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Dallas’ Newest Big Idea: Golf On A Landfill

BJ Austin

Plans for a championship golf course on an old landfill site in southeast Dallas could land the annual Byron Nelson Championship and spark new development on the edge of the Great Trinity Forest. Officials launched the project Friday morning.

Dallas golfing legend Lee Trevino added enthusiastic support for the plan to build a 400 acre, championship golf course next to the Audubon Center off Loop 12.

“This is a big deal,” said Trevino. “This is an investment. And I guarantee you, you’re gonna get all your money back. I guarantee you, ‘cause there’s going to be a lot of people out here.”

Trevino says a top caliber course in Dallas could lure major championships, as well as the HP Byron Nelson, played in Irving for the past 30 years.

The Commissioner of the PGA Tour told the gathering there’s a high likelihood the Nelson could move after 2018 when its contract with Irving ends. AT&T, one of the private partners in the Trinity Forest golf course becomes the Byron Nelson sponsor in 2015.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced that AT&T and SMU are leading the private fundraising, at least $20 million, likely more, to build the southeast Dallas private golf complex.

“This is going to be a membership driven course, so there will be corporations that will be teaming up with AT&T to say let’s build this together,” said Rawlings. “So, that plan is being put in place over the next six months.”

The course will also be home to SMU’s golf teams, and The First Tee – a program that introduces kids – many disadvantaged – to the game of golf.

Dallas will spend $12 million to remediate the landfill site-making it environmentally suitable. The city’s already under state order to clean it up and will now accelerate that work looking toward a 2016 tee time.

Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway is optimistic the golf course will do more than just attract golfers. It’ll attract developers.

“There’s a lot of great potential, but in order to reach that potential, you have to send out the invitations,” said Caraway. “This golf course is an invitation to come see southern Dallas.”

Lee Trevino .mp3
Dallas native, World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino is really funny. He helped announce plans for a championship golf course next to the Audubon Center in southeast Dallas … and told stories that kept ‘em laughing at Dallas City Hall.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.