FORT WORTH -- Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson caddied here, and battled on the greens and fairways.
The old Glen Garden country club course in Fort Worth has seen a lot of good shots in 102 years. Whiskey shots are another matter.
Marie Love recalls first hearing the proposal to replace the course with a distillery. The club has been financially strapped off and on for decades.
“We left there still puzzled as to why they would want to put a distillery in the middle of a residential neighborhood," Love said Thursday. She's president of the Glencrest Civic League and Neighborhood association.
Love went to the Firestone and Robertson Distilling Company in Fort Worth to learn what the owners want to build on the country club site.
The club is for sale. But it’s surrounded by homes that are not, including Pastor Carl Pointer’s.
“We’ve got thousands of people that live and work and worship in this community," he said. "Yet, two young men who want to make whiskey -- their interests override our concerns."
Opponents say they’ve collected over 11,000 petition signatures to block the project.
Firestone and Robertson produce an award-winning whiskey at their distillery and tasting showroom on Vickery Boulevard near downtown Fort Worth. But it’s cramped and industrial.
They put a contract on the Glen Garden course to build an upscale operation with meeting rooms; something along the lines of California wineries or famous distilleries on Kentucky’s bourbon trail.
The sale hinges on getting the zoning changed.
“The only thing we can do is fight the zoning," said Howard Rattlif, another neighbor.
This month, the zoning commission recommended denying the change as "incompatible land use." City council is scheduled to tee it up July 15.
Residents fear the zoning change will be approved. Jacque Hogan Towery said her uncle, Ben Hogan, would be furious.
“It would definitely break my heart. I know if my father and uncle were still alive, they’d be here fighting just as hard as I am," she said.
Thursday night, more than 100 people were expected to gather at Beth-Eden Missionary Baptist Church to pray against the distillery.