There was slow traffic with many buses Friday, but neighbors who spoke with NBC 5 welcomed the AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament to the Trinity Forest Golf Club on Loop 12 Trinity Forest Way.
From her front porch around the corner, neighbor Beverly Boyd enjoyed the activity and jobs the tournament brought to her Pemberton Hill neighborhood, located across Loop 12 from the course.
“I think it’s good for the neighborhood, to have something worth seeing in the neighborhood because don’t too much go on over here,” Boyd said.
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Several church lots on Pemberton Hill Road were used for golf parking.
“They probably did make some money. I would,” said neighbor Davion Jackson. He lives right beside one of the church parking lots that was busy with tournament shuttle buses Thursday.
“I feel like it’s a good thing for the neighborhood. It will make the community better,” Jackson said.
Most tournament visitors are encouraged to park at Dallas Fair Park and ride large buses to the Trinity Forest Course.
Boarding one of those buses, Dallas resident Jeff Gustafson said he was anxious to visit the new course.
“Very curious,” he said. “I haven’t seen the course, except for various photos on the news.”
On the ride from Fair Park, a video is playing on those buses which promotes the highlights of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Grow South initiative.
Rawlings said the Byron Nelson moving to the city’s new Trinity Forest course after years of planning is a new opportunity to showcase southern Dallas.
“First of all, I think there’s a sign of legitimacy that southern Dallas is something special that people want to come to,” Rawlings said. “Second we’re going to have a tremendous exposure.”
More than 850,000 visitors are expected to attend the four day tournament.
Rawlings spoke Thursday at the announcement of a new senior citizen activity center to open near Southwest Center Mall on Camp Wisdom Road at Highway 67. Plans for a new hotel and apartments at Southwest Center Mall are among the selling points in the Grow South video.
A future dream is a new hotel beside the city owned Trinity Forest Golf Club that was reclaimed from a former garbage dump.
“The neighbors and the market place is going to have to talk,” Rawlings said. “Having a hotel there would be great, but I want to make sure we’ve got the people coming first.”
People did seem to be coming on the first day of the Byron Nelson returning to Dallas after 35 years in Irving.
Police reported no serious problems Thursday afternoon, although some officers were involved in shuttling people back to parked cars in a distant lot where a church van left the scene for a while.
Some people were seen selling barbecue in the neighborhood, which could raise eyebrows with health officials in the future.
It was all part of the first day of the big new golf tournament in southern Dallas.
“I’m happy something good is coming from it, because that was land over there, just land undeveloped,” Beverly Boyd said.
The new course was created with the goal of attracting big tournaments back to Dallas.