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Our non-golfing family stayed at the hottest golf resort in the US — and had a blast

When it comes to golf and golf vacations, I’m not much of a fan. Though several of my family members enjoy teeing up for a round of golf with friends on a sunny weekend day or flipping to the Golf Channel for the latest championship game, polite golf clapping always has an ASMR-style effect of lulling me to sleep. To me, the greatest thrill about a day at the golf course is simply tooling around the green on a cart and sipping on a beverage.

So when Omni Hotels announced its new 660-acre Omni PGA Frisco Resort in spring 2023, dubbed a "golfer’s paradise" in a booming Dallas-Fort Worth suburb, you might have correctly guessed that my family wasn't the target audience, and it wasn't any out of personal enthusiasm for the sport that I became interested in checking it out.

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Omni PGA Frisco Resort
Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Instead, in true Texas style, the eye-popping statistics that heralded the resort’s opening—the half-billion dollar price tag, four swimming pools, a built-in shopping and entertainment district, and 13 restaurants—drew my interest. As a Texas travel writer, I had to experience this groundbreaking destination firsthand.

In a larger context, the Omni PGA Frisco Resort underscores Frisco’s positioning in recent years as a leading sports destination in Texas, joining the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility and its nearby shopping and dining district, as well as the National Soccer Hall of Fame and even a thriving esports industry. So, when I brought my husband and two sons along to experience all of the resort's non-golf amenities, imagine my surprise when we all ended up leaving with a true appreciation for golf.

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At Omni PGA Frisco Resort, it’s OK to wear your Crocs on the putting green

Approaching the Omni PGA Frisco Resort gives you a sense of what the land was like in its previous life. Currently, the resort is like an oasis in the middle of what feels like endless farmland ("We call the golf course our beach," Laura McKoy, creative director and vice president of interior design at Omni, told me). Construction is already at work to transform the surrounding property, and it’s not hard to imagine that in just a few years, the landscape will look entirely different.

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As it stands now, your sense of space and distance becomes a little warped due to the massive scale of the resort. It’s a full mile between the last of the on-site guest ranch houses to the PGA of America's headquarters, where it has moved from its former location in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Omni PGA Frisco Resort offers 500 guest rooms and 10 guest houses, or villas, which have already hosted golf greats and celebrities (during my stay, someone name-dropped Dolly Parton, who stayed here during the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards).

We arrived and settled into our ranch house, a sprawling 2,300 square feet with a full kitchen, living room, four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. Outside our back porch we had a front-row seat to watch golfers of all ages trying out their swings on the two-acre putting green known as The Dance Floor.

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Adults and kids wearing Crocs puttered around here throughout the day, my first indication that the resort isn't just reserved for the most sophisticated of golf pros – everyone seems welcome. And, bonus: Our villa also came with an electric golf cart rental, which I happily used to zoom us around the palatial property.

Dining at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.
Dining at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.

From pools to massage treatments, there are plenty of amenities even for non-golfers at Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Our first stop was the swimming pool. There are two large family-friendly pools in addition to an adults-only infinity rooftop pool and one that’s adjacent to the on-site Mokara Spa (which offers golf-specific massage treatments, as well as treatments for non-golfers). My sons enjoyed splashing around the crystal blue waters while my husband and I ordered poolside drinks from a seasonal cocktail menu.

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Following a quick shower and change, we strolled to the Monument Realty PGA District, an area of the resort designed like an outdoor mall filled with boutique shops and restaurants, where we had reserved dinner at the Lounge by Topgolf in the Topgolf Swing Suite. This was really my sons’ dream meal, as they could both nibble food while selecting from any number of active video games like hockey, soccer, and yes, golf. Later in our stay, we all got to deepen our practice at the live-hitting bays outside at the Ice House, which also utilizes technology to track your speed and help improve your swing.

Golf simulator at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.
Golf simulator at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.

One of the most beautiful dining spaces, Trick Rider, is inside the main resort building. This steakhouse takes its thematic inspiration from women trick riders throughout history, and its showstopping 1,500-pound chandelier in the shape of a horse is worth a stop for a cocktail at the bar, if not for a full date night. For dessert, we loved grabbing a scoop of ice cream at Margaret’s Cones and Cups – and for "second dessert," we roasted marshmallows for s’mores at the on-site fire pits.

Shopping and dining at Omni PGA Frisco Resort's on-site outdoor mall

The vibe of the Monument Realty PGA District is very family-friendly. There’s a whimsical toy shop called Gimme Toys that sells adorable toddler golf clothes with a pneumatic tube showpiece that helps raise money for First Tee of Greater Dallas, a youth organization that focuses on exposing kids to the game. There’s also a PGA Shop where you can get monogrammed golf attire (and sip on a complimentary Arnold Palmer) and Blue Lacy Mercantile, a women’s boutique where you can customize your own hat.

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Swimming at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.
Swimming at Omni PGA Frisco Resort.

The Omni PGA Frisco Resort also partners with various brands to promote events throughout the year. When we were there, Casamigos Tequila hosted a tacos and margarita night, with complimentary samples of ranch water cocktails and mini conchas during the day in the hotel lobby.

During the summer, especially, you’re likely to see families out on the putting green, which is free and open to the public. It’s not unusual to see toddlers toting their plastic golf clubs here, coached along by their patient parents.

Laura McKoy, who helped formulate the look and feel of the resort, told me, "We talked in the design process about how to introduce people to golf in a non-intimidating way." As a family who barely knew a driver from a wedge, it was mission accomplished from our perspective. Our kids can’t wait to return.

Our non-golfing family stayed at the hottest golf resort in the US—and had a blast originally appeared on FamilyVacationist.com.

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The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY. FamilyVacationist.com and TourScoop.com are owned and operated by Vacationist Media LLC. Using the FamilyVacationist travel recommendation methodology, we review and select family vacation ideas, family vacation spots, all-inclusive family resorts, and classic family vacations for all ages. TourScoop covers guided group tours and tour operators, tour operator reviews, tour itinerary reviews and travel gear recommendations.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What it's like to stay at a golf resort as a non-golfing family