One guy who's happy with the change is hometown favorite Jordan Spieth. In seven appearances at the tournament's previous course, he finished in the top 30 only twice and missed the cut last year. He's a founding member of Trinity Forest and estimates he's played 30 to 40 rounds there already, giving him confidence he can change his Byron Nelson fortune.
"It feels great. It looks great," says Spieth, currently No. 3 in the World Golf Ranking. "I like the vibe of the course while I'm out there."
The course is unique in a couple ways: it's built on a landfill, and because of that it has no trees nor water hazards. Tree roots and digging to create ponds would have ruptured the landfill's cap, creating an environmental problem. Given that design limitation, the course was built to mimic the links-style courses popular in the sport's homeland of Scotland: wide-open, wavy fairways, and lots of sand traps and dunes.
"There was a lot of skepticism from players and caddies about this place," says Spieth, "[but] it's been overwhelmingly positive over the last couple days since people have gotten here."
However, not having trees will be a problem this week as it means no natural shade from temperatures that are projected to be in the 90s during each of the four rounds. Fans can find at least a little relief in some covered grandstands, so grab a seat if you can! Spieth recommends the 360-degree grandstand in the middle of holes 6, 12, and 16 too see lots of shots from one place, and also the 8th hole which is a short par-3 that will offer a hole-in-one opportunity on every shot.
The tournament tees off Thursday morning and runs through Sunday.