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Say Goodbye to the Glen Course at Tenison

A new master plan for Samuell-Grand and Tenison will bring changes.
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Hole 3 at Tenison Highlands. The author mid-swing. Dave Heidle

The big news from Wednesday’s City Council meeting was, of course, the Reverchon ballpark deal. (Side note: I think it’s hysterical that DMN architecture critic Mark Lamster said (jokingly?) that the new ballpark there should be named after Robert Wilonsky, “whose advocacy brought it back from the brink of extinction.”) But there was another park-related piece of news that dropped during the meeting. Tenison Park has two golf courses, Highlands and Glen. The latter won’t be with us much longer — at least not in its current form.

The folks from The Loop, a cool effort to build a paved trail encircling Dallas, got some money from the county to take the next step in building the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, which will run from the Santa Fe, at the southern end of White Rock, to the DART Lawnview Station, south of Interstate 30. Before the vote to accept the cash, there was a short discussion, which you can see for yourself at Item No. 29, about the alignment of this new paved trail.

The Trinity Spine Trail will run through the Glen Course. Councilwoman Paula Blackmon, whose District 9 encompasses part of the Glen Course, wanted folks to know that cyclists and joggers won’t take a Titleist to the noggin.  “The golf course in that area will be repurposed for something else,” a city staffer said in response to a question from the councilwoman. And Blackmon added: “I just wanted to put that on the record, that it is going through a transition and a transformation and that it could possibly not be an active golf course.”

Park board president Calvert Collins-Bratton told me that a process is underway now to update Samuell-Grand and Tenison’s master plan. The designers are gathering public input now, and it will likely go the Park Board this summer.

I spoke with Councilwoman Blackmon about what might be done with the Glen Course, and she floated a great idea: turn part of it into a nine-hole par-3 course (the rest could be used for a disc golf course).

One of the problems with golf is that it takes so long to play a round. I shot an 82 on Tenison’s Highlands Course on New Year’s Day. The course was practically empty. It still took about four hours to complete the round. A nine-hole par-3 course might take an hour. The greens fee would be cheap. I think that’s a great idea.

Here’s a bonus for you: go back and read this 1998 Dallas Observer story about the redo of the Highlands Course, which at the time was called the West Course. Not everyone was pumped about the place getting fancy and more expensive to play. But even lawsuits couldn’t stop the progress. Did I mention I shot an 82 there on New Year’s Day?

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