IRVING, Texas -- The HP Byron Nelson Championship has entered into an agreement with the PGA Tour and the Trinity Forest project that would move the event from Irving, its home the past 30 years, to Trinity Forest Golf Course starting in 2019, assuming everything goes forward as scheduled with the project.
The course will be built in Dallas (on a landfill near Loop 12 just east of I-45) and designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The Nelson has an agreement with the TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club to serve as host of the event through 2018. Once that expires, the tournament starts a 10-year agreement with Trinity Forest.
It will take three years to construct the course, one that the city of Dallas and AT&T, who becomes the tournament's title sponsor in 2015, hope can attract one of golf's majors at some point too. AT&T is pouring money into the project to include a bike trail to connect the new course to the Trinity River Audubon Center.
The Nelson has used the TPC Four Seasons course since 1983 after moving from its original home at Preston Trail. The course was redesigned in 2008 by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard. Local golfers Harrison Frazar and J.J. Henry consulted. The redesign came after the greens in 2006 were in poor shape and players complained about the layout.
Since Nelson's death in September 2006, the tournament has struggled to recapture some of the game's top players on a regular basis. Many would come at the behest of Nelson, but the course, combined with where it now falls on the PGA Tour calendar, has hurt its ability to draw some of the best, including Tiger Woods. The No. 1 player in the world has not played at the Nelson since 2005. He won the event in 1997, a few months after his record-setting victory at the Masters.
"I want this golf course built quickly, and I want to start playing top-notch golf there," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, according to The Dallas Morning News.