The Proposed Southern Dallas Golf Course Is Either The Greatest Idea in the World, or a Disaster

By now you’ve likely heard about the proposed Dallas-SMU-AT&T-funded 400-acre golf course, situated on an old landfill of Loop 12. The city funding for the project will head to Council Dec. 12. Until then, we’ll all be left to speculate whether people will use it, whether it’s the best use of city funds, and whether or not I should leave the PuttPutt course and start running with the big dogs.

To Twitter we go for the instant reaction, starting with Observer editor Joe Tone:


  • Tim Rogers

    Bradford, let’s be careful about whose voice we give the megaphone to. Ryan Spencer, for instance, has no idea what he’s talking about. The city funds we are talking about have nothing to do with DISD’s finances. Spencer’s tweet is appropriate for his 14 followers, not FrontBurner.

    I’ve got a lot of questions about this project. Specifically, I want to know more about this graph from the DMN story: “The city, meanwhile, will invest a maximum of $12 million in the project, City Manager Mary Suhm said. Most of that, $8 million to $9 million, will be dedicated to environmental remediation of the old landfill property that the course will occupy, she said. The city is required to remediate that land under a state order but will accelerate the work, with plans to begin in the spring.”

    If I understand that part correctly, then the city was going to have to spend the money anyway. In that case, why NOT build a golf course? Especially if it brings in revenue. From the DMN story: “The city will retain ownership of that land and lease it to the nonprofit that controls the golf facility.” I’d like to know the terms of the lease, though.

    Finally, from the DMN story: “Rawlings hopes the golf complex will spur investment in the neighborhoods and businesses in what is largely a poor area of Dallas. But there are no concrete plans for additional development so far, he said.” That’s a real problem for me. Normally, golf course-spurred development means high-end homes built on the course. That’s hard for me to imagine in this case. Most folks with serious coin aren’t going to want to live in southern Dallas. In my mind, I see a Dallas National scenario. Now, that course wasn’t built to spur to development. But that’s the image I see. It’s a great golf course, but it didn’t change the neighborhood one bit. Same thing will happen with this southern Dallas course. Members will drive down there, spend their money at the clubhouse, then drive home after their round.

    Like I said, lots of questions.

  • joeptone

    I think you’re doing fine, Bradford.

  • SybilsBeaver

    What does the Chief of South Dallas think of this. Im sure JWP is pleased that whitey is coming to build a golf course that only 1% of dallas will be able to afford to play, right in the middle of his domain. Oh and @mdunlap1 has been trolling Unfair Park all week.

    • Ben

      He’s pitching an updated Caddyshack script to Keenan Ivory Wayans, standard 15% origination fee.

  • Pancho Villa

    Let’s all get snarky now. Because we know putting bike lanes down Kiest Blvd will get Patrick Kennedy to move down by Kiest or Overton.

  • David Burrows

    Does this mean the polo field and winery option is off the table?

  • Tim Rogers
  • mynameisbill

    Well, at least myself and my ever so lovely miss’ Buffy will have the chance to play a couple rounds, after we finish gallivanting around the new horse park. I do say, old chap. Cheerio!

  • self

    Right, we are _all_ left to speculate whether Bradford Pearson will take up golfing. The self-absorbtion of the D staff is epic.

  • gimmethewooby

    I’m with Tim – the golf course is a good idea if it can benefit the existing neighborhoods and businesses and be welcoming to area residents. If not, it’s just like the nearby Audubon Center – a nice thing that people drive down and visit and then immediately drive away from without making any further of a financial impact.

  • xcfool

    Is this the best use of this land? How about a public park\athletic field complex? There’s alreadey a golf course in the Trintiy Forest(Keeton Golf Park- Has that helped the area or city?

    • Vman

      Comparing Keeton to this course is like comparing McDonalds to the Mansion. And doesn’t the city own Keeton along with all the other munis? So yes, it helps the city. BTW, I love Keeton, play there often and doubt I’ll ever get to play the new course.

  • BenS.

    Is Remy Tabor still alive? I heard he might have passed away last year. The city condemned his golf course which once sat on the reverse bank of the new site. The city said the golf course was in the flood plain. Talk of improving sections of the new course site to bring it out of the floodplain nullifies any previous attempt to reduce flooding. Last winter, the river here was two miles wide, stretching from [email protected] Loop 12 clear to Pemberton Hill Road @ Loop 12.

    I’d like to know more about the mitigation required for this project. The new course site was supposed to be used to mitigate the previous Corps of Engineers project in the wetland swales DFE north of Loop 12. This site was once the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course which sat directly across the river from the new golf course site. I believe a man from a mitigation bank spent most of this past summer preparing surveys for oak trees on the new golf course footprint. I wonder if the city will try and count these trees twice, as credit for previous bulldozing projects.

    In regard to economic impact….the same things were said of the Trinity River Audubon Center’s potential as an eco-tourist magnet. I cannot point to one business in that zip code that has seen a nickel of increased revenue from the Audubon Center. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.

    I’ve been wondering if the city will officially brand the potential course with AT&T? They floated out the idea about a month ago of corporate named parks. That sets a somewhat uncomfortable precedent for some.

  • billholston

    Ben, you know you contributed some nickels when you bought all that Gatorade at that CStore on Loop12, after our hot weather jaunt across that area!

  • Dubious Brother

    When will they announce the toll road that will have an exit at the front gate to the club?

  • Du-Oh

    @BenS; my thoughts exactly. Having played the old Sleepy Hollow Golf Course many moons ago, I’m not sure why that area would be targeted for a golf course again.
    My understanding was that the course was to be flooded to provide more wetlands within the new Audubon Center footprint. When I went to the Audubon Center last year, the area where the course was, was just simply overgrown and not part of the Audubon Center.
    It seems the city is about to drop $12 million to shoot themselves in the foot again. If they want to bring the Byron Nelson back to Dallas, what about trying to use Dallas National (is it technically in Dallas though?). Wasn’t that course built with the intention of trying to lure a major to Dallas? Maybe the Byron would be a good start.

  • eli

    I think we should protest. We need those trees. Don’t people realize that it takes 7 trees just to take care of one human’s carbon dioxide emisions? I’m not sure how many trees it takes to filter the carbon from cars and there are a ton of cars in dallas. It’s so not good for then environment. I don’t want Dallas to end up like Los Angeles.