Dallas' New Trinity Forest Golf Course Has Officially Stolen the Byron Nelson from Irving

Categories: City Hall, Sports

ByronNelsonChampionship.jpeg
As we write this, the world's top golfers not named Tiger are descending on Irving for the Byron Nelson Championship. It's a big deal, one of the region's biggest sporting events and driver of an estimated $35 million in economic activity.

But before play begins on Thursday, the city of Dallas would like to make an announcement: It has officially stolen the Nelson. The PGA inked a 10-year deal yesterday that will bring the tournament to the Trinity Forest Golf Course come 2019.

There was never much of a question that this would happen. Mayor Rawlings wouldn't have made such a show of touting the course as a savior for southern Dallas had there been so much as a sliver of doubt. But the contract is tangible proof, if any were needed, that the golf course is actually going to be built.

The news is not being welcomed by everyone. If you're someone like, say, Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau director Maura Gast, you might say scheduling the announcement for eve of the tournament is "tacky." You might even tack on an "incredibly," which Gast did when she was contacted by the Morning News.

But we shouldn't let small-minded provincialism obscure the true reason for the Byron Nelson and the Trinity Forest course. As Salesmanship Club of Greater Dallas president Charles Spradley put it to the Morning News: "As much as we love golf, it's about the children."

The only thing now blocking underprivileged children frolicking on their separate nine-hole course near the private Trinity Forest Golf Course is SMU, which is still negotiating the terms of a deal to move its golf program there. The city expects the agreement will be in place by August, but it seems the university has maneuvered itself into fantastic bargaining position, since if they walk away the deal falls apart. If you see SMU's golf coach roaming the fairways in a gold-plated golf cart next season, you'll know they used that position to their advantage.

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15 comments
mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

Is SMU in the City of Dallas?

Americano
Americano

Since when does signing a business agreement equal "stealing"?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Moving the Byron Nelson Tournament from the 4 Seasons/TPC to this new golf course will have absolutely ZERO economic impact on the region.


There will be some new faces and some missing faces on who gets the money, but that is about it.


Besides what is going to happen the other 50 weeks out of the year that the BN is not being played at this new golf course.

downtownworker
downtownworker

I'd be happier if the deal included moving the Four Seasons downtown.

oxtail
oxtail

Hooray for the City of Dallas! I guess that means Mr. Jones can't have the Byron out at Jerry World now. Finally, the City is making up for losing the stadjium. Now if we can just get some more monster truck events at the Cotton Bowl......... 

Guesty
Guesty

"[B]ut it seems [SMU] has maneuvered itself into fantastic bargaining position, since if they walk away the deal falls apart."

I wouldn't be so sure about that.  SMU doesn't seem to be an essential part of the deal unless the City decides to insist on it.  I can't imagine the City would allow the bad publicity of letting the deal go down just because of SMU .  And don't forget that SMU will want to be on this course, if for no other reason, so that it can brag to its rich donors that its golf team plays on a PGA quality course (which, along with a few rounds to offer its donors, is really what SMU wants out of this deal).  If I were negotiating with SMU, I would have no fear walking away if the terms weren't right.  

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

time to start buying up property in south dallas.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul I disagree. I can't see these people tolerating the neighborhood very long (and by that I mean an ugly train yard, concrete batching plant, run-down liquor stores, dice halls, truck stops and hot-sheet motels on one end of "Great Trinity Forest Blvd"., and used car lots, pawn shops, truck stops and hot-sheet motels on the other.

four
four

@Guesty Why would the city insist on it?  Why only give SMU students access to top professionals of major corporations, and all the perks that come with those relationships, like jobs? This  funny running joke in Dallas,  ain't funny no more.

publicenemy
publicenemy

@Guesty Wouldn't it be better to make the course available for use by all our local public universities?

Guesty
Guesty

@four @Guesty I don't know if you've every played a course that is home to a college team, but I have and I can tell you the players don't mingle much with the members or other people playing (this course happened to belong to the university but was a top course with private memberships).  They practice, like any other sports team, among themselves and their coaches with as few of distractions as possible.  I expect they will have their own driving range away from most everyone else.  They probably won't even have access to the member's clubhouse, etc.  

I assume the reason the course is talking to SMU comes down to money.  How much will SMU pay to make a PGA tour stop their "home course" for the team?  How much will any other school pay?  I can't imagine anyone will be paying more than SMU, if for no other reason than the fact that no other large school is within 45 minutes of the course in traffic (players will be practicing every day).

And here is the kicker.  People look at this as SMU taking advantage of us, but I think the City is and should be taking advantage of SMU.  It's a place that desperately wants to pretend it's prestigious and exclusive (it isn't either).  Thus, SMU will grossly overpay for the privilege of being associated with a course that is a PGA tour stop.      

Guesty
Guesty

@publicenemy @Guesty I think the point is that SMU is expected to pay several million dollars for the right to use the course as a practice facility.  I don't think the City would have a problem with someone else doing it instead, but I can't think of any golf programs that would be willing to pay as much for the privilege.  This is about getting enough money together to pay for the course.  Otherwise, I doubt they would be including any college golf programs but would instead be reserving those tee times for the members or the public.  

four
four

@Gangy @publicenemy @Guesty Quinn and UNT gettin chumped

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