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Golf

Oak Cliff’s Cedar Crest Golf Course Gets a Piece of Its History Back

A fire destroyed many of the original documents that detailed the creation of Oak Cliff's first golf course. Now, a painstaking reproduction of the original topographical maps is back with the course.
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Stuart A. Markussen, CEO of RLG Consulting Engineers, presented Ira Molayo, Cedar Crest's general manager, with a framed reproduction painstakingly made to scale by the engineering firm Myers & Noyes. Courtesy RLG Consulting Engineers

Dallas’ Cedar Crest Golf Course opened in 1919, and since that time, the original design of the course has evolved. Because of a clubhouse fire in the 1980s, the city lost many of the original documents, including the original topographical maps. Last week, Stuart A. Markussen, CEO of RLG Consulting Engineers, presented Ira Molayo, the golf course’s general manager, with a framed reproduction painstakingly made to scale by the engineering firm Myers & Noyes.

The story of this golf course plays a significant role in the histories of both Dallas and the sport of golf. Its architect was Albert Warren Tillinghast, whose golf courses hosted PGA championships from the 1920s through the 2000s. He was the sixth architect to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. White, well-heeled Dallas golfers hired him to design Cedar Crest as part of a country club. It played host to the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four majors, in 1927.

The country club went under during the Great Depression, and the city acquired the property. In 1968, the Black pro golfer James “JW White” took over the course. Molayo’s mentor, Leonard Jones, followed. Since then, it’s been an important fixture of southern Dallas, serving a part of the city for decades before wealthy backers helped make the Trinity Forest Golf Club a reality.

It all started with the original topographical maps, one of which, recreated to the same scale, has returned home.

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.
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