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Jason Topp

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Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« on: April 16, 2018, 12:22:09 PM »
I cannot remember being so interested in a regular tour event. 


The course epitomizes so many of the principles that have taken hold over the last 20 years:


- width
- firm and fast
- contours and short grass as hazards
- few water hazards


However, there are many risks associated with this venue move:


1.  Most regular golfers I have spoken with dislike the course.  Lies on the fairways are thin and it is difficult to calculate how to play the course the first time through.  I don't think it is possible to garner a decent opinion based on one play.  It seemed to me you would need to play the course multiple times in different weather conditions to really have an understanding of it.


2.  I suspect the professionals will dislike the course at least the first time through.


3.  The prior event was extremely popular locally despite a very mediocre golf course.  It seems likely that there will be a bit of a drop off in local interest.


4.  The course seems to be on the wrong side of town, which will make it difficult to generate the same buzz that the old venue generated.


 

John Kavanaugh

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 02:12:28 PM »
I walked 72 holes in two days last week. A testament to both the routing and greatness of the course. I enjoyed the course so much that I told my host that I wished Brad Klein still wrote for Golfweek as I would love to read a Rater's Notebook article on the facility. 

Tim Gallant

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 02:21:44 PM »
Head over to Twitter and check out the page for the Byron Nelson. Geoff Ogilvy has done a fantastic series of videos outlining the strategy that each player will face on key holes.


https://twitter.com/attbyronnelson

PPallotta

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 02:46:54 PM »
Jason, while intuitively I'd assume that JK's reaction is more 'accurate' than those of the regular golfers you've spoken to, I do think that all of us here have used the notion that a good/great course requires "multiple plays" as a bit of of a dodge, ie as a defense against any negative comments (or even less than unanimous praise) for courses we happen to like but that others may not. 

And I know we've done that for two reasons: first, because in the last few years many modern courses (you know their names as well as I do) have not only debuted on the Top 100 lists but debuted very highly; and, given that in some cases they'd been open only for a few months, I doubt that many raters could've played said courses more than once before submitting their scores. In other words: apparently we *don't'* need multiple plays before deciding that a course is one of the Top 100 ever built in America. And second, because I can't think of a wonderful piece of music, or an inspiring film, or an engrossing book, or an good & interesting person or a beautiful and vibrant city that I've even needed to experience "multiple times" before deciding whether I liked it/thought highly of it or not.   

As per my one-word answer thread, and the many different priorities listed there: it just may be that TF is a fine golf course that very much appeals to some (like JK, Geoff etc) and at the same time doesn't appeal at all to others (like regular golfers and tour pros).  No slag against the course at all -- indeed, I find myself wondering a) why we think this *shouldn't* be the case, i.e. that some like a course and others don't, and b) why we look for a unanimity of opinion when it comes to a golf course that *we* consider great, as if that unanimity 'proves' anything

Peter     
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:54:19 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Lou_Duran

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 03:17:21 PM »
I cannot remember being so interested in a regular tour event. 

I haven't attended a Tour event for many years but will likely go on a weekday just to see how the big boys play the course (-18 won the third-tier Texas State Open there last year).  Unless the wind is blowing and the spring remains dry, there should be some really low numbers posted.

Not a good site and very poor soils.  C & C did a wonderful job, but it is not among my favorites.  I think you are right on most of your points.  Hopefully the course will get better with age and improved conditions.

A bit of inside information: the TPC was supposed to hold this year's Nelson, but AT&T supposedly paid the penalty to get out of it.  TF was counting on another year to work out the kinks (when I was there last spring they were totally redoing the left greenside bunker on #1 and putting in new drainage on numerous holes), grow-in better, and get a better feel for set-ups.   There is concern that the course will not present well for the Nelson this year, and first impressions are hard to overcome.  My bet is that there will be a lot nostalgia in favor of the Four Seasons and the overly-maligned TPC course.

jeffwarne

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 04:53:36 PM »
Is there still time to put in a downhill par three with a big pond?

"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Kalen Braley

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 05:23:24 PM »
Is there still time to put in a downhill par three with a big pond?


