Bladerunner FarmsPress Room Archive
GOLFWEEK: Dallas Bursting Back on Scene in Back Way (Type: articles)
Not long ago The Forecaddie was wondering what professional golf did to upset Dallas. The historic Colonial struggled to find a sponsor to replace the one unable to fulfill its contract. The Byron Nelson Classic was rescued by AT&T but moved to an untested links-style course that some players loathed before they even teed up there.
More incredibly, no major had been played in the area since 1963, when Jack Nicklaus won the PGA at Dallas Athletic Club.
Fast forward a few years and Dallas appears destined to be one of America’s most important tournament cities. The Charles Schwab Corp. will sponsor the Colonial starting in 2019, marrying a historic event with one of golf’s most loyal sponsors that now has roots in the area.
The Nelson’s new linksy venue, Trinity Forest, should be a strong long-term option with some Salesmanship Club improvements to the fan experience (more shaded areas would be a nice start). Even if the Nelson were to move on to Trinity, the brilliant Coore-Crenshaw design would be scooped up by the U.S. Golf Association for significant events.
Speaking of North America’s governing body, it inevitably will return to its 1952 U.S. Open site, Northwood, for sectional qualifying and maybe something bigger, such as a Senior Open. Replenished by Tripp Davis, the course joins 1927 PGA Championship host Cedar Crest on the list of proven classics given overdue facelifts and favorites should the LPGA ever leave Old American Golf Course.
Speaking of renovations, wealthy energy executive Albert Huddleston hired Steve Smyers to completely remodel the old Columbian Country Club into Maridoe, a favorite of local pros and a course reimagined to host big-time events if Huddleston can make his case to the golf-venue gods.
Finally, there is the PGA of America’s possible headquarters move to Frisco, Texas, where a golf course anchoring the proposed development will host more than one PGA Championship and a Ryder Cup down the road. If the deal happens, pencil in 2026 for a May major at the yet-to-be-built Panther Creek along with countless other PGA of America events. (Published 6/19/18)
GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE: Crooked Creek Club makes transition to Primo Zoysia (Type: articles)
Crooked Creek Club in Georgia, USA, is converting its bentgrass greens to Primo Zoysia as part of a $1.3 million renovation project.
TRBGOLF: 50th Anniversary AT&T Byron Nelson Winner Aaron Wise (Type: articles)
50th Anniversary AT&T Byron Nelson Winner Aaron Wise on the Trinity Forest Golf Club.
SPORTS DAY: From early heat to Sunday storms, here are the punches the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest dealt with (Type: articles)
Tournament officials will conduct more thorough analysis in weeks and months to come, but Chip Shots can say this much about the inaugural AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club: It proved it can take all manner of punches.
Then came the body blows. A mediocre field that included only six of the top 55 ranked players in the world. One of Dallas’ hottest mid-Mays on record. Very little wind the first two days of the tournament.
Then came the Sunday morning haymaker. Storms that weren’t in the Saturday-for-Sunday forecast rolled in and delayed the final round by four hours.
“I went to bed [Saturday night] feeling pretty good,” Nelson tournament director Jon Drago said. He said he got a text at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday informing him that it was raining at Trinity Forest.
“Then we watched it,” he said. “It slowly got here, then just parked itself. It sat on us.”
As Drago spoke to Chip Shots on Sunday afternoon, the round finally was underway. All Drago, his staff, PGA Tour and Salesmanship Club officials could do was hope there was enough daylight left to finish play Sunday.
Drago said was still gathering attendance and concession numbers for the week, but he believes numbers from Wednesday and Thursday will be on track with a year ago, Friday will be slightly down, Saturday on track and Sunday obviously will be significantly down due to the weather challenges.
Mind you, the 2017 Nelson, the final one after a 35-year run at Irving’s TPC Four Seasons, was “a record year across the board,” Drago said. (Brad Townsend | 5/21/18)
KERA NEWS: The Byron Nelson Opens From Its New South Dallas Course Carved From Great Trinity Forest (Type: articles)
For the first time in its 50-year history, the event will be held at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in South Dallas, its new home. The tournament swapped the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas after 35 years in favor of a different type of golf course — one that resembles the links style courses in Scotland.
The idea for Trinity Forest was conceived in 2012 after the city of Dallas agreed to a public-private partnership worth $60 million, and build the course on top of an old landfill. The golf course opened for play in October 2016 and the clubhouse was completed a year later.
Golf fans will hardly recognize the North Texas landscape that was dug out of the Great Trinity Forest. The course even has its own type of grass, called Trinity Zoysia. This special kind of turf requires very little fertilizer, water and maintenance, according to course superintendent Kasey Kauff.
“If it’s 95 degrees, and there’s wind and no rain, that grass will dry out and turn brown, but that’s the beauty of the grass,” Kauff said. “We don’t really care that the grass is uniformly green, that’s not really our philosophy. Our philosophy is it’s OK to be a little bit brown.”
