Many North Texas golf fans have fond memories of the glory days of the HP Byron Nelson Championship -- roughly 1995 to 2005-- that saw the annual PGA TOUR stop become one of the biggest events of the year on the DFW social and sports calendars. Judging from the stellar field that includes past champions Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley, Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar and newcomers to Dallas such as Louis Oosthuizen and Padraig Harrington, the Nelson appears to be having a resurgence. The field will have a combined 20 major championships teeing it up for the $1.17 million winner's share of the $6.5 million purse when action begins at the TPC Four Seasons.
In case you are one of the fans who has not been to the Nelson since Tiger Woods missed the cut that fateful day in May 2005 on Cottonwood Valley, a few things have changed. The legendary Pavilion that was once to the left of the first fairway now sits behind the No. 2 tee box and hosts live music as part of the Pavilion After Dark festivities. Kelley James will play on Friday from end of play until 9:30 p.m. Jonathon Tyler and the Northern Lights will appear on Saturday from end of play until 9:30 p.m.
A new addition for this year's event is the VIP Villa ticket. It provides access to a VIP hospitality villa, free food and drinks and premium seating on the 18th green. The cost is $125 and can be purchased here.
Since the action on the golf course is only a small part of attending the Nelson, it is important to know a little about the Las Colinas landscape. The hottest places to see and be seen are Cool River Cafe and Sfuzzi. While the legendary Cool River has dominated the Nelson nightlife for years, look for the new hot spot Sfuzzi to be an incredible scene for its inaugural Nelson week. Other spots to drop by include the Ranch at Las Colinas, the Loft Bar at the NYLO Hotel and the WXYZ Bar at the Aloft Hotel. Those looking for food options nearby the Four Seasons can simply walk out the South gate across Byron Nelson Way and find the popular Sonny Bryan's BBQ and Via Real.
Tournament action runs Thursday through Sunday. For further information including tickets, parking and mobile device policies, visit hpbnc.org.
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