When word got out that Arlington’s Chester W. Ditto Golf Course would be redone, UTA alumnus John Colligan was determined to manage the project. He and his colleague, Trey Kemp (’05 MArch, Landscape Architecture), were awarded the contract with the city of Arlington after interviewing for the job against five other design firms.
“I told Trey we were pulling out all the stops to get the job,” Colligan says. “I went to UTA, raised a family, own a home, and run a golf course design business in Arlington. No one could have more passion for this project than I do.”
Colligan has been a golf course architect for 35 years and has run his own firm, Colligan Golf Design, in Arlington for the past 23 years. Colligan Golf Design is highly regarded across the country for its renovation success. Locally, it has redone Dallas’ venerable Stevens Park Golf Course, Fort Worth’s Rockwood Park Golf Course, and River Crest Country Club. In addition, it restored Texas’ oldest public course, San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park Golf Course.
The course formerly known as Ditto Golf Course is now the Texas Rangers Golf Club, which opened in 2019.
Colligan credits Kemp, who has been with him since 2007, for the new routing of the course and for providing a large portion of the plan and field work while Colligan worked to overcome the effects of chemo and radiation treatments after a battle with throat cancer.
The Texas Rangers Golf Club is already receiving acclaim as one of the nation’s best public golf facilities. Golf Inc. magazine recognized the club as being the top public golf course renovation in the United States.
“While we are humbled by the recognition the course is receiving, we are more pleased with the response we are getting from the citizens of Arlington,” Colligan says. “And especially the fact that this has become the home course for The University of Texas at Arlington’s men’s and women’s golf teams.”