The history of Cedar Crest began in 1916 when Cedar Crest was first developed as a private country club and was chartered 1919. Sol Dreyfuss laid out the club. The 18-hole golf course was designed by A. W. Tillinghast. Familes lived on and near S. Ervay in an addition in the southern sector of the city called the Cedars. In the next few years as their businesses flourished, many of the terminal merchants were eventually able to build mansions in this upscale suburb of Dallas.
Back in the 20’s all it took to stage a pro golf tournament was to put up the money. In an effort to put Dallas on the map in the pro golf world, Dreyfuss offered a purse and the first Dallas Open was held at Cedar Crest in 1926. MacDonald Smith, a Scottish pro, won the first Dallas Open. It was held in the spring, but a “blue norther” had blown in on the eve of the tournament, freezing greens and fairways. Still they played with Smith shooting 301 to win.
Despite the cold, Cedar Crest made such an impression on the pros that when Dreyfuss offered $12,000.00 to host the 1927 PGA Championship, a decision was made to come south for the first time. During the semi-final match, Walter Hagen crossed paths with a future great of the game. While his competitor, Al Espinosa, held as much as a four-hole lead, a young lad of fifteen was following Hagen.
As the match approached the 13th hole of the second round (matches were 36 holes back then) Hagen was on the brink of elimination. The sun was shining directly into Hagen’s eyes as he was about to hit his second shot on the par four. The lad offered his baseball cap to Hagen to shield his eyes. Hagen was extremely proud of his slicked-back, jet black hair and never wore a hat; however, he accepted the cap. As he swung, the cap fell to the ground, but the ball landed on the green and he won the hole. Hagen went on to win the match in extra holes over Joe Turnesa in the final championship the next day. Who was the lad that gave Hagen the cap? Byron Nelson!
The Club operated a few more years, but the stock market crash and subsequent depression had badly hurt the members of Cedar Crest. Within months, the club closed down. In April 1946 the City of Dallas Parks Department purchased the facility. It enjoyed little popularity initially. Much of the championship character was lost when the traps were filled in and the fairways widened to accommodate the anticipated increased play. The old clubhouse was torn down and replaced by an efficient, smaller structure. To expand the golf course in 1949, an additional 6.57 acres was purchased.
In 1954, Charles Sifford led the United Golf Association pro tournament at Cedar Crest. He won the tournament and $500.00. In 1954, the United States Golf Association held its first Public Links Tournament of the Southwest at Cedar Crest. In 2001, 2-story pro shop and reservation facility was completed and opened. The new facility pays homage to the original clubhouse built in 1919 by capturing the spirit of the original design. In 2004, Cedar Crest Golf Course completed a renovation project that included the addition of a practice range and a lake. Golf Professional D.A. Weibring, D.A. Weibring/Golf Resources Group, Inc., were the project designers.