In episode #85, we hit the high points on what’s going on with the local and national golf scene. Golf guru Steven Tudor talks with us about the PGA Headquarters in progress here in Frisco, as well as the access to top-notch courses and the impact it will have on locals, like him and his family.
The Byron Nelson moves north, too, and finds it’s home for 2021 in McKinney’s TPC Craig Ranch. On the national level, Steven gives us his thoughts on the upcoming Masters happening November 12-15th (NOT in Frisco, of course).
Enjoy this look at the potential leaderboard, our golf chat, and listen to more episodes from the Hustle & Pro archives.
- [00:21] Quick Hits with Steven Tudor
- [02:49] PGA in Frisco
- [13:14] Byron Nelson in McKinney
- [16:34] Masters Nov 12
- [19:27] Leaderboard to watch for in November
Resources within this episode:
- Steven Tudor: LinkedIn
- PGA: Website | PGA Update on Lifestyle Frisco
- Kelly Walker: Instagram @kelly_walkertexas | Twitter: @kelly_walker_TX
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco:
Welcome to Hustle and Pro, Season Two, talking sports and Frisco from youth to pro. Now, here’s your host, Kelly Walker.
Welcome to Hustle and Pro. Today we’re talking golf. We have our friend from UNT, Steven Tutor, here talking with us today. We’re going to talk a little bit about what’s going on in golf around Frisco. Thanks for joining us, Steven. How are you? Great. How are you doing? I’m good. All right. So, before we start talking about PGA and all things golf, I want to know a couple of quick hits about you. Like who’s your favorite athlete?
Favorite athlete? Probably Michael Jordan, I would say.
Who’s your favorite team?
Unfortunately, my favorite team is the Miami Dolphins.
Unfortunately? They’re having a rough go. Yeah. Tough to be a Dolphins fan, I guess. It is. But you’re, man, that’s have you always been a Dolphins fan? You hanging in there and waiting for it to come around? Yeah
Yeah. So, I have this weird eclectic group of teams that I follow. So, you know, about the time I was starting to follow sports in the early nineties, you know, the Dolphins had Dan Marino and I was rebelling against the Cowboy culture and I’ve, I’ve tried to stick with them. Yeah.
Man, living around here. That’s tough. So, good for you. All right, what about sports movie?
A sports movie.
Now you have Ace Ventura in my head because you said Dan Marino and the Dolphins. So, is that what – I’m going to laugh if that’s your answer, but –
Uh, no, I would have to go with a Happy Gilmore.
Oh, love Happy Gilmore, yes! So, that’s a perfect segue into our golf conversation. All right. So then, um, what is your personal story and connection with golf?
So, I’ve been playing for about 25 years, I guess, playing golf. I started in middle school. Um, I played as a junior and senior in high school and one of the first things I did after I graduated college and started working is I got an annual membership at a course and I started playing six or seven days a week. Wow. So, sometimes it was just three or four holes. Sometimes it was a full 18 after work. Um, but I got down to a six handicap. Um, and then I got married and had kids. And so now – then your golf game changes, right? Yes. Now I’m up to like 11, 12 handicap. But, it’s great living around Dallas and Frisco. So many options and so many courses.
Yeah. So, now how often do you get to play? Well, I know we’re in the time of a pandemic. But, in normal life, before that changed, what was your normal schedule, golf pace?
Uh, twice a month I would say was a good estimate. Yeah. I have friends that come down from Oklahoma ’cause that’s where I’m from. And we’ll hit the gambit of pretty much every course, north of George Bush that we can play.
Yeah, lots of golf around here. Okay. So, the big topic lately, right, is PGA. So, let’s talk about just kind of, what’s your take on the idea of PGA relocating here? I mean, I’m, I’m ecstatic and happy and I know there’s some people that aren’t as happy as me, maybe, but what’s your take on it?
So, I’m really excited. Um, the fact that we’re going to have that whole development. Um, even if you don’t play golf, it’s going to be great with the hotel and all the tourism that can come in with that, the mixed-use development that’s going to be there. Um, I’m not as up to speed what’s going to happen. In my mind, I envisioned something similar to what’s at The Star, you know, with the restaurant and the other locations. Um, but then, the courses themselves having two 18-hole courses, championship level. Uh, the practice facility and the 10-whole short course. Um, my girls don’t play a lot; but, I take them out occasionally. So, that would be perfect for them. And then the benefit – having been a high school golfer – that all the Frisco schools will have having access to those facilities.
