Mac Engel

Colonial, like Fort Worth, doesn’t need Dallas to fail

Comedy legend Bill Murray and PGA Tour star Jordan Spieth talk to the media following their pro am round

video by Jay Betsill
Up Next
video by Jay Betsill

Since we are on the subject of Fort Worth and Dallas, one item we here on the left side need to not worry about is the idea that the Nelson’s impending failure will save the Colonial.

Colonial will save Colonial, which we should all want, and expect, to happen.

On Wednesday, the PGA Tour confirmed that Colonial will be played May 24-27 as scheduled, and gave reason for optimism into the future.

“As we look toward the 2018 event and beyond, we will continue to work alongside Colonial Country Club in an effort to ensure the event will be a part of the PGA Tour schedule for many years to come,” a PGA statement read.

Even if you personally don’t care about the Colonial tournament, or golf, and only go because it’s a reason to drink and socialize, Fort Worth needs Colonial.

There is a reason why Mayor Betsy Price worked a second and a third shift to ensure that the 2018 tourney will happen. The Colonial, by any name, is good for the city.

In gathering information regarding the situation around 2018 Colonial and its title sponsor, Dean & DeLuca, a consistent theme that continually arose is the state of the Nelson.

A rampant piece of conjecture floating around DFW is that the AT&T Byron Nelson’s move from Las Colinas to the new course at Trinity Forest Golf Club in 2018 will spell the end, or demise, of the long-running tournament.

As a result, the status of the Nelson will act as a ballast blast for Colonial.

Children, all ye gather ’round and open thy ears for herest rests the truthiest truth of all: There is no way the PGA Tour is going to abandon and allow a tournament in Dallas to die.

There should not exist an actual the Colonial vs. the Nelson scenario. Good-natured gamesmanship is one thing; hoping/planning for the failure of one of these established tournaments is entirely different.

As Father Bud Kennedy pointed out in the Star-Telegram in an overdue session of real talk regarding the disparity, some real and some imagined, that continues to exist between D and FW is that Fort Worth needs Dallas to fail in order for it to succeed.

The Colonial and the Nelson are certainly wedged into this discussion, too.

And the answer to all of the above is No. No. And no.

Having lived here since 1996, it’s evident more than ever that our continually expanding concrete sprawl is interconnected and we are better served if all areas succeed.

When it comes to the local PGA Tour events, I am biased towards a preference for the Colonial, primarily because the course is simply easier on the feet. Any preference for one tournament does not mean a wish for failure for the other.

Local golfers continually hear, and spread rumors, that the new Trinity Forest is a disaster, and that in a few years the tournament will move back to the TPC at Las Colinas. Or elsewhere.

That there is no place to park. That the club, which is built on a landfill, is located in a less-than-great area in South Dallas. That the links-style course has no trees to offer shade from what will likely be a hot May sun for patrons.

That the PGA Tour pros will hate it, skip it and pine for a return to Las Colinas. One of the draws of Las Colinas is the resort of the Four Seasons; PGA Tour pros would play the tournament while their families would enjoy the pool and the hotel.

Any new location is going to have some problems, bugs and kinks. Then those problems are worked out, improved or dealt with.

No one with the tournament, or the PGA Tour, is denying the fact that the event has suffered since the death of Byron Nelson in 2006. The best of the PGA Tour no longer run to Las Colinas in response to Bryon’s personally hand-written invitations to play his tournament.

In 2005, virtually all of golf’s biggest names showed up to play the Nelson and comprise what was a de facto major.

Since Byron died, the Nelson draws some bigger names, but not to the level it had previously. Because few PGA Tour events draw a concentrated collection of the top 10 any more, other than the majors.

Look at the PGA Tour schedule and you will quickly see that only about seven tournaments can draw them all: the U.S. Open, the British Open, the Masters, the Players Championship, the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus’ tourney), the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

Throw in the Waste Management tourney in Scottsdale, Ariz., if you want, and one or two others, too.

Golf is like most sports in that it continually shrinks while it grows. The media that covers it increases while it decreases.

The sport, and the tour, are evolving and are unsure of the new baseline. As a result, tournaments like the Colonial, even the Houston Open, reside in an unnerving time.

As Bud Kennedy pointed out, Fort Worth is in an unnerving time, too.

Fort Worth needs to take care of Fort Worth, which includes the Colonial, and not worry about what happens to the Nelson.

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments