At the time of this writing, it’s just 68 days until the AT&T Byron Nelson tees off at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. It’s the first year that this popular PGA TOUR event will be held at the new venue, making the move after a 35-year run at the TPC Four Seasons Resort. But, despite the monumental task of moving a 280,000-spectator tournament to a part of Dallas that few Nelson devotees have ever frequented before, Tournament Chair Eddy Moore isn’t breaking a sweat.
In fact, he’s excited about the opportunity—even though everything, from the sponsor suites and villas to the infamous Pavilion—will all be erected within the next two months, from the ground up. Despite all of the work ahead, Moore is confident that the future of the AT&T Byron Nelson has never looked brighter.
“AT&T, the PGA TOUR and the City of Dallas saw an opportunity to move the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament back to our hometown of Dallas, after 35 great years in Irving,” Moore said. “Trinity Forest Golf Club will be the only links-style course on this year’s TOUR schedule. The pros who’ve played Trinity Forest are excited about the change, and we plan to give our spectators and sponsors an event that’s truly something special. I get excited when I hear the buzz we’ve gotten already.”
The Big Build Up—and Build Out
If you drive to Trinity Forest today, you’ll see a golf course, a club house, and crews beginning to transform the space into a mega-entertainment mecca in a matter of months.
According to Moore, starting with a blank slate enabled organizers to think creatively, and design the optimum spectator and sponsor experience.
“We’ve designed and built villages on the 18th green that simulate those on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach,” he said. “We’ve also created a one-of-a-kind venue with Club 360, an indoor glass-enclosed facility where patrons can dine or sit at the bar and see golf all around them.”
Trinity Forest’s unique, rectangular layout enables spectators to see more golf in fewer steps, as well as placing more sponsor suites in the middle of the action.
“We are building the same types and same numbers of hospitality suites as we’ve had in the past. But, the way this golf course is designed, we have the ability to spread those areas out throughout the entire golf course,” Moore explained.
Instead of service carts bringing food to the various locations, food service will be internally contained within each venue, all provided by Spectrum Catering, Concessions and Events, a frequent PGA TOUR vendor.
Spectators who aren’t hobnobbing in corporate suites will see some new features, as well, all designed to maximize comfort in the sometimes unpredictable Texas weather.
“We’re building out plenty of areas where spectators can cool off and get out of the sun,” Moore said. “Many of these areas will have fans and misters, and some will have flooring to give people a break from walking on the grass.”
A Return of the Fan Favorites
But, Moore is quick to point out that not everything is changing. The classic fan favorites will be making their return appearances, albeit at a new venue.
“Our message to everyone is that the only thing that’s changing is the dot on the map. They’ll still have great golf, food, beverages, and the same fun atmosphere they’ve come to expect,” Moore said. “When they go through the main entrance, the first thing they’ll see is the Pavilion, just as they have for the past 50 years. We’re also bringing back the Kid Zone, a Fun Zone for adults, the Fan Expo and kid’s autograph zones.”
As always, kids still get into the tournament for free. During Wednesday’s Hilton Anatole Pro-Am on May 16th, everyone gets in free, with free parking, as well.
“We want people to see the new venue and show them what we have, but we also want to bring people to a part of Dallas that many have never been to before,” Moore said. “It’s a great reminder that we live in a city with so many neighborhoods with their own personalities and identities. We’re happy to bring this area to the forefront.“
The Purpose Behind the Play
No question, Moore and the armies of people who make the AT&T Byron Nelson happen every year have a big job ahead. Although the goal is to put on an amazing tournament, it’s the benefactor of the tournament that makes the effort worthwhile.
The AT&T Byron Nelson is the primary funding source for Momentous Institute, an organization that teaches kids and their families social-emotional health, as well as providing therapeutic services. The organization impacts 6,000 families each year.
“All of the hours we spend on the AT&T Byron Nelson is for one purpose: to help Momentous Institute transform lives,” Moore said. “The exciting part is, now Momentous is offering new programs to teach mental health professionals and other educators nationwide, so we’re helping kids that we’ll never see. It’s up to us to keep this great organization going strong.”
It’s a mission that, as tournament chair, Moore takes very seriously.
“I’m not sure I’ll sleep a full night until I see our net proceeds,” Moore said. “When I know we’ve hit our goal of $5 million, when I know we’ve continued to help Momentous make an impact, that’s when I know the tournament was a success.”
For more information on the AT&T Byron Nelson, to view a schedule of events, tournament information, purchase tickets or find out more, please visit http://www.attbyronnelson.org/.