The HP Byron Nelson Championship began its 30th year of being played at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas with the breaking news that the PGA TOUR's annual Dallas event would be moving to the new Trinity Forest Golf Club. The Salesmanship Club has already secured AT&T as its new sponsor starting in 2015, and the move to the new complex southeast of downtown Dallas off Loop 12 and I-45 will be no later than 2019; its contract with the Four Seasons expires in 2018.
Breaking news aside, this year's Nelson week got under way Monday night with the official kickoff party at Sfuzzi Las Colinas and continued with the Celebrity-Am at Dallas National Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon. As far as the golf tournament goes, the field pales in comparison to last year's, which featured big names like past champions Phil Mickelson (1996), Ernie Els (1995) and Adam Scott (2008). But there are still a few names to watch, including No. 7 ranked Louis Oosthuizen, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington and former No. 1 player in the world, Martin Kaymer. The past three champions -- Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner -- are also in the field and so is John Daly, who may be the biggest (at least most recognizable) name in Las Colinas.
Since the Nelson is one of the biggest parties of the year in DFW, there are multiple spots to see and be seen. The resort pool behind the hotel tower is always a great scene, but a hard ticket to get as it is restricted to members of the Sports Club, guests staying in the hotel and PGA TOUR players. If you can't score entry to one of the private parties inside one of the mansions that line the TPC, the best options include Chairman's Guest and Capital One Clubhouse tickets.
The all-inclusive Chairman's Guest area is a covered outdoor seating section and air-conditioned interior with continental breakfast, lunch buffet, afternoon snacks and an open bar provided by III Forks. The Capital One Clubhouse is a new addition to the Nelson and has locations on No. 17 and No. 18 greens. Both spots feature stadium seating, complimentary beer, soft drinks and water and a shaded sports bar-themed lounge. Special tickets are required for access to these sections. Further information is available here.
And, of course, you can never go wrong with the Pavilion behind the No. 2 tee box for big crowds. The Pavilion After Dark concert series gets under way at the conclusion of play featuring Stoney LaRue on Thursday, Kyle Park on Friday and Icehouse on Saturday.
The hottest spots in the immediate area will be Sfuzzi Las Colinas and Cool River Cafe. Sfuzzi owned the Nelson nightlife in its inaugural outing a year ago and expect this year to be more of the same with DJs on Friday and Saturday and late night food served until 2 a.m. Cool River is the place to find Daly's merchandise trailer all week, which means you might meet the two-time major champion if you time it right. Cool River will offer its $10 park and ride shuttle from 7 a.m. to one hour after play, with live music from Limelight on Thursday, Live80 on Friday and Strung on Saturday night.
Tournament action runs Thursday through Sunday. For more information, visit hpbnc.org.
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