Rangers, city announce new brand for Ditto Golf Course
The Texas Rangers Golf Club, formerly Chester W. Ditto Golf Course, will open this summer after its renovation is completed
The Texas Rangers don’t have a World Series title yet, but this summer they’ll have something no other Major League Baseball team has -- their very own golf course.
The Rangers announced on Friday the re-naming of the Chester W. Ditto Golf Course as the Texas Rangers Golf Club. The facility, located at Collins Street and Brown Boulevard in North Arlington, will be the world’s only Major League Baseball (MLB)-branded golf course when the $24 million renovation project opens this summer.
The renovation will include a new routing of the existing course with improved turf grasses and additional water features.
“I’m very excited about all the momentum we have going into 2018,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “I have to thank Ray (Davis, the owner of the Rangers) and Rob (Matwick, the Rangers’ Executive Vice President for Business Operations) for their commitment to Arlington.
“This is going to be one of the best courses in North Texas,” he added. “I have to highlight the work that the Parks and Recreation Board has done on this. All of our courses are well-maintained and cared for, and they’ve done an incredible job on that.”
Matwick also had words of praise for the city for making the deal happen.
“Deals like this don’t happen without a lot of effort, and opportunities like this only happen with a great relationship with the city,” Matwick said. “The Texas Rangers Golf Club will be the first of its kind to promote golf and baseball in Arlington. These are exciting times for us.”
In the Spring of 2019, the new clubhouse, the Chester W. Ditto Clubhouse, will open, along with a full-service restaurant and bar, a pro shop and a multi-purpose rental and event space.
The 33,871-square-foot clubhouse, will also have a covered patio overlooking the golf course.
Williams spoke of the importance of maintaining the Ditto name on the golf course, in one capacity or another.
“There is a lot of history in that area associated with the Ditto name,” Williams said. “Our staff has been in contact with the Ditto family, and we’re very much hoping they will be proud of having the family name attached to the clubhouse.”
Bobby Bush, a grandson of Chester W. Ditto and a frequent player on the golf course that bore his grandfather's name, said he was somewhat disappointed about the name change at first, but encouraged by the news that the new clubhouse will retain the Chester W. Ditto name.
"It's been really cool to play at a course that has my grandfather's name, but time marches on," Bush said. "The City has been in contact with us, so we've been expecting it. There was never a contract agreement to keep his name on there, but Greg Durante (the Golf Services Manager for the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department) was gracious to tell us that everything was in place. He is quite the gentleman.
"I'm looking forward to playing there again once it reopens."
The city of Arlington will remain the owner and operator of the course, and will collect all green fees and clubhouse revenue. The Rangers will allow the city to use the team’s branding for the course at no cost through a promotional and licensing agreement, which was approved by the City Council Tuesday night.
In the contract between the city and the Rangers, the city will provide the ballclub with trades including Rangers tickets at the Ballpark and the new Globe Life Field, subject to availability, in exchange for golf rounds for business development purposes.
“The marketing groups for the city and the Rangers will handle the exchanges of the passes and tickets,” Matwick said. “We’ll sit down every year and let each other know what needs we have as far as promoting either the City or the Rangers and handle it from there. It will be a promotion value to raise the profile of the golf course and the team.
“It will also give the Convention and Visitors Bureau an opportunity to showcase not only Texas LIVE!, but a golf course within 10 minutes of the ballpark. It will be a high-quality course in close proximity to the biggest attraction in the Entertainment District.”
While the actual rate structure at the Texas Rangers Golf Club has not been finalized, Arlington residents will receive discounted green fees.