Nobody's Calling the Trinity Golf Course "TERRIBLE," DMN, They're Just Calling B.S.

Categories: City Hall, Media

Thumbnail image for TrinityForestBridge.jpg
A bridge in the Trinity Forest, future home of the Nelson.
Eric has a pretty nice rundown of today's big announcement, and I'm sure Schutze will chime in at some point, when he's done looking into the combination polo-field/squash complex expected to be announced for southern Dallas next week.

In the meantime, Sharon Grigsby, editorial page editor for the Morning News, is VERY Upset about The Way people -- people she WON'T NAME, because God forbid the Morning News ever risk Legitimizing another media outlet by uttering its silly little name -- are responding to the announcement that the city and AT&T are working to bring a CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSE to southern Dallas.

Let's break it down over-capitalized point by over-capitalized point, because the Internet likes that sort of thing. Plus it's faster, which is key, because you're all about to leave for the bar. (OK, we're. We're all about to leave for the bar.)

She begins:

To all of those who are falling all over yourself to get on the bandwagon that is proclaiming that bringing a "world-class golf course in southern Dallas" is TERRIBLE idea:

I don't think many people are arguing that simply building the course is a "terrible" idea. Everyone seems to agree -- at least this early in the game -- that the money would be spent anyway, the land isn't anything terribly special, and what the hell, if SMU's golf team and some other folks want to play golf there, go for it.

1. The people who play on this course -- whether professionals, SMU team members or underprivileged children in the First Tee program -- just might want to spend some money in southern Dallas. Development, jobs and growing the tax base -- something that would help every Dallas resident -- are possibilities here.

First, if we're relying on the underprivileged kids to spur the local economy, we're in trouble. As for the rich folks allegedly golfing there:

Golf course memberships are way down over the last decade or two -- to 2 million in 2010 from 3 million in the '90s. Country clubs are combining and dying and getting cheaper, and young people aren't joining them. So assuming people will buy a membership at this thing -- which is what will have to happen keep it afloat -- is a little presumptuous.

If they do come, what are they going to spend money on outside the course? Golf courses -- as D's Tim Rogers and Grigsby's own colleague have already pointed out -- don't have great track records of spurring non-housing development.

2. Southern Dallas is where the undeveloped land is -- and pretty land, at that. Northern Dallas is pretty much paved over.

Point conceded. Then again, I'm not sure who she's arguing with here. I don't remember anyone suggesting that Pete Dye design 36 holes on top of 635.

3. The money the city is contributing to this project is money it was going to have to spend -- the remediation must be done.

Totally. Those unnamed cynical bastards she links to said the exact same thing.

4. I know that several smart leaders who actually LIVE in southern Dallas think so. No, all the questions aren't answered yet, but I wish The Detractors, some of whom you can find here, could take a breath or two before deciding that just because this is associated with City Hall, it's a bad idea.

Fair enough. Then again, it's a little unfair to criticize other media outlets for reacting so quickly on so little information. We sort of had to.

The press releases we got from City Hall yesterday and today about the mayor's big announcement gave exactly zero details about what the event was -- not even the fact that it was a golf course. But for whatever reason, the mayor gave a lengthy interview to the Morning News sometime before those press releases went out, providing all sorts of details and context. Meanwhile, The Alleged Detractors, fighting for their lives in the give-it-to-me-now digital-media landscape, were made to wait until midday today to get any information about the course, leaving them to speculate wildly in order to be a part of the conversation, which their readers require.

So, yeah, we could "take a breath or two," but by the time we finished breathing the News would already be inviting the mayor up for tea so he could lay out its next big scoop, about the wind-surfing park he and Texas Instruments are planning for the Trinity.

Getting people with money into southern Dallas is huge -- as opposed to the longstanding idea that southern Dallas is a place to be avoided at all costs by anyone but those who are "forced" to live there.

Not to mention the fact that it's disappointing that people make a joke out of the idea that something "high quality" might be going into southern Dallas. Until this knee-jerk stereotyping ends, we'll never "bridge the gap."

I sort of wish I could have stopped after the tea thing. That was solid, I thought. Alas, she carries on.

No one's making a joke about something "high quality" going into southern Dallas. The joke is that, together with the impending horse park, the city is putting "high quality" things that happen to appeal directly to wealthy white people.

If we're stereotyping -- I suspect we totally are -- we're not stereotyping southern Dallas. We're stereotyping wealthy hobbyists, which is way more fun and doesn't require wearing a collared shirt.

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36 comments
cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

"Getting people with money into southern Dallas is huge -- as opposed tothe longstanding idea that southern Dallas is a place to be avoided atall costs by anyone but those who are "forced" to live there."

And wasn't it the Dallas Morning News, working closely with JWP and Perot, Jr., that helped torpedo the Inland Port Project?  If the DMN is behind this then the "right" people must be in-line to make some money.

