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Byron Nelson Officially Moving To New South Dallas Golf Course

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Phil Mickelson plays an approach shot at the eighteenth hole during the second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort on May 18, 2012. (credit: Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson plays an approach shot at the eighteenth hole during the second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort on May 18, 2012. (credit: Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Just as the Byron Nelson Golf Championship is set to get underway at the Four Seasons in Irving, leaders in the City of Dallas officially announced that the tournament will be moving to South Dallas.

In 2019, the PGA competition will relocate to the future Trinity Forest Golf Course. The new 400-acre course is being developed and will be built on the site of an old landfill, near Loop 12 and Interstate-45. The city had already committed to cleanup the landfill environmentally. Last year Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “It’s gonna be hundreds of millions of dollars of economic develop and we get to leverage the remediation that we already have to do. That’s a win, win, win, win, win ,win, win, win.”

On Wednesday, a Dallas City Council vote authorized a 40-year lease with the new golf course. That lease was contingent on the course entering into a 10-year agreement with the Byron Nelson.

Dallas councilmember Vonciel Jones Hill said the deal involves the City of Dallas, AT&T, Southern Methodist University, the First Tee of Great Dallas junior golf program and others. “The golf course project has consisted of numerous moving parts. This is one of the most complicated deals that has been put together in the City of Dallas in years,” she said.

For the past 30 years the Byron Nelson has called the TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club home. “The City of Irving has been a phenomenal partner with us over the years, so has the Four Seasons. So it’s gonna be a brand new day,” said Patton Chapman, with the Byron Nelson Championship. “It’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to these folks, but we simply have to look out for what’s in the best interest of the charity. That’s what sort of brought this decision.”

While everything looks good on paper, Chapman admits there’s a lot of work that will need to be done over the next five years. “I don’t have any fear that we won’t be able to rise to the occasion. We’re gonna have a new tournament sponsor at that point, I don’t know who that will be.”

Dallas city councilmember Dwaine Caraway said the course, and local economic opportunities that could follow, are a very big deal for an area of town that is largely undeveloped. “I applaud everyone, AT&T and everybody affiliated with this golf course, because it could have gone anywhere other than where it is,” he said.

Building the new championship Trinity Forest Golf Course comes at a cost estimated at anywhere from $20 to $60 million.

The Four Season in Las Colinas has a contract to host the Byron Nelson Championship through 2018.

Though the city of Irving stands to lose millions in economic impact, its mayor, Beth Van Duyne, is trying to take the high road, saying in a prepared statement, “The tournament is bigger than any one city and benefits every community in North Texas.”

Fans at the Nelson have mixed reactions. “I like the idea of something a little different,” said Johnny Williams adding, “I do the Colonial Tournament some, and I’m ready for a little change at the Byron Nelson, here, so I’m not opposed to that at all.”

Norma Gonzales offered, “Whatever is best for a better venue and a better location. I think new things are always great, so I think it’s an amazing idea.”

Jason Holland isn’t sure about the move. “I mean, with Byron Nelson attached to it, it’s going to be pretty weird moving to another venue. I mean with the statue up there and the hotel attached, it’s kind of a nostalgic place.”

His friend, Gary Morrison agreed. “This is THE course, and I hate to see it move, but if it’s going to improve the tournament, the charities involved, I’m all for it. I have no issue, I’ll go wherever it goes.”

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