AT&T Byron Nelson Dumps Trinity Forest Golf Club

It doesn’t bother me that Trinity Forest Golf Club is built atop a landfill. Perhaps on hot days there are aroma reminders from its trash dump origins, but it’s not so bad. And while my requests to tee it up at the private club were denied, I’ve walked it several times and it’s a quality layout. There’s a reason why Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are in-demand golf course designers. Their heralded work includes Bandon Trails at Bandon Dunes, Cabot Cliffs in Nova Scotia and the beloved Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Nebraska. Not a tree on the links, but Trinity Forest is loaded with wild flowers and native grasses. The No. 11 double green is 110-yards from left-to-right and No. 8’s a scruffy, adorable short par three. And when the PGA Tour visits in May, the bluebonnets burst — it’s state flower of Texas and people love them. But this spring bloom will be the last as a PGA Tour stop — the AT&T Byron Nelson will happen at another golf course in 2021.

Hudson Swafford getting in a Tuesday practice round at the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson

The ongoing conversation at last year’s PGA Tour event in the media center was consistent, “I miss the old venue out at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas.” Longtime voice of the PGA Tour Bob Bubka said the Four Seasons venue was one of his favorites on Tour and he’d seen them all. Many described the scene in Las Colinas as one of the best events of the year in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Then the event shifted in 2018 to Trinity Forest, a new small private club in southern Dallas. The previous venue is a resort, which was built to host the masses — it’s what resorts do. Perhaps Trinity Forest is similar to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth where the Charles Schwab Challenge is played. The venues are comparable except Trinity Forest has fewer bars and restaurants in the area. Trinity lacks the tradition and history of Colonial. Also, Trinity Forest doesn’t have any trees which means no shade. The cart paths are sand and become sloppy when it rains. And it did rain — the weather in its two years of hosting was atrocious.

“We all thought this was going to be something that would actually increase revenues,” Mike McKinley, chairman of Salesmanship Charitable Golf of Dallas Inc. told the Dallas Morning News, which oversees the upcoming 2020 tournament that begins May 4. “The fact that it’s gone in a different direction has disappointed everybody involved and is the primary concern.”

So this year’s Trinity Forest edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson will be its last. I asked anyone with a PGA Tour credential why the event moved from Las Colinas to Dallas and no one knew. Some thought it had to do with poor course conditions in Las Colinas, but a PGA Tour agronomist disputed that. Others claim it’s a political-real estate deal involving Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, but it’s three and out for Trinity Forest. Let’s see how many come out to watch Kang Sung-hoon defend his 2019 victory and give Trinity Forest a proper send-off.

The 2020 AT&T Byron Nelson will happen at Trinity Forest Golf Club May 7 – 10.