Do you think it’s going to change, um, you know, five, ten years from now, do you think it will have changed our numbers here of youth golfers that grow into being golfers?
I think so. I think just by having those available. Yeah. And, and it may even increase people moving here for that specific reason. Right. Cause when I grew up –
Families that are, that are, you know, they know they’re having – have young golfers that are developing, they might say, well, let’s, let’s go get them closer to that access.
Exactly. Because, right now that location is Florida. When I was growing up, some of the elite junior golfers would do just that – relocate their entire families to Florida because they had schools that were dedicated to just golfing. Yeah. So he would go to class, you know, part of the day, but they were private schools where it was all about getting you ready to play golf.
So, do you think, um, is it just Frisco ISD students that’ll have access? Like, is it kind of partnership like with The Star, how, you know, some of our kids play, um, at those facilities or do you think it’s surrounding areas, too?
Well, since it’s going to be public, I think everybody’ll have access. But, I do think you’re right. That there is a, an agreement similar to The Star so that Frisco high school golfers will have weekly access, which I would’ve loved.
Right. I know just, uh, just a few minutes up the road. Um, so then for locals, I mean, what, what does this mean for locals, then? Um, will we be able to, like all these courses, what will we be able to get on easily and play any time? Or is this going to be reserved for like members? I don’t know how, you know, a PGA headquarters course works like on a daily basis.
Yeah. From my understanding it’s going to be a public course that you just call and reserve a tee time and um, and then show up and play. And I, yeah, I don’t think there’s any, any private aspect of it. Of course, if they’re having a tournament. Right. Sure.
Sure. And then, so I read the 10-hole short course, is that normal to have some? I’m just not used to hearing that.
It’s not normal. There is a, I think 6-hole short course that at Watters Creek in Allen. And a couple other locations have, you know, three to 6-hole little short courses. Um, but having the 10-hole in there, you can expect it to be of the same high quality that the rest of the courses will be in. So, that’s definitely something that, uh, particularly for junior golfers, you know, with having the access to all of the PGA teachers, you know, I think there’s something like 29,000 PGA members, um, of which all of those are certified as teachers. And so having some of those located there, you can take your child out and on the course without having to, to run’em around on the full thing, which I’ve done at the one in Allen.
Us, too. That was actually the most recent round of golf we played, I think was the Allen course. Our kids – it’s great for our kids because you know, just the time, just a shorter amount of time and just the easy, you know, the easy holes. Yeah. It’s good for me and my husband, too, because we like to golf. We’re just not good at golf. Right. So a full, difficult 18-hole course is a lot for me. Especially when we have two kids with us. But, um, but yeah, that’s so that’s, so the 10-hole short course will probably be more, you know, my speed, my family’s speed, something like that, that we’ll go use most often.
And it’s faster. Right. You’re busy. You don’t have time to sit four to five hours, you know, on the full, so of getting out there and just getting in a quick 30 to 45 minutes, usually the short holes are walkable, so you can also get exercise and – I think they’re great.
Yeah. I’m excited about that. I should’ve mentioned, um, I know you because you work at UNT and so we have some partnerships with you guys with Lifestyle Frisco. Um, is there any synergy there with UNT and the PGA move here to Frisco?
So, a couple of things. I know we have a partnership with them, uh, through the college as a whole. Um, I’m not sure what the details of that are, but similar to what we have with the Dallas Cowboys. Um, and then our new campus that’s in Frisco is going to be right there, kind of synergistic with their plot of land. Yeah, you’ll be neighbors. Exactly. And for me personally, you know, I’m hoping, you know, that whole area can lead to, um, maybe some new companies around golf technology, uh, that could either come out of the university or partner with the university from a research perspective. So, that’s exciting as well.
Yeah. Because, um, you work as a director of licensing and you work in research commercial agreements. So that probably, yeah, that’s your wheelhouse, right? So you, you see the possibility potential of some, um, tech companies and things like that.