Jeff,


The reason it lost the tourney is cause it didn't go far enough with the waterfalls.  The pint sized waterfalls on 18 turned out to be a half measure.  They needed to go full trump if they wanted to stay in the game...

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 06:02:15 PM »


 in the last few years many modern courses (you know their names as well as I do) have not only debuted on the Top 100 lists but debuted very highly; and, given that in some cases they'd been open only for a few months, I doubt that many raters could've played said courses more than once before submitting their scores. In other words: apparently we *don't'* need multiple plays before deciding that a course is one of the Top 100 ever built in America.     


Well, this is an apples vs. oranges comparison.  Trinity Forest [which I haven't seen since it was a raw site] is not an oceanfront piece of ground, nor does it bend over backwards to wow the retail golfer.  I've been sort of amazed how little I have heard about the course since it opened ... from the moment I talked to the developers, it was clear they aimed to be different and were comfortable with the controversy, but there hasn't been very much about it at all in the magazines before now.  It's really weird to see a project that isn't doing the p.r. to be "Best New" right out of the gate.


From what I've heard, Trinity Forest is built to be a course that challenges the pros with a bag full of tricks.  A better comparison would be the TPC at Sawgrass, which opened to lots and lots of controversy in 1982, and underwent a litany of changes over the next few years.  But that was because the Tour owned Sawgrass and wanted the players to like it.  Trinity Forest at least pretends not to be worried about that ... though their tune might change if the players threaten not to come back the next year.


Joe Hancock

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 06:11:13 PM »
Trinity Forest at least pretends not to be worried about that ... though their tune might change if the players threaten not to come back the next year.


If there’s a purse, someone will show up to claim it. There can’t be a modern day precedence for “no field because the course is that bad”.
" What the hell is the point of architecture and excellence in design if a "clever" set up trumps it all?" Peter Pallotta, June 21, 2016

"People aren't picking a side of the fairway off a tee because of a randomly internally contoured green ."  jeffwarne, February 24, 2017

Ira Fishman

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 06:24:57 PM »
We spend quite a bit of time on this site bemoaning the fact that the courses that the Pros play have an undue influence on what counts as good design. I have not played TF and probably never will, but I certainly hope that a course that embodies its philosophy is successful. 


Ira

PPallotta

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 06:32:23 PM »
TD - you're probably right that it's apple & oranges...

Peter


« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 07:04:10 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Tom_Doak

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 07:33:27 PM »

If there’s a purse, someone will show up to claim it. There can’t be a modern day precedence for “no field because the course is that bad”.


Yes and no, Joe.  The tournament sponsors naturally want the marquee players to come and compete.  AT&T gets to borrow the winner's name and likeness for the next 12 months.  They already have a deal with Spieth, of course, but if he doesn't win they'd much rather it be Rory McIlroy than some first time winner.  And they'd rather their corporate guests get to mingle with the big names in the clubhouse.


I can tell you from our experience at Waialae that it's as much about who is complaining, as it is about what they're saying.

mike_beene

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 12:34:04 AM »
Remember that a fair number of tour pros live around Dallas and another group comes in for coaching. The rotating games seem to like TF just fine so there is a group not brand new to it. The Salemanship Club is taking a big risk and I hope it works out. There are some high stress weeks ahead and I applaud a tournament that is a major to this part of the world going to a great new sight. The neighborhood is a concern from an attendance standpoint. It is just 10 minutes south of central Dallas, most of that consisting of flood plain.

Jason Topp

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 10:10:37 AM »
Remember that a fair number of tour pros live around Dallas and another group comes in for coaching. The rotating games seem to like TF just fine so there is a group not brand new to it.


That is good to hear. 


I will be interested to hear what the group thinks of the look of the course.  I thought it looked great but it is a stark look without an ocean or mountains or something interesting to form a backdrop. 

Scott Weersing

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 12:01:04 PM »
I guess it all goes back to the first question, was this course designed to host PGA TOUR events? I would say No, because it does not have the types of holes that are comfortable to PGA tour players.


Other questions, does conditioning impact a Tour event? No, Quail Hollow had terrible greens a couple of years ago and the tournament did not suffer.


