I believe the city of Dallas’ plans for Tenison West Golf Course are misguided. They plan to change it into what they call an “upscale” course. The plan calls for changing the character of the course by rerouting it. In the process, many old trees will be cut down, unnatural lakes will be built, and an East Dallas institution will be forever altered.
But, perhaps the worst part of the plan is that green fees will triple. After the improvements, it will cost more than $40 to play a round of golf at Tenison West. Presently, one can play golf, depending on the time of day, for as little as $7.
The rationale behind this plan is that the course will keep convention delegates, visitors, and those in town for business in Dallas rather than going out of town to play. There are many fine “upscale” courses in the DFW area and there is no guarantee that the new Tenison West will lure golfers away from them..
One thing is for sure, lower income earners, retirees, students and others who can’t afford “upscale” golf will lose another place to play. Also, those who grew up playing the course will see the demise of yet another East Dallas institution.
If you drive east on Cameron to East Grand, you can see the tenth hole of the West Course. Formerly, it was the first hole before they reversed the nines.
To the south of Cameron, the level of income declines. It is reflected in the quality of the houses. I can afford to occasionally play the new Tenison West or to go somewhere else. It is the people who reside south of Cameron who will be priced out of golf at the new Tenison West.
In these houses may reside a future Tiger Woods, Nancy Lopez, or Greg Norman. Under the city’s plan, they will lose a nearby place to play golf.
The purpose of municipal golf course is to allow people to play the sport at a reasonable price, not to make money for the city. The new plans lose sight of this objective.
Currently, Tenison West is a good test of golf and is accessible to almost anyone who wants to play. It is serving it’s purpose as a municipal golf course. Why try to fix something that’s not broken?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.