Teed off: Dallas officials zealously guard the city's status as a major convention magnet. Certainly, civic leaders know that conventioneers spend precious little time actually convening at trade shows and professional gatherings. But once you've seen the grassy knoll, taken in a game, and zipped to the top of Reunion Tower, what else is there for a bored conventioneer to do in Dallas? Well, there's strip clubs, of course. And then there's more strip clubs, along with the occasional additional strip club.

Did we mention strip clubs?

Yet it takes more than breasts to keep today's man of commerce happy--others' breasts, we mean, not their own. Hence the city's recent efforts to convert one of its five golf courses into an upscale golfing Mecca. Recently it overhauled--that is, chopped down a bunch of trees at--two shaggy golf courses at East Dallas' Tenison Park, just north of Interstate 30, upping the greens fees and re-christening the links Tenison Highlands Golf Course.

Neighbors who went to state court to fight the renovation are still fuming. According to the White Rocker newspaper, a White Rock Lake area broadsheet that has nothing to do with Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, four descendants of the couple who deeded Tenison Park in 1923 say last year's upscale rehab violated the terms of their ancestors' bequest.

A lawsuit filed in federal court in November by descendants of Edward O. and Annie M. Tenison claim the park's 78.8-acre largesse was designated "for all time" as a public park open to all citizens of Dallas, not just golfers. The four plaintiffs, including Ann Tenison Hereford Webb, Lizann Tenison Webb, Byron James Webb, and Camille Elizabeth Webb Sewell, also claim rights as heirs to reclaim the park since the city is allegedly not living up to its side of the bargain.

Could the city really be forced to fork over its two premier golf courses? That might be a tough sell before a judge. Tenison was not exactly virgin forest before the chainsaws came out, one golf pro told Buzz. In fact, Tenison has nearly always had two golf courses on its grounds. Its Web site points out that in 1968, the USGA Publinks National Championship was held on the grounds; later, local golfing legend Lee Trevino honed his skills on the public course.

So why are the Tenison progeny suing? Fees are much higher now, which could possibly prevent some less affluent golfers from teeing off. But Tenison officials say they have received no complaints and defend their course as championship quality at a low price. "You're still looking at $50 less than any other comparable course," the golf pro told us.

That's cheap enough to let you play a round and still leave you enough dollars to fill a G-string.

Meow: Dallas fashion designer Michael Faircloth, clothier for first-lady-in-waiting Laura Bush, has been put under a press gag order since he drew flak for a purple plaid skirt Mrs. Bush wore to the White House to meet the Clintons. Buzz didn't see the skirt, but reports by people who concern themselves with such things say it had a touch of Marian the Librarian about it. (As if Buzz would know. Dressing up to us means we tuck in our shirt.)

Faircloth's publicist says that Inauguration Committee members have asked that he wait until after they've given him some coaching before he conducts press interviews. No doubt the transition team has an entire wing of consultants devoted to fashion-press relations. Personally, Buzz hopes Faircloth is given leave to plant his fashionable leather loafers in the backside of The New York Times reporter who wrote this in a style piece: "The Bushes are Texans, which inevitably means boots, barbecue, and big hair." (Suggested name for the Times editorial bowling team: the "Major League Assholes.")

Maybe we're missing something, but we don't own a pair of boots, and we don't eat barbecue more than six times a month. And we certainly don't find ourselves tripping over all these big-haired women who are so synonymous with Texas.

Of course, we haven't been in Houston in a while.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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