Nashville's First 36-Hole Country Club
April 13, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsThe Club at Fairvue Plantation recently completes their second Nashville golf course, The Foxland Golf Course. “We’re a private club, so we’re pretty quiet about things, and haven’t made a big fuss regarding the Foxland Course.”
David Beard, Membership Director of the Club at Fairvue Plantation, is walking along the 11th hole of the Club’s recently completed Foxland Golf Course, and his image reflects in the stone lined lake guarding the green. It’s a picture book setting.
“Fairvue Plantation was a true rarity when it opened in the Summer of 2004”, Beard continues. “The Club essentially attained its target level of members before opening day which frankly has never happened before in Nashville or many other places. From day one the Club’s membership was about the same size as Richland and Hillwood” Beard says referencing two of Nashville’s oldest and most established private country clubs. “Our original course, which we now refer to as the Lakes course because of its holes that play along Old Hickory and our own Gracie Lake, is fantastic, probably one of the five best in Middle Tennessee. Its very picturesque and always in great condition. But as the Club’s membership continued to grow it wasn’t long before we realized that an additional golf course would be a good fit.”
While at least one other Club in the Nashville area, Belle Meade, has been rumored in the recent past to have considered constructing a second golf course, most have eschewed the notion and instead simply renovated their existing course, as Hillwood, Richland, The Golf Club of Tennessee and Belle Meade have all recently done or are in the process of doing. Often requiring at least 130 acres, the investment in land, construction and equipment to maintain a new course rarely totals less than $15 million, and most Clubs are unwilling to make such a commitment. Another likely reason no Nashville Clubs have made the leap to 36-holes is because none have the necessary acreage in direct proximity to their existing locations.
A few Clubs, the Capital City Club in Atlanta for instance, have constructed additional courses at sites removed from their original, but such an arrangement is very rare. Beard explains Fairvue Plantation’s advantage in overcoming this obstacle.
“Shortly after the Club was completed our owner, Mr. Leon Moore, who was also the developer of the Fairvue Plantation community, became involved in negotiations to acquire and develop the last large parcel of land on Old Hickory Lake which is just across the Station Camp inlet from Fairvue Plantation. All that separated that property, Foxland, from Fairvue was a few hundred yards of water. We grew comfortable with the notion of operating a second course that while not directly adjacent to our existing course, was only a few minutes away. You actually see the Foxland course quite clearly from the Lakes course”, Beard adds.
Construction of the Foxland course began in December 2005, and it will open to members this June. “As at Fairvue we sodded most of the Foxland Course”, Beard continues, “The only difference being we used a newer strain of zoysia called Cavalier. It’s like playing on carpet, with a much finer blade than the original zoysias. Bill Bergin designed the Lakes Course and we were so pleased with his work there that we used him again at Foxland. The playability of the Lakes course has always been one of its finest features”, Beard adds, “Lots of designers pay lip service to the notion of creating a course that ladies, older players and very competitive golfers can all enjoy, but Bill Bergin really achieved that at the Lakes course, and we wouldn’t change a blade of grass on it. But, because we already had a very playable course we asked Bill to make Foxland distinctly more challenging and to use a style that was very classic, like many of the courses built in the Northeast during the 1920s and 1930s.”
Bergin proved up to the task. “The terrain at Foxland is just perfect”, Bergin says. “There’s enough elevation change to keep things moving and create some wonderful vistas, but there’s never a point where you feel like you’re fighting against a hill, and the course is very walkable. They keep playing the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and Baltusrol and Shinnecock because the character of those designs is enduring, and I like to think we’ve captured a great slice of that character at Foxland”
Beard offers a quick echo to Bergin’s observations, “I’m probably not the most objective on this matter, but its very likely the Foxland Course’s design, conditioning and setting will cause it to be recognized as the best course in Nashville with the notable exception of Belle Meade, but certainly the best course built in the last 50 years. Having two courses is nice for sure”, Beard continues, “But what’s more important is that these are two very high quality designs with very high quality conditioning. Our members can stake claim to having two of the finest courses in the city at their fingertips”.
While Beard is effusive in his praise for the new course, he is tight lipped regarding the now 36-hole Club’s Initiation Fee. “We really reserve that discussion to situations where a family is actively evaluating joining the membership” Beard says, adding “What I can safely say is that our Initiation Fee has risen faster than any local Club, and it is north of $10,000”.
Before completing the tour of Foxland Beard pauses to point at the Lakes course’s 18th hole just across the inlet. “We are also planning to have water taxis that will be available for members who want to shuttle between the Foxland and Lakes Clubhouses on the water” Pondering this extra touch he finishes, “Sometimes more is better”.
For interviews and additional information contact Glynn Taylor 615-294-3372