Now the News Thinks Rich Golfers Will Dream Up Plans for Southern Dallas Between Putts

Dallas National.gif
via Dallas National Golf Club
Southern Dallas already has a serene place for rich people to dream up plans for southern Dallas: Dallas National.
With the exception of Mike Hashimoto, the Morning News' editorial team has been dutifully lining up behind the idea that a (semi?) private golf course can be "the tipping point" -- their words, not mine or anyone else's -- southern Dallas needs. "A game changer," the paper says.

Next up: Tod Robberson, who chimed in again yesterday. He opens by dismissing the cynics with that trademark Morning News dickishness, comparing the unnamed people who disagree with him to indestructible varmints. Then he dreams up quite a scenario for how the course will spur development in the area:

Mayor Mike Rawlings suggests the course will have a game-changing economic impact similar to plopping down a Rangers Stadium or Cowboys Stadium on southern Dallas. I disagree. It'll have a bigger and more sustainable impact. Here's why:

Stadiums and sports arenas attract the masses for a single visit. Fans rush to get a good parking spot. They spend their money on concessions inside the venue. When he event is over, they hurry to escape the crowds and get home.

The scene couldn't be any more different from the atmosphere at a golf course. Everything in golf moves slowly. It is designed to be a peaceful, relaxing, leisurely experience amid beautiful, serene surroundings. These are times when the mind is most open to opportunities and possibilities.

He goes on to cite research from small-town Wisconsin that found that golf had a positive impact on the local economy. (You can find it too; it's the first result when you Google "golf course economic impact.") It's a public course with $10 green fees in a seasonal tourist destination for golfers, but hey: It's research!

There seems to be some serious logical kung-fu going on here. The Rangers drew 3 million people last year. The average public golf course sees something like 30,000 rounds per year. At private courses, which are typically closed one day a week and often spread out their tee times more, that number is lower. And most of those rounds are played by the members -- 300 or 400 or 500 people who play twice a week or twice a month.

That's a lot fewer potential dreamers -- even if you believe this course will draw members (golf clubs are losing them), and even if you believe rich folks simply wandering south of the river will ignite their wallets. But contrary to what Robberson is picturing, golfers aren't sketching impromptu shopping malls on the back of their scorecards between shots. Golf doesn't clear your mind; it messes with it.

Actually, counting on those big, harried crowds to spur economic activity, and not a small cadre of members, makes more sense. The annual-economic impact number being thrown around is $35 million. That's obviously based on one tournament, the Byron Nelson, which officials in Irving have estimated brings in around $39 million a year. Grab that and another decent-sized tourney here and there and you might just spur a new Chipotle.

Then again, Dallas National. That pesky Dallas National. A truly championship-level private golf course, designed by one of the game's greats with every intention of hosting majors. It opened 10 years ago in southwestern Dallas, just west of Oak Cliff. It counts 400 members, folks with enough scratch to afford a six-figure initiation fee.

Not a dreamer in the lot, I guess?

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42 comments
MisterMean
MisterMean

The city betters smell those tax dollars and just can't help themselves.  Got to squander those monies-after all there is always more where that came from (tax increases and value increases by the DCAD).   This is the type of nonsense (ill conceived spending) that fuels those tea party nuts.   I guess that this will go with the horse farm too.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

With all the high end development around Cedar Crest or Tenison, how could this fail?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The News endorsed Romney for President.  Ever since then I have no use for them.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

All this talk of scotch is making me thirsty, and making me wonder what they're drinking over at the DMN.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

I get the feeling that a lot of UP commenters really don't like wealthy people much.

s.aten
s.aten

I found out that $9 million of the 12 million the city is spending is coming from Storm Water Management fees.   That is one of those "Slush" funds that you have to pay if you have property in the city.   I thought it only covered street sweepers on freeways and levee work.  I wonder how you could call this storm water management?  Also this work will do done even if the golf course does not happen.

JohnNeelyBryan
JohnNeelyBryan

Look at what Brook Hollow has done for Harry Hines & Grover Keeton have done for the Grove. More like nuclear reactors of economic development than mere engines.

darrd
darrd

Because Mary and Mike are trying to push this really hard and fast tells me a lot. There are too many strings attached that have not been revealed which most people would not like. The Council needs to devote an entire morning briefing to this topic with public input for full disclosure. Fat chance of that happening.

WylieH
WylieH

According to the presentation by City staff, the number of rounds will be limited to 15,000 per year (half the 30,000 rounds you cite).

