With spring in full-swing and summer ready to tee-off, the time has come for golfers everywhere to lace up the spikes, dust off the irons and polish up the driver.

And what better place to spend time on the putting green or learn new techniques from a pro than at a historic gold course here in our neighborhood?

Tension Park, 3501 Samuel, is home to two championship 18-hole courses dating back more than 70 years. The East Course straddles White Rock Creek and favors long hitters capable of driving the water, which comes into play on 13 of the course’s 18 holes. By contrast, the West Course demands accuracy with its rolling, tree-lined fairways.

Aside from its challenging fairways and greens, Tenison offers a bit of history for golfers.

In 1923, Mr. and Mrs. E.O. Tenison purchased a 104.5-acre tract of land from Dr. W.W. Samuel for $100,000 and donated it to the Dallas Park Board in memory of their second son, who died of influenza in 1920.

With their newly acquired land, the Park Board built Dallas’ first municipal golf course in 1924. The original wood-frame clubhouse was built by Park Board employees for $7,000, but gave way to a new stone clubhouse, constructed in 1941 partially by WPA funds. Two years ago, the clubhouse’s interior was completely renovated, but the original stone exterior remains.

“It’s a historic golf course,” assistant pro Jason Aguirre says. “Just about anyone you meet in Dallas has played Tenison at least once.

“They’ll tell you it’s a challenging course with a lot of trees and big greens.”

Long before he reached stardom, pro golfer Lee Trevino used to roam Tenison, Aguirre says. According to legend, the young Trevino would regularly challenge other golfers, betting on putts, drives and individual holes, and supposedly making a good deal of money in the process.

Waltzing down the fairway, bag over shoulder and eight-iron in hand, it’s hard not to feel the presence of Trevino and other course legends Lee Elder, Titanic Thompson and Dick Martin. Tenison even played host to the 1968 United States Public Links Championship.

Tenison employs six club pros and is open daylight to dark daily except for Christmas. Weekday green fees are $13 for adults, $5 for junior and $6 for seniors. Adult fees drop to $8.50 after 4 p.m. and $6 after 6 p.m. Weekend fees are $16.

Carts are $17 for 18 holes and $9 for nine holes.

“For the price, the product we put out is fair,” Aguirre says. “We’ve got the lowest fees in town.”


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