ItsSoSad
ItsSoSad

Without arguing the particulars, this course proposal is still TOTAL BULLSHIT!

There is already an incredible "rich white people's" golf course in SW Dallas.Oak Cliff: The Dallas National Golf Club http://www.dallasnationalgolfclub.com All built with private money, no public tax money.

I'm a teacher, so I've never set foot on the grounds even though I work within 100 yards of the place. Supposed to be incredible. (Would LOVE to visit it!)

But there's no PGA tournament, no associated development anywhere nearby. In fact, if you didn't already know there was a golf course behind that black fence, YOU'D NEVER EVEN KNOW IT EXISTED!

So why is building another fancy public golf course such a big deal? Didn't we just do that with the Samuel-Grand Tennyson course? That didn't generate any new development either.

So it must come down to what it always comes down to: MONEY!!!!!

Who is going to make the most money building or running this course? I guess it's time to line some big political contributor's pockets again. Or does some important person own part of the property and they need a sudden increase in the value before selling to the city?

Here's a story for a reporter who gets paid to find out what's really going on. Find out WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON!

DMN won't do it, even if Wilonsky is over there.

Tolldya
Tolldya

Building a low pedestrian bridge over the river wasn't the brightest thing in the world either. A trail through a wildlife reserve area is pretty much ludicrous. They can't adequately manage the trails they have in there now and now they want to create a pedestrian corridor by taking out acres of trees to do it.  Makes so much sense.    I'm guessing they didn't ask anyone about the environmental impact of any of this on a wildlife sanctuary.

Guesty
Guesty

All I really need to know about this is as follows:

1: Is it correct that the city is already on the hook for most of what it would contribute for remediation of the landfill? How much extra is the city kicking in? Some will be upset about any city contribution to this kind of thing, but I tend to think a $2-4 million probably would be a worthwhile investment by the city if it brings in the Byron Nelson. But $10 million? Not worth it.

2: What are the terms of the proposed lease? I understand the city will keep ownership of the land, but what are the terms? The key is that the non-profit should have all the obligations and liabilities for operations. For example, are they getting a deal from the city on their water? It seems that any productive use would be advantageous to the city given that it is literally just a wasteland right now, assuming it doesn't take on any new liabilities for the place. But if the lease is long, .e.g 100 years, then I'd expect the city to be getting rent down the road.

The other "details" I've seen reported by the DO about this story are a bunch of non-sense, much of it meaningless race-bating or class-warfare stuff that shouldn't really matter to anyone. Many of the complaints seem to be that this must be bad if it helps privileged white people, which is a dumb complaint. I don't care if privileged SMU kids and privileged CEOs will use the place. Right now, no one is using it, and it can't hurt to have those folks drive south of I30 every once and a while. But how does this make poor people worse off (the reason for Question Nos. 1&2 is I want to know if this is diverting resources, which would be a problem)?

Also, decide if the place is "private" or "semi-private" or just admit you don't know. You keep reporting its likely to be "semi-private" but then discussing it as a "private" club. These words have different meanings, especially as it relates to golf clubs (hint, anyone can book a tee-time and play at a "semi-private" club). I'm not sure if it really matters to me (as long as the members are covering the expense, it probably doesn't bother me if the public can't play the course), but if you are going to use "private" as a dog-whistle word in your reporting about the golf club, you should at least be correct.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@joe.tone my phone doesn't agree with the new comment system, so your response is here. My understanding is that Cedar Crest was the chic Jewish country club back in the teens. That's part of how it lured a PGA Championship. Much like Park Row near Fair Park (or slightly northeast of the bar Lee Harveys if you don't know the area) though, when the synagogue moved north most of the affluent Jewish residents in the area followed suit. Cedar Crest was bought by the city to try and save the area but poverty continued and the area around it kept going to hell. That's how I've always heard it.

MattL11
MattL11

I'm just not a fan of the white golfer mentality of "here's some undeveloped land, let't put a golf course there." And I'm a white person who plays golf. Can't we just let the forest be a forest? 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

  1.  increase the tax base? country clubs get taxed way below everyone else. See: Dallas Country Club
  2. increase development? Brookhollow has been around quite a while now, but Harry Hines is not exactly hoppin, unless it's 2:00 a.m. and you're hoppin around tryin to avoid gettin shot
  3. and this one just to have a reason for using the bullet points. Am I the first?

DOCensors
DOCensors

The city needs to open a hip hop day care where they rap to the poor downtrodden about socialist liberal values. 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

In her defense, which isn't something I'm happy to be doing, most golfers at Cedar Crest aren't wealthy white men. As a white man I'm actually in the minority when I play there usually.

To your point though, Cedar Crest has been there over a hundred years and the neighborhood around it looks like Beirut. Why should we expect a new South Dallas golf course to create development?

