Bladerunner FarmsPress Room Archive

GOLF DIGEST: Trinity Forest Golf Club promises to be the PGA Tour’s most intriguing venue (Type: articles)

The AT&T Byron Nelson isn’t just changing courses, it’s changing course.

As you may have heard, next year’s Nelson will be played on Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw-designed Trinity Forest Golf Club on a sand-capped landfill in rough and tumble South Dallas. The tournament, which has carried Mr. 11 Straight’s name since 1968, is leaving TPC Las Colinas, a bastion of the shiny affluence that distinguishes the northern reaches of the Metroplex, for a less glamorous area that retains the look and feel of a pre-boomtown past. Most importantly, it’s moving from the inherent artificiality of modern golf architecture to the elemental design values that harken back to the origins of the game.

intriguingIn fact, Trinity Forest is night and day from any other venue on tour. A windswept, nearly treeless expanse of dunes, waving prairie grass, and fast, undulating turf, the new place has every attribute of a links except cawing sea birds and an ocean.

It’s a big risk for everyone involved. You can almost hear the hushed clatter of dice hitting the side rails, including those thrown by the sponsor (AT&T), the developers (Jonas Woods and Thomas Dundon), the members, the city of Dallas and the Salesmanship Club, which runs the Nelson.

Uncertainty will prevail for the next year. Everyone may miss the cozy confines of the Four Seasons, an infrastructure that helped make the Nelson No. 1 on tour in charitable dollars raised and a perfectly adequate—if not revered—golf course. The only way this thing works is if Trinity Forest is a home run.

That next year’s Nelson will cause a sensation is a given. There will be lavish praise, and there will be howling. Some players will love the cerebral, pinball-ish ground game at Trinity Forest, its ice-sculpture greens and the shabby chic of its out-of-play areas. Other expert practitioners used to hitting high shots to soft targets just aren’t going to get it. Someone will four-putt or five-putt and pitch a fit. Some viral videos may result. (Curt Sampson | 5/15/18)


GOLFDOM: Living of the Land(fill) (Type: articles)

A look at Trinity Forest GC’s origins

Golf courses developed atop former landfills, once a novelty, today are fairly commonplace, though the construction and subsequent maintenance of these courses is as varied as the trash heaps on which they sit.

landfillPublic exposure to this genre may never be higher than later this month, when Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas plays host to the PGA Tour’s 50th Anniversary AT&T Byron Nelson Classic May 14-20. But it’s unlikely that television commentators (or the golf writers who cover Tour events) will see fit to detail just how anomalous this project remains.

For starters, Trinity Forest GC is a private club, whereas most landfill courses are owned and managed by municipalities still responsible for the decommissioned landfills themselves. Because of this, the development consortium here brimmed with stakeholders: the city of Dallas, club investors, course designers Coore & Crenshaw, construction firm Landscapes Unlimited, owner’s rep firm Oncore, the Audubon Society of Dallas (the site essentially is surrounded by environmentally protected land), and Kasey Kauff, the course superintendent retained well before the first of 750,000 cubic yards of fill was ever delivered to the site, some 8 miles south of downtown Dallas.

“We were brought in early, before everything was finalized, so we could help out with budgeting, projections, logistics and the navigation of regulations — to help them get to the starting line,” says Ty Arndt, the project manager for Landscapes Unlimited at Trinity Forest. “This is fairly typical, but it still stands out for us because every feature out there today was built out of fill. There were no cuts here, zero cuts. We had to stay away from the landfill cap at all costs. If the architect wanted a low spot in the fairway, we had to build up the surrounds to achieve that.

“Bill [Coore] and Ben [Crenshaw] loved this site because the landfill had been improperly constructed. It suffered a whole bunch of settling over the years that just happened to produce lots of very pockmarked, linksy surfaces. They loved that look. But when the city came back in to remediate one last time before we got busy, a lot of that got changed and plated over with flat clay. So, part of our challenge was to use all that fill to replicate the look of those settled areas that hadn’t been plated over.” (Phillip Hall | 5/15/18)


PGA TOUR: Who’s feeling confident at Trinity Forest? (Type: articles)

The AT&T Byron Nelson is the ninth oldest event on PGA TOUR, dating back to 1944, and is two years older than next week’s Forth Worth Invitational and the Houston Open. The Valero Texas Open, established in 1922 and the third-oldest event on TOUR, is the patriarch of the bunch. pga tour

Golf in Texas has a proud history and that story will add another chapter this week as for the second time in three years, a new course will be brought into the PGA TOUR rotation. In 2016 the Austin Country Club made its debut as it hosted the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. This year, Trinity Forest — a 7,380 yard, par 71 course — will add its name to the list of places to hold TOUR events as it replaces TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas as host.

Located 12 miles south of Dallas, Trinity Forest has exactly zero trees on the property, but that hasn’t stopped Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw from their vision of an American-style links layout. Surrounded by forest, the course sits on an old landfill on property that is being leased from the City of Dallas for 40 years. Coore and Crenshaw shaped and molded this unique development under the watchful eye of governmental and environmental regulations. Not even two years old, Trinity Forest is still maturing but is ready to provide a unique test this week.

