View of No. 18 from the recently completed Trinity Forest clubhouse

Sports & Leisure

A Few Observations About the New Trinity Forest Golf Course

I played a round there yesterday. So now you have to read this blog post.

Perhaps because I’ve written a number of critical articles and posts about the construction of the Trinity Forest Golf Club, going back five years, I have found it difficult to get on to the course for a round. Let’s not go too deeply into that. Not in anyone’s best interest. But, anyway, yesterday I got to play in a media event organized by the club to give local and national outfits a preview of what PGA players will encounter next year at the Nelson. Here is what you need to know:

On the crazy 80-yard par 3 No. 8, looking down No. 9 toward the clubhouse, from left: some dorky golf writer, another dorky golf writer, Bill Coore, and Jonas Woods

1. I was paired up for the round with two national golf writers, course developer Jonas Woods, and course architect Bill Coore. (You should be laughing at this point.) I’m not sure whether this pairing was an accident or done by design.

2. Woods is really good at golf — and not just because he was the best-dressed player on the course yesterday. The tournament (if you want to call it that) was best score for each hole. Our group used Woods’ score for, I think, 14 holes. Your correspondent did contribute one hole to the scorecard, No. 9, but otherwise played horrible, embarrassing golf. I owe everyone an apology.

3. For whatever reason, my bag tag IDed me as Tom Rogers. I’d appreciate it if everyone addressed me that way from now on.

4. To the mind of this golf idiot, the course is pretty dang cool. I’ve played a couple of the courses at Bandon Dunes, another place where Coore has done some work. Trinity Forest, if you ignore the sounds of cars on nearby Loop 12, sorta kinda feels like Bandon (it’s a stretch, I know). Trinity has no water and no trees (to speak of), but its undulating fairways, framed by sandy waste areas and natural grasses, and its goofy, hilly, often shouldered greens all seem very not Dallas. There really is no other place like this in North Texas or, for that matter, on the stateside tour. I can’t imagine a more drastic golf shift than going from the Four Seasons to this joint. Seriously. From a soft-green target course in Irving with million-dollar houses looming over every hole to a links course in the middle of southern Dallas with bump-and-run hard turf and nothing but forest on the horizon. Crazy.

5. Nelson spectators will love Trinity Forest. I haven’t yet seen the PGA’s plans for the 2018 tournament’s grandstands and hospitality suites, but there is way more space at Trinity than there was at the Four Seasons, and there will be spots where people can watch action on three or four holes without moving.

6. Some pros will hate Trinity Forest. Bill Coore himself acknowledged this. These people earn their living by minimizing uncertainty, trying to put a golf ball in places where results are predictable. Trinity Forest will introduce a lot of uncertainty into their paychecks.

7. Coore and Crenshaw will never again build a course like this. As you might know, Trinity Forest was built atop an old city of Dallas landfill. That presented certain challenges. Short version: you can’t dig down because that would comprise the cap on the landfill. So you have to build up. Plus, lots of federal and state regulations that you have to respect. After the round, Coore was asked if he’d ever again take a commission that involved building atop a landfill. This was the first time he’d done it. Coore said: “One and done.” He said it was a fascinating project and he was grateful to have been involved, but he’d never again try it. That’s like Golf Jesus saying, “I know I turned water into wine. But never again. It was too hard.”

8. The AT&T Byron Nelson is May 14, and it benefits the Momentous Institute, which is a rock-solid organization that does great work. Let’s see what happens.

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Comments

  • C Newman

    Pretty exciting Tom. Did they happen to mention where those spectators will be parking or parking/shuttling?

    • Greg Brown

      Pretty sure they are going to take a page from Fair Park: Park anywhere you damn well please and play Frogger across Loop 12.

    • Yes, I asked Woods about this. They will park at Fair Park. Shuttle ride is something like 10 minutes. At Four Seasons, there were a bunch of different places to park, and the main one was at old Texas Stadium, which was a longer shuttle ride. With Trinity Forest, they’ll have one parking place, one shuttle. On the face, it makes sense to me.

      • Bill_F

        It is 9.5 miles from Fair Park to the Trinity Forest Golf Club. How can a shuttle get from one place to the other in 10 minutes? On a good day it would be a half hour shuttle ride, minimum. Even with a dedicated police escort the ride would be 25 minutes.

        • Bill, I’m not sure what rout you’re taking. If you go 175, it’s about 6 miles. Google says 12 minutes.

      • Greg Brown

        That’s a good idea. It will help keep the riff-raff out of South Dallas.

  • Capasso

    Tom! Brad and Jim say Hi!

    • EricCeleste

      Tony Winto says call him, his story is done.

  • Cole Daugherty

    Nice work Tom. I have been wondering when I might get a glimpse at this project. Shuttle or Uber/Lyft will do me just fine. Hope to play it one day.

  • mrEmannE

    “TommyTyper” sounds so much more butch than “TimmyTyper”!

  • scottindallas

    most worthless article ever penned in the history of mankind

    • Thank you for your comment.

    • obamaniac

      Hyperbole is the worst thing ever and it’s literally killing our society.

  • Jim Schutze

    Will spectators be exposed to poor people?

    • JamieT

      You know, Schutze, if you got any holier than the rest of us you’d levitate, and then Mariana would have to walk you on a string like a helium balloon.

      • Jim Schutze

        OK, one thing I never got. Why is it not, “holier than thee?”

    • Bill_F

      Poor people like me who live down there will be told to go be poor somewhere else. Soon. Tonight the city’s Trinity Water Management office is holding a hamburger cookout at the Audubon bird sanctuary building for the neighborhood. A lot of us are not going because the city is bringing the golf course members to meet us. They already made their plans without any input from us. You can see the golf players from the road to the Audubon sanctuary. They are all white men.

    • They will not. Just as they were not exposed to poor people at the Four Seasons. Just as they are not exposed to poor people at ANY PGA event. As I said, though, the Nelson raises money for Momentous. Since 1968, it has raised more than $155 million. That’s quite something.

      To your larger point, though, I’ve always maintained that it is a joke that anyone (like former DMN editorial writer Tod Robberson) would think that Trinity Forest could drive economic development in southern Dallas. It’s a gated playground for rich people. No question.

    • Greg Brown

      I am waiting for “The Shops of Trinity Forest” to be built on the old used car lot down the street from the course: A four-slot strip mall with a Subway, a half-dead pro shop, a hair stylist, and one shop that has never been built out. City Hall will find a remarkable way to fund it and lose money faster than it can be burned. Rawlings will call it the most important economic driver in South Dallas since the Golf Course. And he will be right.

      • Los_Politico

        I know you’re being sarcastic, but why do you think Pleasant Grove NOW! just happened to pop up?

        • Greg Brown

          Don’t know, maybe they are working on rebranding to The Groves of Pleasantry. ;-). But seriously, PG is a unique area of Dallas. I have driven through there on my way to work for 20 years and it is finally starting to show a little perk. I would be curious to see what the area could do with an honest council person.

  • Vermont Royster

    this is entire area is a DUMP DUMP DUMP–PERIOD–I can assure u some one had insided knowledge of this DUMP and has made millions

  • Vermont Royster

    Whoever thought of this location should have their head examined cause it’s in their jock strap and/or panties—-everything stinks where this course is