A Bentgrass Tradition Renewed at Colonial

The PGA Tour heads to Fort Worth, Texas this week for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club, the longest-running Tour event at the same venue (since 1946) and the first one to showcase OO7XL Creeping Bentgrass, the newest addition to DLF's Super Bents™ lineup.

Colonial is set to unveil an impressive $20 million course restoration that includes new state-of-the-art greens seeded with the most genetically-advanced bentgrass variety available today. It's a fitting tribute to the vision of Colonial's founder who pioneered bentgrass greens in North Texas ninety years ago.

Charles Schwab


Colonial Country Club was built in the 1930s by Marvin Leonard, a Fort Worth businessman and avid amateur golfer. Leonard was a member of a local golf club and a vocal critic of the shaggy bermudagrass greens that were prevalent throughout the southern U.S. He pleaded with his club's governing board to invest in smoother putting surfaces, and he even offered to pay for it himself if they were willing to convert just one or two of the greens to bentgrass. The board refused to budge and suggested he build his own course if he loved bentgrass so much.

Leonard took their words to heart and teamed up with two architects to do the impossible: create a tournament-ready golf course in Texas with bentgrass greens.

The new club opened in 1936 with approximately 100 members, and within five years it was hosting its first major golf tournament, the 1941 U.S. Open. This marked the first time the U.S. Open had been held south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the success of the bentgrass greens led to Colonial becoming a permanent fixture on the PGA Tour and eventually hosting the 1975 Players Championship and 1991 U.S. Women’s Open.

Colonial Country Club 18As the Colonial team was busy completing final prep work three weeks before the tournament, Director of Agronomy Rich McIntosh, was feeling relaxed about his new 007XL greens, which he described as "immaculate".

Leonard’s experiment at Colonial was revolutionary and proved bentgrass was a viable option for greens in the south. He brought world-class events to Fort Worth and paved the way for other courses in the area to use bentgrass on their putting surfaces, including Shady Oaks Country Club, Dallas National Golf Club, Dallas Athletic Club, Gleneagles Country Club and other clubs who have recently joined the Super Bents™ revolution.


Colonial remained a popular destination and has been a Top 5 course in the state since 1977 (Golf Digest), but some of the holes had been modified through the years and members were keen to restore the golf course to its 1941 U.S. Open glory. When an aging irrigation and drainage system needed to be replaced, they decided the time was right to move forward with the renewal project.

The Club hired revered golf course architect Gil Hanse to bring the course back to its original design. Hanse and his team studied old photographs and looked for ways to emphasize Colonial’s natural beauty. Once the designs were ready and approved, the baton passed to the Director of Agronomy, Rich McIntosh, to put the plans into action and ensure the project would be finished in time for the 2024 tournament. It was essentially an 18-month project that needed to be accomplished in 11 months, with construction commencing a few hours after the 2023 tournament ended. It was a monumental feat that required 90-120 people working twelve hours a day for six days a week, as every inch of the course was resurfaced.

Not surprisingly, Colonial members were adamant about keeping their bentgrass greens, but they also wanted to introduce newer genetics that would help the surfaces manage moisture more effectively and be better equipped to tolerate the Texas heat. The agronomy team trialed multiple bentgrass cultivars onsite for two years before selecting 007XL. They also installed a hydronics system under the surface of each green that will constantly circulate cool or warm water to give the bentgrass optimal soil temperatures year-round.

Trialing 007XL Colonial Country Club007XL seed samples were planted at Colonial's nursery (above) in October 2020.It was officially selected for the project in May 2022 after extensive trialing verified its elite genetics.


By all accounts, the restoration of Colonial Country Club was a huge success. The project came in on budget and on time, and the new 007XL greens are ready for the spotlight. They are primed to deliver incredibly smooth and uniform putting surfaces, just as Mr. Leonard originally intended.

You can see the new 007XL greens for yourself this week (May 23-26), as the tournament will be televised each day on the Golf Channel and CBS, and streamed online through ESPN+, Peacock and Paramount+.

007XL Greens closeup Colonial Country Club The OO7XL greens at Colonial Country Club (above) are finely textured, dense and uniform. 007XL was rated #1 for greens and fairways in Rutgers University turf trials for four straight years (2017-2020) and has been excelling on golf courses across the U.S. since it was commercially released in 2021.