Jordan Spieth, one of the few members in the event, described it as an American links course. While there are a handful of shots that can be played on the ground, the majority will be played through the air. There isn’t any water, but 88 bunkers, wildlife reclamation areas and an unfamiliar grass, Trinity Zoysia, will present challenges to the field. All of the grass on the course, save for the Champion Bermuda greens, is Trinity Zoysia. The Zoysia, named for the course where it only exists, will run from tee to the edge of every green and there’s barely, if any, rough on the course. The absence of trees means the presence of wind and Texas has plenty of it. May isn’t the calmest time of year weather-wise either; big breezes and big, slick greens don’t mix, so the greens will run around 10.5 feet on the Stimpmeter. (Mike Glasscott | Published 5/15/18)



GOLF CHANNEL: Trinity Forest Used Trinity Zoysia to Make a Links-Style Course (Type: articles)

Trinity Forest fights weather to maintain links-style grasses


Geoff Shackelford gets the lowdown on the way Trinity Forest Golf Club of Dallas, Texas has made a links-style course by using special grass that mimics fescue. 

Superintendent Kasey Kauff says “We were trying out different grasses and seeing what was gonna play most like a fescue. Firm, fast, bouncy on the ground game.” 

Despite the weather, which is predicted to reach the 100s, Trinity Zoysia holds up. “We chose the right turfgrasses for the right area,” Kauff says. “We don’t have to baby these, we can stress them as much as we want and get the desired result”


GOLF CHANNEL: Wild Week for the PGA Tour (Type: articles)

Shackelford: Wild to watch PGA Tour pros deal with Trinity Forest

pga tour

Geoff Shackelford explains that there will be mixed reviews about Trinity Forest Golf Club from the PGA Tour pros and fans for the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Geoff Shackelford says “It’s unbelievable, it’s going to be a wild week for the PGA Tour, it’s so different than what the golfers are used to.”


CW 33: Byron Nelson’s new Dallas course will be hot this week… literally! (Type: articles)

DALLAS — The PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson tournament celebrates its 50th anniversary this week with a first: playing at Trinity Forest Golf Club after 35 years at the Four Seasons Resort in Irving.

One guy who’s happy with the change is hometown favorite Jordan Spieth.  In seven appearances at the tournament’s previous course, he finished in the top 30 only twice and missed the cut last year.  He’s a founding member of Trinity Forest and estimates he’s played 30 to 40 rounds there already, giving him confidence he can change his Byron Nelson fortune.

byron nelson“It feels great. It looks great,” says Spieth, currently No. 3 in the World Golf Ranking.  “I like the vibe of the course while I’m out there.”

The course is unique in a couple ways: it’s built on a landfill, and because of that it has no trees nor water hazards. Tree roots and digging to create ponds would have ruptured the landfill’s cap, creating an environmental problem.  Given that design limitation, the course was built to mimic the links-style courses popular in the sport’s homeland of Scotland: wide-open, wavy fairways, and lots of sand traps and dunes.

“There was a lot of skepticism from players and caddies about this place,” says Spieth, “[but] it’s been overwhelmingly positive over the last couple days since people have gotten here.”

However, not having trees will be a problem this week as it means no natural shade from temperatures that will be in the 90s during each of the four rounds.  Fans can find at least a little relief in some covered grandstands, so grab a seat if you can!  Spieth recommends the 360-degree grandstand in the middle of holes 6, 12, and 16 too see lots of shots from one place, and also the 8th hole which is a short par-3 that will offer a hole-in-one opportunity on every shot.

The tournament tees off Thursday morning and runs through Sunday. (Brian Sandler | Published 5/15/18) 


Play Picks: AT&T Byron Nelson Picks & Preview (Type: articles)

DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for AT&T Bryon Nelson

Weather conditions at the Byron Nelson will be a big factor. Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKingsFanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks at The AT&T Byron Nelson at a brand new course this year Trinity Forest Golf Club.

As always, our goal is for DFS Report to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow PlayPicks on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.

The Course

There’s not the normal bevy of stats and course history this week. No comparable competitive rounds have ever been played on the course. That’s right: Trinity Forest is a brand new course for the tour. It was built with the sole purpose of attracting a PGA Tour event. Normally a 7,450-yard Par 72, this week it will play as a 7,380-yard Par 71. If you want the video run down version, check it out here.


The Breakdown

Trinity Forest is going to be different than anything most of these golfers are used to seeing this side of the pond. It is a full-links-style course set right in the middle of the Dallas suburbs. Built on top of an old landfill, the “natural” mounding is plentiful throughout and allows for lots of misfortune.

Now, the fairways are 100 yards wide in some cases and should be hit by everyone in the field with ease regardless of the club. There is also basically no rough; you either have a tight firm lie or are in the native area. The same holds true for around the greens. The difficulty around here is the approach and strategy of each hole.