Someone is making money off this, that's why it's being built. This is Dallas, after all.

DOCensors
DOCensors

You type like a crazy person.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

"appeal directly to wealthy white people."

Well, there's the answer to my question from the first post about this latest boondoggle.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@Guesty Where do we use "private" as a dog-whistle word? This story doesn't address it specifically, but our main story on the subject describes it as semi-private, which is how the city has described it. 

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Montemalone @Montemalone - - Probably taxed higher and will draw more development than an old flood-plain landfill.

CherNoBill
CherNoBill

@DOCensors 

Dude, just go already.

Go have sex with an old white man and watch Faux News together.

We really don't care if you are completely terrified of people who aren't white.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@DOCensors - - If Glenn Beck plays a round while riding a horse on this course, It'll be the perfect storm.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@DOCensors your racism bit is getting old and tired.....

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@SuperfuzzBigmuff Cedar Crest is a muni though, right? Semi-private clubs don't generally have the same diversity, economic or ethnic or whatever, as an inner-city muni.

Guesty
Guesty

@joe.tone @Guesty Well, there's this from your main story: "As for how much real impact a members-only golf club in a sparsely populated area will have on southern Dallas wasn't really addressed..." (emphasis added)  The article effectively calls on readers to imagine the proposal as though there is a new DCC or Dallas National (both private and exclusive) going in on the city's property in South Dallas, perhaps at the City's expense.

While I was a little too critical of you, I still believe you invited your readers that don't understand golf clubs to associate the new proposal with DCC & Dallas National white privilege and exclusivity by intentionally framing the issue in a way that suggested as much to people already predisposed to believe it. That is fundamentally what dog-whistle politics is about.

DOCensors
DOCensors

@CherNoBill @DOCensors I would but Jim Schutze won't return my calls. 

Terrified of people who aren't white? I spent all weekend and all day today south of 30. How about you? How's crying about racism from your liberal whiteopia working for you? Did you get your dose of diversity by dropping a few spanish words while ordering around the help today?

Guesty
Guesty

@joe.tone You seem to confuse the semi-private vs. muni distinction with nice 'n expensive vs. crappy 'n cheap distinction. It's the latter that affects the level of diversity.

For example, Bethpage Black in New York (designed by the same guy who did Cedar Crest) is a muni course but is less diverse than most semi-private courses, in part because it costs $200 a round on the weekend for non-residents (about $150 for residents). But it is a very nice course that is worth every dime, which is why people show up the day before they want to play to camp out for a tee-time.

Dallas has ok muni courses, but no great muni courses. The nicer ones can be terrible experiences because of how crowded they are when it's nice. The poor quality and large crowds are a direct result of the cheap prices because it is impossible to maintain a nice course at $40 a head.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@Guesty No, you weren't too critical, and you're absolutely right. That's misleading and would have been edited out in the editing process if the offending editor* wasn't a moron.

Although, we're now hearing that the city is being vague about just how semi- this semi- will be, so we'll see. In the meantime I'll fix that.

*That would be me. 

Tolldya
Tolldya

@MattL11 @joe.tone @DOCensors I seriously doubt that more trees will be coming, and it's false to think they won't take any trees down for the course.  Even worse, they want to build a trail through the heart of the forest that is currently undisturbed.  Like someone said...let the forest be forest.  There's room for a golf course....but trees will be lost.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@MattL11 @DOCensors Totally. That's why no one's really disagreeing with the plan to put a course there. The disagreement is over the claim that it will spur development, which it won't. (I also think people have questions about the city being on the hook for more than the $12 million, which, who knows.)

MattL11
MattL11

@joe.tone @DOCensors @MattL11 You're both correct. I compared the map from the previous story to Google Earth in an extremely scientific process. If anything, adding a golf course will probably increase the number of trees and stuff on that parcel. 

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@DOCensors @MattL11 I used that photo because it's the one we have of the forest; if I had one of the landfill, I would have used it. The story clearly says the land isn't anything special.

DOCensors
DOCensors

@MattL11 @DOCensors http://goo.gl/maps/dFDBc 

Just basing off the photo of the graphic in the other story. I don't care one way or another-- but if people are going to be opposed to it they should at least be educated/honest about it. 

Not that I am expecting much in the way of rational nuance from this paper. Can't wait to read Jim's raving lunatic article about drowning golfers and chopping down all the forest to kick out poor people etc etc etc

engmofo
engmofo

@DOCensors @SuperfuzzBigmuff Unlike "Golfers'' skateboarders are way more likely to use local business ,as we tend to be way less picky about where we buy beer......

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@Guesty Well, sure, there are munis that are nice and expensive and, I suppose, that are cheap and crappy. As a general rule, though, semi-privates are less diverse than munis, right? True of every one I've played, anyway.

I would sleep in my car to play Bethpage for sure.

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