What will be the impact of the course on the 2019 tournament? I would say the tournament's placement on the 2019 schedule will have more impact than the course. If the tournament is before or after the 2019 PGA Championship then there will be fewer top name players. (see Houston and Harbour Town tournaments)

Kalen Braley

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 12:05:14 PM »
Scott,


While I would normally agree here, I think it very much could work against them, because its all at once.


1st year at New Venue + Unusual Holes + So-So Conditioning = Shit ton of grumbling with "Lets go back to Colinas".


And doubly so if a bunch of big names miss the cut....




John Kavanaugh

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 12:08:12 PM »
The conditioning is as good as I have ever seen at any course.

Trey Kemp

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 12:39:34 PM »
I agree with John, the condition of the course is great and will not be an issue.  Kasey and his staff have done an incredible job out there getting the course ready for the tournament.
twitter.com/TreyKempGCA

Lou_Duran

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 02:21:05 PM »
Is there still time to put in a downhill par three with a big pond?


Jeff,


The reason it lost the tourney is cause it didn't go far enough with the waterfalls.  The pint sized waterfalls on 18 turned out to be a half measure.  They needed to go full trump if they wanted to stay in the game...

I guess that was supposed to be funny?  100k/day attendance apparently liked the atmosphere of the Nelson, water features and all. 

True, the course was not a player favorite, but I've played a number of other courses which hold Tour events that are no better.  As someone said, put up a good purse, and the field will be full.  May not be all the marquee players, though I doubt that the quality of the course from a gca.com standpoint makes that much difference.

As to why the Four Seasons lost the event, I am told by an extremely reliable source that a few years back, the Salesmanship Club went to the management company running the resort with a proposal for a four year extension (through 2023?).  The ownership of the club (a financial entity) declined the offer as it was in the process of putting the properties up for sale and did not want to encumber a potential buyer with a long term contract.   

Kalen Braley

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2018, 02:27:22 PM »
Lou,


Of course its all in good fun... I was only pointing out they pale in comparison to Trump's golden standard.


P.S.  I wouldn't buy those 100k per day figures... perhaps a bit of "Salesmanship" run amok.  ;)

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Morning-Buzz/2015/06/01/Nelson.aspx


P.P.S.


According to this Players Picks rating, it was the 4th worst


https://www.golfdigest.com/gallery/photos-worst-tour-courses
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 02:41:57 PM by Kalen Braley »

mike_beene

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2018, 12:30:27 AM »
Let me defend my hometown tournament for a minute: bringing Mr. Nelson in and getting him involved ,getting Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry in to raise additional funds in preseason,leaving the men's only club as times changed, donating huge sums to charity, a worthy list of champions and the fifth major to those from here. Huge crowds and support and many hours from salesmen shirt club. Now going to a course that most of us will love. Too bad the tour screws them on dates. This is more important than any world golf championship in my world.

Jason Topp

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 10:14:00 AM »
Let me defend my hometown tournament for a minute: bringing Mr. Nelson in and getting him involved ,getting Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry in to raise additional funds in preseason,leaving the men's only club as times changed, donating huge sums to charity, a worthy list of champions and the fifth major to those from here. Huge crowds and support and many hours from salesmen shirt club. Now going to a course that most of us will love. Too bad the tour screws them on dates. This is more important than any world golf championship in my world.


I attended last year and loved the atmosphere.  I hope this thing succeeds!

David Wuthrich

Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2018, 03:20:12 PM »
I wish them good luck!

mike_beene

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2018, 11:27:54 PM »
It's not like they are leaving a palace. TPC is a mundane real estate course with breathtaking views of the suburbia that inspired "Office Space". The hotel and as I found out when my wife snuck me in,the hotel pool was filled with player families. Las Colinas is just 1970s unattractive

Jeff Schley

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Re: Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2018, 12:30:50 AM »
You too can play Trinity Forest in support of the Promise House out of Dallas.  Pretty steep as far as items I have seen on the charity auctions sites, however a good cause propels us to want to help regardless.

https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/b4gitem.action?query.query=trinity+&id=319615293
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

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