Oh, yeah, definitely. Being able to, to work through intellectual property and research, you know, UNT’s college of engineering is, is great and the material science and mechanical engineering spaces. So, you know, that future outlook would be, would be great.
Yeah. It sounds like a really – a good match. So, um, recently Lifestyle Frisco put out an article – I think it was, let’s see, early October, um, about the updates and the progress that everything’s been made up there at PGA. So I learned in that article and Nicole Barron wrote it, um, how much this actually happened. Construction started in August of 2020, um, on both courses. They should be done already in November. Now, they’re going to let them sit and, I can’t remember the right verbiage, but, like, grow and you know, actually like develop themselves before they’re going to be widely used. Um, but that was surprising to me. Um, I liked that there are people are calling it the “Silicon Valley of golf.” I think that’s kind of fun because, you know, our Sports City, USA tag here is always fun and interesting to talk to people about.
So, also, there’s the hotel resort, like you said, clubhouse, retail, um, that stuff’s going to be done 2023 is what they’re shooting for. Um, and then let’s see, 2027 is a PGA championship. And then the first, I think the first is this, am I right? That the first thing we might see is a Senior PGA Championship, um, coming up sooner, do you know when that one was? Yeah, should be 2023. I think it’s May. May of 2023. Okay. So, basically like right when it’s all up and running, then there’ll be hosting that Senior Championship. So, is that something that – I’ve never lived in a town with like golf. We have a lot of pro stuff here. We go to pro baseball, football, soccer, all that stuff, and hockey. But do you just, do you just buy a ticket to something like that and just show up, or is this something that is going to be like impossible for people like us to go to?
Oh, no. Most of the PGA championships are fairly easy to get tickets to. I actually went to one in Tulsa, in Southern Hills, uh, on a Friday, um, and walked that. It was, yeah, you just walk in and, and walk around, um, parking, parking’s always a thing that I guess we had to park and then they trammed you to that one. Um, but yeah, it’s very, very awesome. And, uh, they’ve shifted around the PGA a little bit, uh, on the tour schedule to get it out of August. Oh, so that one you said’ll be a little earlier in the year. Yeah, I think, yeah. I think they’re trying to shoot for, you know, May events for Texas to, to keep it out of a hundred degrees.
I’m used to melting out in sports, but most people don’t want to go out there and do that. But, um, yeah, that sounds right. I have gone to the Byron before, and that’s we I remember a lot of shuttling because middle of Irving, you know, that’s just how you do it. You find a lot and get shuttled in. Um, and I do want to talk about that, um, also. But before we move away from the PGA, so I’m curious with all of the amenities and all of the different things coming here for PGA, what are you most looking forward to, personally.
Personally, two things. One being able to play the courses. Um, and two, the Ryder cup. Hmm. Tell me about that, then. So, the Ryder cup, I think maybe 2029. So, it happens every two years, um, US versus, uh, UK. Um, and just the atmosphere from that normally is a tick above all the other tournaments, uh, particularly, you know, for your home team. Yeah. So being able to go to one of those, cause I’ve never been able, to is definitely something I’m looking for.
Yeah. That’ll be fun. Um, because so many European golfers now are, I think, um, you know, at the forefront and the top of the leaderboard so often. So, that’ll be a bunch of, it’s almost like, I always feel like when those are on TV, the Ryder cups there’s, it’s like everyone playing is really well-known for people like me that are kind of not, not over-the-top golf fans. Just, I kind of know all the big names. So those are always really fun and entertaining to watch the head-to-head competition. Right. Yep. Okay. So I mentioned the Byron Nelson. So, um, I hear that it is also moving north. Is that, is that right? But not so much Frisco.
Right. So that’s going to happen, uh, May 2021 at the TPC Craig Ranch. Okay. Um, and it had been at Trinity Forest for the past few years, um, before then, like you mentioned down in Irvine. Um, so they’re hoping, you know, some of the complaints about it being at Trinity Forest. You know, the way Trinity Forest is set up, it’s wide open and they had bad luck with weather, uh, for a couple of the tournaments. And then, uh, when it was warmer being exposed, um, and then some of the PGA Tour players weren’t big fans. So they had kind of drop in, you know, the quality.
