The PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson is leaving Trinity Forest after just three years. The decision, first reported by the Dallas Morning News on Saturday, has been confirmed by Golf Digest, with an official announcement expected to come today, Australian time.
“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 Dallas Morning News.
While the move to Trinity Forest – a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed that opened in 2014 – was welcomed by architecture fans, the tournament has suffered a series of woes the past two years. Bad weather kept attendance low, and the property and tournament infrastructure could not combat soggy conditions. Fans also complained about the lack of respite from the sun on the almost-treeless grounds.
Moreover, be it Trinity Forest’s unconventional design or its proximity to the PGA Championship last season, the Nelson failed to attract a healthy field, with just two of the top 20 players in the world playing in 2019’s competition.
The upshot was a major financial hit to the tournament and its charities, a source confirmed to Golf Digest; one that could not sustain another two-to-three years of similar results.
The front-runner to host next year’s tournament is TPC Four Seasons Resort, which served as home to the Nelson from 1983 to 2017, but that would likely be just a one-year return. One new long-term possibility that’s been floated is the PGA of America’s new headquarters in Frisco, Texas, which is scheduled to host a Ryder Cup and the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championships.
However, the championship course (designed by Gil Hanse) won’t open until 2022, and though a source confirmed to Golf Digest that it is a prospect, it’s just “one of many options on our table”.
This year’s AT&T Byron Nelson begins on May 7, with the PGA Championship held the next week at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.