Robert Trent Jones, along with the help of Lawrence Hughes and Ralph Plummer, laid out a masterpiece golf course in west Fort Worth totaling 7003 yards. The late great Ben Hogan was a founding member and made Shady Oaks his choice for local play. You could see him eating lunch at his favorite table overlooking the 18th green about four days a week. He was known to quietly practice with the five iron on an out of the way hole on the par three course hidden inside the championship 18 hole course.
This course is a must play while in Fort Worth if you have a friend that is a member and is by far my personal local favorite. Having played Shady 20-30 times in the last four years, I have never seen it crowded or in anything short of great shape. The greens are quite large but kept rolling at ten plus on the stemp meter and you will find your touch needs to be at its best. Look for almost all putts to break towards the street on the first four or five holes. Playing these great greens will have you appreciate the skill of fine putters and green readers. I have heard members from Colonial say they won't play Shady Oaks because the greens are just too hard to putt--this made me ask what about tournament week at Colonial, and one member still said Shady Oaks' were faster than Colonial even while the PGA is in town.
During the two weeks of the Byron Nelson and Colonial invitationals, you will often find the greatest players in the world practicing at Shady Oaks--that is how great and peaceful this course is. Tiger Woods, while in town working with Nike or for the tournament, has played or practiced there, giving the members and their lucky guests quite a thrill.
The par 5 eighth hole is my favorite and you need to hit a long cut over the traps to have any chance of reaching in two. I have tried and failed each time my drive allowed. The par 4 fourth green along with the eighth fairway are lined with some of Fort Worth’s finest homes, giving their owners a beautiful view 365 days a year. The back nine is just as great and holes thirteen through eighteen are free of homes and lined only with the great old growth oak trees that give this wonderful course its name. I hope you get a chance to play one of Fort Worth’s greatest treasures.
Good Luck, play well and enjoy.