Yeah. You weren’t getting as many of the guys, the big names draw everybody.
Yeah. So they’re hoping this will definitely, you know, improve that. Yeah. Um,
So what, when something like that moves to our city, so I know it’s McKinney, but a lot of our listeners are in Frisco, Allen, McKinney all around here are neighboring cities. Like what, what do you, do you know much about the numbers? I think, I feel like you’re a numbers guy, right? Do you know what the impacts are?
I am a numbers guy. Um, so I, I have read like an actual research article that was done over in Georgia for the, uh, Sea Island Golf Club for a PGA Tour event, you know? So, it’s definitely a different, uh, geographical area and right here. Yeah.
But event wise is probably along the same lines. Yeah.
So, for that event, they actually estimated 10 to $11 million. That’s an economic impact. And that was seven years ago for the actual data.
You could be looking 20, 25 million impact locally.
So, when you say, you know, the Byron, the Byron Nelson, um, that’s, how many is this like a 10 days? How much time-wise is this where you’re going to have people coming in and where your tourism is going to increase. Is it like a week?
It’s pretty much the whole week. Yeah. Um, I know practice rounds and pro-ams, Tuesday, Wednesday, the tournament itself, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday with the weekend, usually being higher- attended. Sure. You know, people aren’t working, stuff like that.
Yeah, wanting to get to the later rounds. Yeah.
It’s usually the whole week and then maybe a day or two afterwards, as things are starting to, to wrap up.
Yeah. But that’s, that’s, what’s cool is that it’s not just a day, you know. A lot of the things that we host around here do tend to be a day. Um, the college football championship game or something where it is one or two hours, you know. And sure, people come in early and different teams arrive early and things like that. But, um, that’s pretty cool about, about all these, um, golf tournaments that we’ll be hosting is that it’ll be spread out. And it’ll be, I mean, it might be a tough week for locals, you know, having that much extra people in. But, economy-wise, that’s a nice week-long boom for restaurants and hotels and in our tourism here.
Yeah. Definitely. And then even, uh, you know, the LPGA currently has an event over at Old American.
In The Colony or? Yes. Yeah. I remember. Yeah.
That’s a great event too. I liked that course quite a bit.
Okay. Let’s shift gears to talk about upcoming golf that’s not three or seven or nine years away from, from us getting to watch. So, um, The Masters. So, let’s see. The Masters is coming up November. It starts on the 12th with the final round Sunday, the 15th, I think, is that right? That’s correct. So, what, uh, I haven’t, you know, gotten kind of into the in- I haven’t wrapped my mind around what that’s going to look like this year. Um, so what should we expect it to look like. Fans, no, fans, all that good stuff.
Yeah. So the fact that they’re having no fans, it’s definitely going to be a big difference because a lot of times at Augusta, you know, the course itself, the beauty of the course sometimes is as bigger than the actual tournament going on. Um, but now it’s – the optics of it is just great and the way they film it is great. And then not having the fans kind of opened it up a little bit more from a viewing perspective. Um, but then being in November, instead of April, that’s going to shift kind of the color scheme that you’re seeing. Um, but, like a lot of the PGA golfers have said at previous tournaments that it’s, it’s not the same for them, you know, without fans there.
Yeah. There’s a level of energy, right? And all of that, all that that comes with it. Um, so shifting it at such a different part of the year does that, gosh, I feel for the groundskeepers and right. All the people trying to figure out how to make that actually work. Um, as a golfer who golfs so often, do you think that will make a, make a big difference in play?
Uh, I don’t think so. Because mostly because Augusta is so good at what they do, um, that they can probably, uh, recreate April, you know, just about as good as any other course in the country.
They’re kind of miracle workers making, you know, green grass look green and perfect. Literally like perfect all the time. Right?
Yeah. I’ve never been, you know, every year I put in my lottery in my name and the lottery tickets. Still never won, but I know people that have. And they’re like, you, you, when you’re on the course, I dare you to find one spot that you’re walking on. That is unkempt at all.
