[Originally Posted on Facebook – May 2014]
For those of you who are not familiar with the Dallas / Fort Worth area, the two cities are separated by about 20 miles of interstate and are worlds apart culturally. Those differences manifest themselves in so many ways, not the least of which is displayed by the PGA events held in their respective cities – the Colonial, which was just completed this weekend over in Fort Worth, and the Byron Nelson Classic, which is technically in Irving but is about as Dallas as it gets. Thanks to the Golf Nerd Goddess, I was able to experience both this year.
To illustrate – The Byron is held at TPC Four Seasons, a modern, tricked-up track that is affiliated with a very upscale resort. The Colonial, on the other hand, is played at a very traditional course of the same name that has been shoehorned into a residential area and would not be out of place in a lot of New England or Northeastern towns.
The Byron is essentially a week long party, with all of the beautiful people of Dallas on full display. Beer flows freely and the spectators tend to be fairly raucous (not quite on the level of those on 16 at Phoenix, but pretty close). The fans at Colonial are far more genteel, and , I think it’s safe to say, a bit more golf-savvy.
Other differences/totally subjective observations:
THE COURSES: TPC Four Seasons is a bomber’s course, but with really weird angles. The list of champions there is filled with long hitters. The holes are spread out in such a way that rarely does one hole parallel the other. The Colonial, on the other hand, is a true shotmaker’s course – you’ll rarely see a professional player pull out driver. Tight, treelined fairways and exceptional par-3’s are this course’s main features.
SPECTATOR EXPERIENCE: The TPC course was built with spectators in mind. There are plenty of large, amphitheater-like mounds to view the proceedings. Colonial is tightly packed (do you sense a theme here?), and unless you are in one of the corporate lofts, it’s difficult to follow.
THE FIELD: Slight edge to Colonial. The Byron comes on the heels of the Players Championship, after which a number of players choose to take the following week off.
TV ANNOUNCERS: No Jim Nantz at The Byron. HUGE advantage there.
EYE CANDY: Absolutely first rate at both venues, although I would give a slight edge to the Byron. The resort and its amenities brings out the inner wild-child in a lot of ladies, which leads us to . . .
AFTER HOURS PARTYING: HUGE advantage to the Byron. The poolside hi-jinx and pavilion bands are first rate.
FOOD CONCESSIONS: Big edge to Colonial. Outstanding chicken sandwich and fries, plus the chili-spiked watermelon is a great on-course pick-me-up.
ACCESS TO VENUE: We live right across the street from the Four Seasons. To get to Colonial requires extreme local knowledge. Advantage, TPC.
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: TPC – Paulina Gretzky, Johnny F Manzeil. Colonial – still looking.
ICONS: TPC – Byron Nelson. Colonial – Ben Hogan (and maybe Dan Jenkins). Edge to Colonial.
YOU’RE STILL READING: God love you.