Site of the Byron Nelson Golf Classic from 1968 to 1982, the course at Preston Trail Golf Club opened for play just a few years before the iconic PGA Tour event was first hosted by the club.
Lord Byron may have been listed as the headline architect at the time but the course was actually laid out by another Texan, Ralph Plummer, a much under-rated designer who, in a 40-year career, constructed or remodelled around a hundred courses, most of them in his native Lone Star State.
White Rock Creek crosses the property and is brought into play on several occasions during a round, most notably at the 422-yard 7th, which dog legs to the right, along the edge of the stream.
Tripp Davis carried out an extensive renovation of the course a few years ago so it’s now well equipped to cope with whatever the modern game can throw at it.
Architect Trip Davis kindly provided us with the following comments:
In 2008 and 2009 we carried out a complete reconstruction at Preston Trail – turned over every blade of grass – putting in new irrigation and drainage systems, sand capping over the original heavy clay soil, building new tees, bunkers and greens, installing new Zyosia grass on the tees, fairways, bunker surrounds, greens surrounds and shaded roughs.
We transplanted about 150 trees and removed about 300. We did not reroute the course substantially, we only moved a few tees and greens somewhat. The course had undergone a lot of little changes over the years, so our overall aim was to restore the original design “intent”, for the most part, as it was originally designed by Byron Nelson and Ralph Plummer.
However, we lengthened and modified the course to better fit the modern game. We also totally rebuilt the driving range, the putting green, and we built a new three-acre short game area. It was pretty much the same scope was building a new golf course. The project turned out well and has been very well received by the membership.