Yeah. That’s what I hear. I’ve never been either. Um, I’ve never put in for a lottery, so I’m, I’m way far away from having an actually reality of going, but so, okay. Well, um, when’s the next chance you would get to go? Well, if they do it in November this year, I mean, what’s, what’s 2021 look like for The Masters?
Uh, tentatively it’s back to April.
Oh, wow. That seems like a quick, you know, quick turnaround for them.
Yeah. I got the email when I got, uh, when they said “no fans this time,” they said, “okay, we’re going to continue your name today.”
So you’re, you’re back in the lottery for the spring, if that holds? Hopefully. Okay. Well, good luck. Thanks. So then, tell us your thoughts on what we should expect, like leaderboard wise for this Masters coming up. What are we looking at?
Well, you know, with like, like The Masters, the US Open shifted as well to September. Um, and coming fresh off the, not really drumming of the competition, but Bryson DeChambeau quite easily one, that, you know; SMU’s own. So I think I have him as, as my favorite, mostly because, you know, historically at The Masters, those players that can hit it a little longer off the tee have, uh, fared a little better. Uh, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, uh, Bubba Watson. Um, so with, with Bryson’s length, he will be able to attack the par fives and, and try to get a leg-up there. Um, but some of the other individuals that did top-tens at the US Open like Xander Schauffele, uh, Jon Rahm, uh, Rory McIlroy, who only needs The Masters to complete the Career Grand Slam.
Is that a reality? Is that, is that a possibility for him to win?
Possibility? Yes. Yeah. It’s a possibility. He’s, he struggled there, uh, for the most part and being able to close anything out. Um, but you never know, you just need four days. You just need to on for four days,
Right, yeah. Be on those four days. So, when I asked you who your favorite athlete was, you said Michael Jordan. Golf wise, though, I mean, you mentioned Bryson Dechambeau for now. But historically, like, who are your favorite golfers?
Historically Greg Norman and Fred Couples would be the two that I, I tried to emulate. Um, failed to do so, but, um, I just, you know, Greg Norman was called the shark for a reason, you know. He wanted to go out there and, and devour the competition. Um, but then Fred Couples was almost the opposite. His swing was so fluid and easy; not quite conventional. Um, and definitely it was kind of just the, like somebody you would go play with, you know, just kind of like a, an every-guy-out-there. But yeah, so those two kind of stood with me for most of the time. Which is one of the interesting things is when I might be able to see Fred on the Senior Tour when they play the PGA Championship.
Yeah, that’s right. That’s and that’s a whole ‘nother thing is, um, you know, I mentioned that, but I didn’t even connect the dots that those names will be kind of that some of the names that people probably our generation will be most looking forward to seeing some legends.
At that time, either that’s the year or maybe a year afterwards when Phil Mickelson will be eligible for Senior Tour. So he could be there, too. What’s that age that you’re eligible for Senior Tour?
Think it’s 50. 50. Okay. How old is he? Not to, I mean, I thought he – 47, 48? Okay. Yeah. He’s almost at that mark. Is he still actively competing?
Yes. He’s still competing. This year has been kind of rough for him. Um, but, uh, again, he’s won The Masters I think three times. So, he’s won. And Tiger Woods who just won last year. Uh, those are the type of veterans that, you know, can sneak up on you and just get it going just for the four days.
Yeah. They have a way of making those comebacks when they need to, right? That’s exciting to watch. Well, okay. So The Masters, November 12th it starts through the 15th. Okay, we’ll be watching for that. And then we’ll be watching for the Byron Nelson hitting McKinney TP or TPC Craig Ranch. Um, did I say that in the right order? TPC Craig Ranch. Okay. Um, in May, and then more like right around, right after that, we’re going to start seeing PGA activity here in Frisco. So, very exciting. I’m excited for our kids to, like you said, have that access, for our families have the access, and for our community to be able to, um, have all those connections and the businesses and people moving here and coming here and visiting here and pumping some more money into our economy that we, we love so much. So, awesome. Well, Steven, thank you for coming here and giving me a little Golf Update 101 from you today.
Sure. Thank you so much. Been fun.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Hustle & Pro. Remember to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts and we’ll see you next week.