Monday, September 26, 2005

TPC Courses Update

Our man Richard Oliver (actually, the San Antonio Express-News' man) spent part of his Sunday hanging out with Pete Dye, who was in San Antonio to walk the property on which his North Course of the TPC San Antonio project will be built.

Plenty of good information in Richard's column:

The coming Tournament Players Club of San Antonio, a 36-hole complex that breaks ground on construction in March, may be opened for business by 2008. The Texas Open may move to the site on roughly the same timetable, quicker than most projected.

The city's Champions Tour event, the SBC Championship, could be another tenant.

But when he rolled up in an SUV under a broiling sun Sunday afternoon, a cloud of milky dust swirling in a trail behind him, Dye was more concerned about the immediate horizon, rising above the blaze of green before him.

"When you keep on going up up here, you just get this great long view when you turn around and look backward," he said, nodding toward a rise to the north. "It's unbelievable, all up in there."

By next year at this time, under Dye's veteran gaze, a signature TPC landscape will be carved out of the snarl of cactus, cedar and rock. However, unlike his inaugural TPC facility near Jacksonville, Fla., constructed atop swampland, this project won't require creative artifice such as railroad-tie berms.

"Here you don't have to create anything," Dye said, "because it's already here."
Here's something that caught my eye:

When the Texas Open moves to the TPC at San Antonio, in 2008 or shortly after, the PGA Tour could place the event on either layout — or both.

Not many people know this, but when the second course at La Cantera - current home to the Texas Open - was being built, the PGA Tour planned to play the Texas Open on both of those courses.

It would have been a tricky re-routing, but the Tour's plans were in place to the tune that the new course, what's now called the Palmer Course, was built with the same turfs to match up with the Resort Course.

I'm not sure what caused the plan to be scrapped, but of course it was. The Palmer Course greens that had already grown in were torn up and the sod given to other San Antonio golf courses. The Palmer Course was then re-sodded with a different type of turf.

For San Antonians who remember the lousy turf conditions at the Palmer Course when it first opened, now you know why. Blame the PGA Tour.

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