Plans for the Trinity Forest Golf Course, the much-touted game-changer for southern Dallas, are taking shape as the project marches toward an expected groundbreaking this fall. All that remains, really, is figuring out how to pay for it.
To get the city's buy-in, not to mention the $12 million it's pledged to remediate the former landfill on which the course will be built, AT&T and other private backers have to raise at least $20 million, presumably through pre-sold memberships.
That raises a fairly obvious question: How many people are going to drop six figures to join a yet-to-be-built golf course built on a landfill in southern Dallas?
Quite a few, apparently.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
In its April issue, D CEO has a piece by freelance golf writer Art Sricklin giving a blow-by-blow account of how the vision for the Trinity Forest Golf Course came into being, and how royally pissed Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne is that Dallas is about to steal the Byron Nelson Championship from her city.
Stricklin also describes the efforts by developer Jonas Woods and local PGA player Harrison Frazar to woo potential members to commit to join "at a so-far-undetermined six-figure initiation price."
"We don't have a final price yet to give people. But everybody understands it will be above six figures. Somebody has to pay for this," Frazar says. "We don't know the final price of construction. But we will sell more memberships if we need more money, or sell them for more money if we need to raise more."
Of the first 50 people he and Woods approached in Dallas to be members, Frazar says, only one turned them down. "The rest were an emphatic yes. They are ready to do it now."
"It's a very untraditional sales pitch," says one person who has seen the presentation in person. "There are no brochures or websites to view. They're pitching it as a great opportunity to help Dallas. None of these people need another golf club to join. But they are helping, just like people helped the Arts District."
All told, Frazar tells the magazine the club has 100 commitments in the bag, which, if the initiation fee is set at $150,000, would bring in $15 million. My brain has trouble conceiving of that many people who are willing and able to drop that kind of cash on a golf membership, but, if accurate, it means that the course's last major hurdle has been cleared.