The golfers are ready, and so are golf fans. The Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA Tour event in three months, takes place in Fort Worth this weekend after a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still lovingly called “Colonial” in Fort Worth, the tournament runs June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club, where — during a typical year — hundreds would embark to sip cocktails, socialize, and catch glimpses of their favorite golf pro.
But not in 2020. There’ll be no spectators at this year’s tournament as government restrictions continue to implement social distancing measures. That means fans will need to catch the event on TV this year (airing Thursday and Friday on the Golf Channel and Saturday and Sunday on CBS). Here are some of the best bars in Fort Worth to do just that. They're all newly reopened after pandemic shutdowns; check their websites for their enhanced safety protocols.
Cowtown Brewing Company
The east downtown brewery and barbecue destination will host a watch party starting at 12 pm Thursday, with the Charles Schwab Challenge live on the big screen. Hang out all weekend for specials on wings and beer — get an order of original hot, garlic parmesan or mango habanero wings and a pitcher of select brew for $25.
Located on Rogers Road just steps from the actual tournament site, the expansive, open-air burger and beer haven will show the event on most of its TVs inside and out, along with its big projection screen. Patrons can get an up-close view of the star-studded field, including Kevin Na (the reigning Charles Schwab Challenge champion), Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, and many others who are eager to play. Customers can test their own golf skills (and have a chance to win free beer) with putting challenges set to take place throughout the weekend. Quench any thirst with one of the dozens of craft beers and wine on tap — all $1 off during happy Thursday and Friday until 6 pm.
The South University Drive hamburger and beer joint — located just up the road from the tournament itself — is celebrating the PGA Tour event with a new menu of golf-themed drinks available during the tournament. Fun names include the John Daly, Crooked Golf Cart, Azalea Cocktail, Hole in One, and Gentleman Johnson. There are plenty of TVs inside Dutch’s Locker Room, a 2018 expansion of the original space that includes a full bar and lots of seating, and the Golf Channel has just been added to the channel lineup so patrons won’t miss any swing or putt.
Head to the spacious Sundance Square location of this popular pizza and wings hangout to catch the Colonial action — owner Jon Bonnell says most of the sports bar’s 93 TV screens will be tuned in to the tourney all weekend long. Nosh on bar food at its finest — from Buffalo chicken nachos to stuffed banana peppers — and wash it down with cold beer by the pitcher, which is sometimes hard to find. Bloody Marys are the Sunday drink special (only $3), and some consider Buffalo Bros’ version one of the best in town.
Purple Frog Restaurant & Cantina
Formerly The Bottom, this Bluebonnet Circle bar and grill changed owners (and names) in 2018. Now with the recent closure of nearby Fred’s Texas TCU, Purple Frog Restaurant & Cantina is gaining steam as a TCU-area go-to for bar grub and beer. TV screens are sporadically placed around the dining area and above the full bar, as well as on the covered patio for outdoor viewing. The neighborhood dive boasts daily happy hour, along with Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Ancho Bar at Michaels Cuisine
Any other year, Michael Thomson could be found at the golf tournament itself (perhaps somewhere around “party hole” 13), perusing with other golf fans. This year the chef will post up at his namesake restaurant, welcoming patrons to watch the event in his comfortable Ancho Bar. The dimly lit drinking establishment, located just to the right of the main entrance, is dotted with flat-screen TVs situated around well-stocked shelves of liquor. The covered outdoor seating area offers a screen for viewing, too. Wash down a platter of Thomson’s Ancho Bar “poker chips” — nachos piled with sirloin or smoked chicken — with Michaels Ranch Margarita made with cactus pear puree.
Tim Love’s riverfront barbecue restaurant and bar is bringing in a big screen just for the tournament, so patrons won’t miss one birdie or bogey. Typically popular as a walking-distance destination to post-party after Colonial, Woodshed will be open for folks to sit and sip all day. Keep cool with the Ranch Water, served in a Topo Chico bottle with tequila and lime. Pups are welcome, too.
Arlington Backyard at Texas Live!
There’s plenty of room to spread out at this outdoor concert venue, which is doubling as a massive covered patio right now while the interior of Texas Live! remains closed. Two huge screens on each side of the stage will show the Charles Schwab Challenge, along with multiple TVs around the “backyard.” Grab a paloma at Tequila Sheela, the venue’s outdoor bar, and stay nourished with barbecue from the Lockhart Smokehouse outdoor kiosk. Parking is free.