A few months back AT&T Senior Vice President Ron Spears said, “He is making it clear to anyone who wants to be involved that they can cover their time and costs and nothing else.”
Thus began the search for an architect for a new golf course project in Dallas.
In the end the golf course architecture firm of Coore & Crenshaw was selected to lay out an 18-hole championship course to be built on 400 acres of city-owned land in southern Dallas today. Ben Crenshaw will help direct the design of Trinity Forest Golf Course. They will barely be paid…
I have no issues with Coore and Crenshaw or any other architect doing pro bono work for worthy causes such as The First Tee, and yes there is a first tee component to this project, but this stinks. Private clubs are run as non-profit entities to avoid paying taxes. AT&T is building a high end private club, no more and no less.
The only small difference is this one will be built on public land under a long term lease used to revitalize a poor section of town. I support that idea, but that is good planning and not relevant to this discussion. This course will have a $150,000 initiation, so how do you justify not paying the architect?
It’s such a drop in the bucket compared to the expected cost of $20 million to build the project. I’m sure the clubhouse will spend more on lighting fixtures than the architect’s remuneration will be. This is not good for golf architecture because other “rich” people will try and use the precedent not to pay.
My issue stems from the fact that AT&T are heading this up and I don’t remember any of the executive offering not to take a salary to help out those who are having trouble to make ends meet.
I see a project where the architect will not make their fees and members of a massive corporation will play their free golf.