Historic Fort Worth Course Will Close
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/2/14
Golf course closings are a sad trend these days, but on December 11th, an historic Texas course with deep ties to the legendary golfers Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Sandra Palmer, will close forever.
Glen Garden Golf & Country Club opened in 1912 with a design by the architect John Bredemus. In the years following, Hogan and Nelson would caddie there and, at age 15, played in their first head-to-head competition. Meanwhile, Palmer and her family lived near the fourth hole; she would often practice on the course in the evenings.
In his later years, Nelson spoke often of the quirky arrangement on the closing nine, which featured consecutive par-5s and a pair of consecutive par-3s. Nevertheless, Glen Garden hosted several Texas Invitationals and Texas State Opens. In 1945, when Nelson won 18 consecutive tournaments, his last victory came at Glen Garden. "Lord Byron" was also present when the course re-opened after a $1.5 million renovation was completed just four days after the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks.
But as Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News reports, membership has shrunk in the face of a long-stagnant economy and the club was up for sale over the last two years.
Now, it has been sold to investors who plan to build a bourbon distillery on the site. The club and course will close forever on December 11.
Golf writer Curt Sampson recently played Glen Garden and wrote about the experience (and the history) for GolfWorld's digital publication. It is worth a look.
And if you live in northern Texas, we hope you will also find the course work a last look before December 11. If you have ever played there, please pipe in below with your comments and/or remembrances.
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Image via Glen Garden Golf & Country Club
[ comments ]
This bums me out so much! Althought I don't live in Texas anymore, GGCC was (and always will be) my home course. I grew up there. My dad was the assistant manager when I was a little kid and this is where I learned to play. My name is on the Junior Club Champion trophy. I made my only hole in on on #4. I got to watch Ray Floyd do a short game demonstration on the #9 green when I was in high school. He hit a number of bunker shots close to the hole. One of the onlookers commented on how every ball was within a couple of feet of the hole. "I'm gonna hole one in a minute" Ray said. Then, just a couple of balls later he did. The group went nuts. One of the coolest things I have ever seen. The course wasn't much to look at but was really fun to play. I got to play one final round in November when I flew down. I am really glad I got to do that!
joe jones says:
Every time a classic or historic course closes it turns my stomach. Over building in the name of housing development during the economic down turn made some of the older courses less attractive to the younger generation .Golf has been and will continue to be in decline in many parts of the nation. Discretionary funds are just not available to support what has become an expensive hobby.The cost of golf is often mentioned as to why the game has declined but I feel slow play has also had a good deal to do with it. While five or six hour rounds are not uncommon in the U.S the rest of the world play eighteen holes in less than four hours. Strictly enforced by the course. Americans golfers watch too much golf on TV and they mimic every bad habit the pro's use. It badly effects pace of play and if you ask the players whether they are slow or fast nobody owns up to the fact that they play at a snails pace.Family members can't justify the time and expense today when they are busting their butts just to survive.
@Wes11point5: Thanks for sharing the personal memories. I saw that you had played Glen Garden in November on a cold day and hoped you might notice the article. Kind of inspires me to go back to Riverview Country Club in Appleton, Wisconsin, next year, in case they get sold to a condo developer.
Thanks for the post Wes. You really have a close connection to the course. I never got to play there. When in Ft Worth, I usually play Iron Horse.
Thanks Clarence for taking good care of my Daddy, James Hollenbach all of these years. He loves to play golf here at Glen Garden. James Hollenbach will be attending a great round of Golf with his close family of friends on this last day the Club is open. Thank you Clarence for Treating my Daddy today he is truley excited! James Hollenbach you make it a Great Day out there and a Great Game!
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