Dream Golf coming to East Texas, could Oklahoma be next?

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By Ken MacLeod

Dream Golf is coming to Colorado near Denver in the form of Rodeo Dunes. Now Mike Keiser has announced Wild Springs Dunes in East Texas. Two tremendous boons for states already rich in tourist attractions.

Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell

One day in the not too distant future, golfers will travel between those two destinations with a stop in western Oklahoma to play another Dream Golf remote destination, this one a sand dunes-based wonderland around and possibly including Boiling Springs in Woodward. This resort would bring golfers from around the country or even the world to Oklahoma, provide jobs and tax dollars and be the focal point of the fledgling Oklahoma Golf Trail. It would immediately lift Oklahoma into a totally different realm in terms of tourism, opening doors not even imagined yet.

And what has to happen for this to become a reality? The Oklahoma Legislature is going to have to invest in building the resort which would then be owned and operated by Keiser’s group. At least that’s been the discussions for over a year between Dream Golf, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell and key legislators and business leaders, including State Rep. Anthony Moore of Clinton, a passionate golfer who played collegiately at Oklahoma Christian, has been to Keiser’s flagship property Bandon Dunes and most importantly recognizes what an incredible opportunity this would be for Oklahoma.

“We’ve got to do whatever we need to do to make this happen, it’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Moore said. “There are supporters on both sides of the legislature. It’s something we’ve got to get done next year.”

It’s too early to put a number on what it would cost the state to build the resort but it’s hard to imagine it not paying off and quickly no matter what that number is. Having the equal of Sand Valley or the other Keiser properties in Oklahoma would be an incredible benefit to the state. Despite a limited budget and through the efforts of manager John Dunn and former superintendent Jeff Wagner, Boiling Springs has become a legitimate destination for golfers around the region. Imagine what a refurbished Boiling Springs along with courses designed by the likes of Tom Doak or Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw could look like in the sandy dunes of the region.

“It’s a must for Oklahoma,” said Moore, who traveled to The Masters this spring as well as his trip to Bandon Dunes and lives just off the fairway at Riverside Golf Course in Clinton, where he was a state champion in high school. In his office are his scorecards from Carnoustie and St. Andrews and his daughter and son are already avid golfers.

“The buildout would pay for itself in four or five years just from employment taxes. We’re not a five or six-month golf state like Wisconsin or Colorado or Oregon, you can play here all year. It’s an incredible opportunity for northwest Oklahoma and for the state in general.”

Moore said coming to an agreement with Keiser’s group and funding the resort would be his top priority for the 2025 legislative session. Stay tuned.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source