Weather Conditions

And don’t forget the Texas wind and heat. Pay attention to weather this week. The conditions at Trinity are more weather dependent than most on tour. Completely exposed and designed to use very little water, the custom Trinity Zoysia grass is meant to play firm and fast all the time. Similarly, the Championship Bermuda on the greens is one of the firmer grasses out there. (Published 5/15/18)


BETFAIR: AT&T Byron Nelson: Piercy the value at brand-new venue (Type: articles)

The AT&T Byron Nelson switches venues this year to a new links-style course, and we look to be in for a real treat. Steve Rawlings looks at what’s required to prosper at Trinity Forest with his in-depth preview here…

Tournament History

links-styleOriginally known as the Dallas Open, the very first AT&T Byron Nelson was won by the man who the event is now named after, in 1944. As a measure of how big a tournament this once was, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan won the next two editions and the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Payne Stewart all took the title before the 1970s and 80s. A three-year spell in the mid-90s saw Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods victorious and since the turn of the century, major winners Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Jason Dufner and Sergio Garcia have all also won here but the tournament is as popular as it once was.

Part of the reason for the tournament’s downturn in fortunes was the unpopular venue – TPC Four Seasons – so now that the event has switched to Trinity Forest, it’s a bit disappointing to see so few of the world’s best in attendance but its position in the schedule, immediately after the Players Championship, doesn’t help.


Trinity Forest Golf Club, Dallas, Texas
Par 71, 7,380 yards

Course Details

The fairways have been kept damp in the lead-up to the event and the greens won’t run any faster than 11 on the stimpmeter. (Published 5/15/18) 


DALLAS NEWS: The AT&T Byron Nelson is the first big test of Trinity Forest Golf Club’s namesake turfgrass (Type: articles)

When the television cameras at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament pull back to show the green fairways of Trinity Forest Golf Club, they’ll be spotlighting designer grass.

Unlike other golf courses, the Trinity Forest is covered tee-to-fairway in a turf developed for the links in southern Dallas. The grass is even named for the course: Trinity Zoysia.


Texas-grown turf

The big test for the grass is this week’s 50th-anniversary AT&T Byron Nelson. This is the tournament’s first year at the club, which opened in 2016.

Developers and course designers Bill Coore and former PGA Tour player Ben Crenshaw wanted a course that could stand up to hot, dry Texas weather conditions and still have the quality that leads to championship rounds. They came up with a spread-out, links-style course with no ponds and no trees.

They worked with David Doguet at Bladerunner Farms to develop the new turf. Doguet, whose company is near San Antonio, is known for developing new grasses for golf courses and sports fields.

The course is the first to use Trinity Zoysia for all fairways, tee boxes and surrounds. The greens at the course are Champion Bermuda Grass from Bay City.


Less water, less maintenance

Trinity Zoysia uses less water, less fertilizer and needs mowing less often than more traditional golf course grasses. 

“It’s so unique. I like everything about this course,” says Kasey Kauff, Trinity Forest’s director of grounds.

He says most golfers have liked the course after playing it, even though they arrived skeptical of its different style. The turf, kept at a trim half-inch, is firm and allows balls to roll farther, Kauff says.

Kauff says the ease of maintenance is a main feature. The zoysia grows slowly — after a spring rain, it was two weeks before the lawnmowers went out. At other courses, mowing would have been needed in days.

 The course also uses far less water, Kauff says.

“We can shut the water off and this stuff will continue to perform,” he says. It will turn brown in extreme heat, but still plays well and “greens up” with irrigation.

It also requires less fertilizer and fewer chemicals to keep out weeds. (Karel Holloway | Published 5/15/18)


GOLFWEEK: First impression of new Byron Nelson venue: This is going to get wild (Type: articles)

DALLAS — Trinity Forest Golf Club sounds like something we’ve heard about before: wealthy investors enlist name architecture firm to build a different place than the other courses in town.

It’ll be links style. It’ll have a different clubhouse vibe. And the course will be unlike anything golfers in these parts have seen before. …

And? wild

Trinity Forest is most certainly links style and it’s definitely unlike anything the PGA Tour has ever played. Things may get a little crazy. Maybe even slightly goofy if the wind really blows. But this new addition to the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic will turn heads as the wildest venue added to the Tour since 1982’s debut of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Most players will not care for Trinity Forest. Expect at least one “they wasted a good landfill” reference to the site’s previous configuration next to the heavily wooded Trinity Forest. The antipathy will surface because this is a design forcing players to play away from the pin to feed balls toward the hole. That kind of golf takes time to figure out and two practice rounds here won’t be enough.

For some Tour players reared on softer, “right in front of you” and decidedly inland settings, this will shock.

The Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design is the closest thing to inland links golf you’ll ever find thanks to a melding of the new Trinity Zoysia turf — named for this place and cultivated by David Douguet in Texas — conspiring with wild ground features that do not look very extreme. The club is dedicated to firm-and-fast golf. This is Coore and Crenshaw’s boldest design in the use of centerline bunkers, discreetly zany design features and enormous greens.

The average square footage at most courses is around 6,000. Trinity’s clock in at 14,000, with one double green in the 36,000 square-foot neighborhood that takes 45 minutes for two people to mow during tournament week. Meanwhile, the short par-4 fifth is only 5,600 square feet. (Geoff Shackelford | Published 5/15/18)