Though the AT&T Byron Nelson is contracted with the TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas through 2018, the PGA TOUR tournament will be played at its brand new links-style home in South Dallas that year, it was announced Wednesday.
Trinity Forest Golf Club opened for play on Oct. 14 and will take over hosting the event, which has been a part of the tour for the past 49 years, in 2018. The 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson will be played on May 15-21 and will mark the 35th and final time the event will be held at the Four Seasons.
“We are deeply grateful to Irving, its residents and the Four Seasons for an incredible 35-year partnership,” Jon Drago, tournament director of the AT&T Byron Nelson said in a statement. “The 2017 tournament will be a celebration of that extraordinary partnership.”
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With Trinity Forest already open and hosting other events, organizers believe the clubhouse and all the other amenities necessary for hosting a PGA TOUR event will be ready in enough time to shift the timeline for the move up to 2018. It will be the first time the Byron Nelson has been played in Dallas since 1982, when it was held at Preston Trail Golf Club before being moved to Las Colinas the following year.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and eight-time PGA TOUR winner Jordan Spieth headlined the announcement held on the 10th tee box of the course located just five miles southeast of downtown Dallas. The site was formerly a landfill, but now the future of Dallas’ premiere golf event rests on the plot along Loop 12, east of I45.
“I grew up coming out to this tournament with my dad. May or may not have hopped a fence once to get in,” Spieth said. “To speak a little about Trinity Forest, I’ve been coming out here since Jan. 1 and I’ve seen the shaping of this place. It’s a special place. It’s so unique. It’s going to attract higher-caliber players. It’s going to be one of the top events on the PGA TOUR; I just know it by playing it probably half a dozen times.”
Links golf combined with the Texas climate in May certainly make for a unique experience. To look out from the 10th tee box and onto the course is to be met with a wide open layout polka-dotted with sandy hills and fairway bunkers. The trees don’t line the fairways as they do at so many other PGA TOUR stops, but instead line the course’s border with the Great Trinity Forest.
“When the cameras roll, and they look up these fairways, no one will believe that this is Texas,” Rawlings said. “The beauty of the forest circling this links course is truly remarkable.”
Spieth gained his first professional exemption into a PGA TOUR event at the 2010 AT&T Byron Nelson, when as a 16-year-old still attending Jesuit High School, he finished tied for 16th. He joked that was still his best finish at his hometown event.
“Looking to improve on that, obviously,” Spieth, who is a Trinity Forest member, said. “But it just set me on the pace of my career, and what a tremendous tournament it’s been for me personally, but also to this entire community.”
Trinity Forest was designed by former PGA TOUR player Ben Crenshaw and renowned golf course designer Bill Coore.
“We just don’t see anything like this throughout the PGA TOUR schedule. It’s really different,” Spieth said. “The golf course itself potentially could be one of the most challenging tracks on the PGA TOUR. At the professional level, guys are really going to appreciate the intricacies of the green complexes and the bunkering.”
Matthew Martinez; 817-390-7760; @MCTinez817