglegs and memorable par 3s has
provided a rewarding experience for players of all ages and abilities. With such
an enjoyable layout, relaxed atmosphere, numerous fun outings, and tournaments,
it’s easy to see why the tee sheet is always so busy.
“My favorite thing about the club is
that we have a diverse and active membership,” Burns said. “You can show up any
day of the week and find a game with one of the many different types of groups
that get together to play. It’s a great way for everyone to get to know each
other and build long-lasting friendships.”
There are many other amenities for
members and guests to enjoy at the club, including an expansive practice area,
fully stocked pro shop, pool and snack bar, cookouts, live music, and social
gatherings at the outdoor pavilion, as well as tasty food and drinks at The
Bunker Bar and Grill.
While it’s been a longtime regional
favorite, Van Zandt Country Club will soon garner a wider fan base when it
hosts the Legends Junior Tour’s Collegiate Preview from June 20-21. One of the premier
events on the LJT’s annual schedule, the 36-hole stroke play championship
features an elite 84-player starting field comprised of the state’s top-ranked
boys and girls aged 14-18.
A trip to Canton will offer up a
nice escape from the big city, but the challenge that awaits the junior
competitors will be no relaxing stroll in the countryside.
For more information about Van
Zandt Country Club, click
here. For more information about the LJT Collegiate Preview, click here.