Dallas native Jordan Spieth says it’ll take time for his some of his colleagues to come around on the new course and its layout.
“There was a lot of skepticism from players and caddies regarding this place,” he said at a Tuesday press conference. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive over the past couple of days since people have gotten here.”
Complimentary parking is available at Fair Park at Gate 15, at the intersection of South Haskell and Beeman. A 12-minute free shuttle bus ride takes passengers to the course entrances.
Public transit riders can take the DART Green Line south to Buckner Station, then hop on the Route 466 West bus to Pemberton Hill/AT&T Byron Nelson stop. Route 466 West shuttles will run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Gus Contreras | 5/17/18)
ROTOGRINDERS: Searching for a Specialist: AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Tour (Type: articles)
This week’s course, Trinity Forest Golf Club, is brand new to the PGA TOUR rotation. That means we have no course history to lean on.
Instead, we can look at some performance stats on similar layouts to see who might take a quick liking to Trinity Forest.
Reviewing last week’s specialists, they went just 2-for-4 with Ian Poulter’s T11 being the highlight. Not a week to frame on the fridge, so let’s look for a bounce back in Dallas.
For this week’s big event, let’s look at Performance on Bermuda, Performance in Texas, Performance on Slow Greens, and Performance in Hot Weather.
At the end, I will also post a short list of potential links specialists, as well. I would have loved to include that angle, but the sample size is just too small. The addition of this event should help improve that for future links events.
Here we go …
Performance on Bermuda
Trinity Forest Golf Club has zoysia fairways but the greens are bermudagrass.
That puts an emphasis on golfers with positive experience with the grainy grasses.
The 10 Bermuda Specialists:
Robert Allenby (0.012 sg:bermuda vs. -0.802 sg:total)
Colt Knost (1.11 sg:bermuda vs. 0.498 sg:total)
Charlie Beljan (-0.787 sg:bermuda vs. -1.375 sg:total)
Grayson Murray (1.414 sg:bermuda vs. 0.89 sg:total)
Billy Horschel (1.76 sg:bermuda vs. 1.266 sg:total)
Greg Chalmers (0.417 sg:bermuda vs. -0.034 sg:total)
John Merrick (0.441 sg:bermuda vs. 0.008 sg:total)
Rory Sabbatini (1.19 sg:bermuda vs. 0.774 sg:total)
Joel Dahmen (0.921 sg:bermuda vs. 0.516 sg:total)
Dominic Bozzelli (0.66 sg:bermuda vs. 0.26 sg:total)
Quantity: At the top of the total strokes gained on bermuda since 2014 we have Billy Horschel, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar, and Jordan Spieth.
Looking at the top-10 list above, let’s not get carried away with the low-baseline guys like Allenby, Beljan, Chalmers, and Merrick.
Knost lived in Dallas for a long time so he should be very comfortable with bermuda as well as the area. He’s still trying to find his lost form, though. (Josh Culp | Published 5/17/18)
PGA TOUR: ‘It may take time’ (Type: articles)
Despite being surrounded by a forest (hence the name), very few trees actually exist inside its boundaries. Finding shade from the unrelenting Texas sun could become just as important as finding the nearest frozen margarita stand.
The course is designed in a links style, and yet the nearest coastal area is 300 miles away. There are no magnificent views of the sea, no cool ocean breezes to soothe your soul – but there is wind. Plenty of it. Dry and hot. After all, this is Texas.
So Harrison Frazar, the retired PGA TOUR pro who provided much-appreciated input when Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw built Trinity Forest, is prepared for the inevitable. His peers will come this week to the new venue of the AT&T Byron Nelson, and some of them will not be happy.
They will wonder why this course – taking over for TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, which had hosted the AT&T Byron Nelson since 1983 — isn’t like every other one in this state. They will question the judgment of forcing pros to abandon their games geared for U.S. layouts in order to play a course requiring a British approach. They will complain, they will argue, they will challenge. Some will rush to judgment; some will not give the course a second chance.
Frazar, part of the initial private corporation that spearheaded the Trinity Forest project, hopes his fellow pros immediately love the course as much as he does. But he knows that’s not realistic. At least not this week. (Mike McAllister | Published 5/15/18)
PGA TOUR: Emergency 9: AT&T Byron Nelson, Round 1 (Type: articles)
Here are nine tidbits from the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Tour stop that gamers can use tomorrow, this weekend or down the road. Trinity Forest Golf Club just south of Dallas hosts for the first time and plays 7,380 yards to a Par-71.
Know Thy Enemy
These were the top-10 picked golfers in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf game presented by SERVPRO.
The weather today was perfect for scoring as it was hot, sunny and barely a breath of breeze. The lack of wind is definitely odd for Texas but the heat is part and parcel. Friday will see a different forecast record high 98 10-20 SSE and gamers and golfers will see why the fairways and greens are the sizes they are!