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

Mr. Tone - this new posting system sucks.  It regularly disappears posts into the ether and now it just disappeared a post while I was typing.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

"Stadiums and sports arenas attract the masses for a single visit. Fansrush to get a good parking spot. They spend their money on concessionsinside the venue. When he event is over, they hurry to escape the crowdsand get home."

Yet the DMN was gung-ho full steam ahead when advocating for new arenas downtown as a way to boost development and economic activity.

I'm confused.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

The golfer that could afford to play there, isnt going to hang out around that area before or after his round.  He is going to gas up his car in HP, drive to the course, buy a sixer in the clubhouse, play his round with his 3 buddies, hang in the clubhouse for 30 or 40 minutes after his round sipping The Glenlevit, hop back in his Bimmer and head back to HP.  

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz - not even the funnies? You've done the smart thing though, exposure to differing viewpoints can ba soooo aggravating.

theslowpath
theslowpath

@s.aten I'm not sure, because I'm not an expert, but I would guess that it's coming out of stormwater management because the remediation work on the old landfill site is to keep potentially dangerous substances from entering the water supply via runoff, i.e. storm water. 

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

@cynicaloldbastard 

My favorite part is the "In Case You Missed It" popunder that highlights stories from 3-4 years ago.  That you can't turn off.  And that comes back even after you close it.  Oh, and the "Related Content" links at the top that aren't at all related, and that contain large numbers of sponsored links.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@cynicaloldbastard - Just suck up and embrace the suck, it's new and improved.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@Montemalone There has been new, leading edge, game changer research that demonstrates with arithmetic S Dallas golf courses are more World Class than downtown professional sports stadiums.

I wonder if AT&T has a problem finding quality courses that will admit AT&T executives as members, especially the executives of color, double X chromosomes, or non-Christian religions.

Daniel
Daniel

@ScottsMerkin Hey, that sounds kind of like me! If you take out the parts about playing golf, living in HP, hanging out in a clubhouse and driving a Bimmer. But I love me some of The Glenlivet. If I were a rich bastard, though, I'd probably be taking huge ass hits off the MacAllen 18 and be all like bring me some more Jeeves and all that kind of shit.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@Daniel @ScottsMerkin Joe Tone, please take note. I believe Daniel can help the DO staff how to better utilize lottery winnings.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Daniel @ScottsMerkin Ahh MacAlleen 18, that is some good stuff.  Had it once in Vegas when a buddy got married.  That was the drink he wanted me to buy so we did and I dont regret the $70 bucks it cost me one bit.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@cynicaloldbastard @joe.tone 

I've found that when this happens,  if you just mouse over the "reply" button of the post you were responding to again and click, it will restore the box along with the already typed text.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Daniel @Montemalone @ScottsMerkin That would explain a lot...

And I believe it's wittily bitter.

Daniel
Daniel

@Montemalone @ScottsMerkin @Daniel Pinch ain't bad for a blended Scotch. It sure beats Chivas. In ye olden days, it was known as  Haig & Haig, and Dorothy Parker asked for it by name. Presumably, it has the power to make one bitterly witty. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@NewsDog Ardbeg. Especially their goofy-named Scotches. The Ardbeg 10 is a fantastic Scotch to keep around for everyday drinking, and the Uigeadail is worth every penny.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@Daniel @Scruffygeist @theslowpath The danger/pleasure of working from home and reading this is that I turn my head to look at my bar... what to choose from... the Cask Strength Macallan (I too like the 18 but this is a different twist), the Talisker 10 yr old (I know I've told the story before, but my brother had a dog named Talisker and yes after the scotch), the Glenfiddich 18 yr old, the 16 yr old Cask Strenght Madura aged Glenlivet or one of my other single malted pleasures...

I better get back to work.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@Daniel @Scruffygeist @theslowpath The Loon gives The Macallan a great pour at a fair price. Better burgers than any country club.

Daniel
Daniel

@Scruffygeist @theslowpath Alas, I'm mostly stuck with the entry-level single malt, The (emphasized, as in THE Ohio State University) aforementioned Glenlivet, beloved by aspirational epicureans all over the land. It gives very little cause for complaint, I must say. Interested readers are also referred to Talisker.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@theslowpath For that kind of scratch you may as well go to to Islay and make it worth your while. Not that M18 isn't quite nice itself.

theslowpath
theslowpath

@ScottsMerkin @Daniel Macallen 18 runs like $130 - for the price of two or three glasses at a bar, you can drink at home, alone, a whole bottle.

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