AT&T Byron Nelson event leaving Trinity Forest in Dallas after 2020

AT&T Byron Nelson event leaving Trinity Forest in Dallas after 2020

PGA Tour

AT&T Byron Nelson event leaving Trinity Forest in Dallas after 2020

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The AT&T Byron Nelson tournament is leaving Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas after this year’s event, as first reported by the Dallas Morning News. A replacement site in north Texas has yet to be named for the most successful PGA Tour event at raising money for charity.

Trinity Forest will host the event May 7-10 for the third and final time.

“Trinity Forest is a spectacular golf course,” Jordan Spieth, a Dallas native and a member at the club, said in a release. “I, as well as many of my fellow Tour players, enjoy playing Trinity Forest and we will miss having it on the schedule.”

The tournament had been at TPC Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas for 35 years, and it potentially could return to Las Colinas in 2021. The Dallas Morning News reported that other host sites also are in consideration.

Built on a former toxic landfill southeast of downtown Dallas, Trinity Forest was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and opened in 2016. It is a rugged, linksy course that offers plenty of roll for golf balls, different than the typically softer target courses frequented by the PGA Tour. Trinity Forest was ranked No. 105 in 2019 among Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses for tracks built in or after 1960.

“While it would have been wonderful if the tournament exceeded all expectations, the club (and the City of Dallas) should be incredibly proud of what Trinity Forest GC has become. We converted an unusable landfill (that was estimated to burden the City with $11 million in remediation costs to no one’s benefit), into one of the top ranked golf courses in the U.S.,” co-founder of Trinity Forest GC Jonas Woods said in a statement. “We have made great strides toward our goal of bringing championship golf to Dallas and we will continue to pursue that mission.”

Rain soaks the 18th green before last year’s third round of the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Bad weather in the event’s first two years at Trinity Forest didn’t help attendance, revenue or the fast-and-firm playing conditions, and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas –  which hosts the event through its charitable golf organization – will pull the plug after this year’s event.

“As the necessary footprint to grow the event continues to expand, collectively, we will be evaluating other facilities in the Dallas area for 2021 to ensure a premium fan experience and allow the Salesmanship Club to continue to do great things through its support of the Momentous Institute,” Tyler Dennis, chief of operations at PGA Tour, told the Morning News.

The Momentous Institute, founded in 1920, provides educational and therapeutic services to more than 5,500 children and family members each year. The Nelson event has raised more than $163 million for Momentous in the past 51 years.

For many golf architecture fans, the firm and fast Trinity Forest potentially could have been a star among Tour courses.

“You’re getting people to talk not just about golf, but about architecture,” then-Golf Channel announcer Frank Nobilo said during the second round of the inaugural 2018 event at Trinity Forest, as reported by Golfweek. “You’re actually making people think. This has the added bounce that you don’t normally see on the PGA Tour. Personally, I think it’s refreshing.”

Crenshaw said he was nervous about how the course might play for the PGA Tour pros during that 2018 rendition, won by Aaron Wise. Sung Kang won at Trinity Forest in 2019.

“Bill Coore and I were nervous because we deliberately set out to do something different here,” Crenshaw said on Golf Channel.

The City of Dallas owns the land and Trinity Golf Club leases it, the Morning News reported. The course also is the home for Southern Methodist’s golf teams.

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