Before the tournament started Trinity Forest member Jordan Spieth gave gamers an insight in what it takes to get it around at this one-of-a-kind Coore-Crenshaw design. He suggested that there were a handful of holes where the ball could be played on the ground but those attacking through the air would have the advantage. Then we heard during the broadcast that he usually plays the course on a golf board with headphones. He carded 14 pars, three birdies and a bogey (T57) in a more formal setting in Round 1 but his putter is still ice cold as he was 130 in SG: putting.
After a tight test tee-to-green last week, Trinity Forest is the exact opposite. The size of the greens at TPC Sawgrass averaged 4,500 square feet while this week’s test has greens that average 13,000 square feet. The fairway discrepancy is real as well, as around 100 acres of Zoysia carpet the distance tee-to-green while there was only 25 acres to aim at last week. The massive greens are tiered and hitting the proper plateau will be rewarded, especially as the wind picks up. The quick Bermuda last week is still Bermuda this week but is running much slower because of the runoffs and possibility of gusting winds. (Mike Glasscott | 5/17/18)
SPORTS DAY: Players’ reviews of Trinity Forest will be key to the AT&T Byron Nelson’s future (Type: articles)
Reviews of Trinity Forest will be the key to the AT&T Byron Nelson’s future. On Thursday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, now playing in a different universe, not everything looked different. The customer base included the typical buzzed frat boys, big bellies and women teetering atop too-tall shoes, though, all things considered, they seemed less a part of the spectacle than usual. Probably because tournament officials more or less sequestered them in the Pavilion’s new digs, far from any actual golf.
If the partyers come back to Trinity Forest after the grand opening, they might want to rethink their footwear, anyway.
Of course, their patronage probably depends less on the effects of the fairly rugged terrain of the links-style course than it does on the question of whether the stars return to the Nelson. Only six of the top 50 came out this week, a cause for concern.
If Thursday’s reviews were any indication, the fine folks in red pants have no worries.
One after another, the players lined up to praise a course raised Lazarus-like out of a landfill by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
The cadre of cool kids sitting behind 16th-ranked Marc Leishman, leading at 10-under 61, called it “very fun,” “awesome” and “different.”
Asked what he’d tell the players waiting for the guinea pigs’ reaction, Aaron Wise, who shot an opening-round 65, said, “I think it’s worth playing. It’s a cool place. . . . Kind of a thinker’s course.
“I like that.”
From a purely golf perspective, that was the message of the day. The course doesn’t favor anyone’s game. Hit what you want. Play your vision of the hole.
The downside of such an egalitarian course?
“There’s so many different ways to play it,” said Keith Mitchell, like Wise tied for fourth, “you can get lost and end up playing the wrong shot.”
Consider homeboy Jordan Spieth, who’s probably spent more time on this course than the groundskeepers. Noting a lack of wind that made the tantalizingly short par-4 fifth practically defenseless, he drove the left lip. He then rolled his eagle putt off the back of the curb-less green and en
ded up with a bogey en route to a 2-under 69, eight shots back of Leishman. (Kevin Sherrington | 5/17/18)
YAHOO SPORTS: AT&T Byron Nelson Preview (Type: articles)
AT&T Byron Nelson Preview
There is a lot of monotony on the PGA TOUR so it’s always exciting when a new course joins the mix.
That is the case this week, as Trinity Forest Golf Club takes over hosting duties from TPC Four Seasons which had previously been a part of every edition of this event since 1983.
Let’s try to break down the new layout and see who might enjoy this unique test.
This links-style course was designed by the duo of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (also responsible for Kapalua). The course was built within the last five years and it was built on top of an old landfill, similar to Liberty National. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Similar to their layout for the Tournament of Champions, golfers will see wide fairways and plenty of undulations from tee-to-green. Coore and Crenshaw say the natural ripples are very reminiscent of Pinehurst No. 2 which is another course they’ve laid their hands on in terms of renovation.
Don’t mistake wide fairways for easy targets. Space and Angles will be key this week because landing on different sides of the fairways will set up how easy or difficult the second shot will become. There are also more than 80 bunkers in play to divert golfers from the task at hand.
On a hole-by-hole basis there aren’t many short holes and this course looks a bit long on paper but that is a bit deceiving. Trinity Forest is designed to be played firm and fast and they get a big assist in that regard from the grass type used in the fairways. From tee-to-green, they have Trinity Zoysia while the greens are Champion Bermuda. The zoysia plays very firm as it doesn’t require a lot of water to stay alive.
There is no maintained rough (only natural grasses or native areas to punish errant tee balls). That combination of Zoysia & Bermuda is used on other courses like TPC Southwind, East Lake, and Atlanta Athletic Club. The greens are only set to a target of 10.5 feet on the stimpmeter which tells us they likely have some extreme slopes so ramping up the speeds would turn putting into a nightmare.