How Can I Play Colonial Country Club?

Playing a round at the host venue for the Charles Schwab Challenge will take either cash or connections

A scenic view of the 16th hole at Colonial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, is synonymous with one event – the Charles Schwab Challenge. It’s hosted the tournament since 1946, making it the longest-running on the PGA Tour held at the same venue. 

The club was established in 1936 and the course was designed by renowned architects John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell. Indeed, the latter’s influence is evident in the undulating greens and use of existing topography. Tree-lined fairways, small greens and doglegs are the order of the day, placing emphasis on all aspects of a player’s game on a course that’s generally accepted as one of the toughest on the PGA Tour.

The doglegs, which are a familiar theme of another Maxwell-designed course, Southern Hills, are particularly troublesome on a three-hole stretch nicknamed the Horrible Horseshoe. The par-4 third features a 483-yard dogleg left with a sharp turn that demands accuracy with the tee shot. Bunkers on the left force many tee shots towards the rough on the right. Meanwhile, if your drive heads left and the ball avoids a bunker, there’s every chance it’ll be blocked by trees. 

The fourth is a 247-yard par-3 with an elevated green. Incredibly, it's so difficult that the hole has yet to see an ace in the history of the Charles Schwab Challenge. If the first two holes of the Horrible Horseshoe sound difficult, the fifth that completes it is positively brutal. The 481-yard par-4 has a dogleg right with a river on the right and a ditch on the opposite side. More tests follow, including the 13th with its unique triangular green. The 170-yard par-3 plays over water, and wind is also a factor, with shots as likely to find the narrow green as the lake. 

The 13th hole at Colonial

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The course, which also held the 1941 US Open, will receive a $20m facelift after the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge. While it will retain its sense of history and familiarity, there will be nods to the future with a new irrigation system, tees, bunkers, and green complexes in a project carried out by Gil Hanse.

Whether you want to play a round at Colonial before or after the improvements are made, it isn't that easy to arrange. Like other Texan courses on the PGA Tour, TPC Craig Ranch and Austin Country Club, Colonial is a private course, so its amenities are restricted to members and guests. To become a member, you’ll need to find an initiation fee reportedly in the region of $80,000. On top of that, there are monthly dues of around $470 a month, while there are further fees for any member who invites a guest to play. Anyone interested in becoming a member is asked to email the club’s Assistant General Manager for details.

How Much Is A Membership At Colonial Country Club Fort Worth?

The club, which has 700 members, reportedly has initiation fees of $80,00 with monthly dues of $470. On top of that, there are additional fees for bringing guests to play the course.

Who Started Colonial Country Club?

Colonial Country Club was established in 1936 by Marvin Leonard, who was determined to introduce bentgrass greens to Texas. After being rebuffed in his efforts to do so with several greens at River Crest, he built his own course – Colonial.

What Did The Charles Schwab Challenge Used To Be Called?

The event has undergone several name changes since its inception in 1946. It was initially called the Colonial National Invitation, then became the Southwestern Bell Colonial in 1989. Other names have included the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Most recently, it became the Charles Schwab Challenge in 2019.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.