This past weekend the Country Club of Asheville unveiled its newly renovated golf course to the membership for the first time. The golf course was closed for 348 days and redesigned under the guidance of Richard Mandell. Mandell was in charge of reshaping and reconstructing all 18 greens to the original 1928 Donald Ross design. After almost a year of construction and a few battles with Mother Nature, the course reopened on Friday, April 14th with over 180 anxious members seeing the changes for the first time.
The member’s re-opening weekend turned out to be a big hit. The inaugural tee shot was struck at 8am by long-time Country Club of Asheville member Clay Emerik, a fixture of the course prior to reconstruction as he frequently walked the 18 hole track. The weather could not have turned out better for the first day of golf on the new course with three great days of highs in the upper 70s, an abundance of sunshine and very little wind.
Overall the reviews of the course were fantastic. Keeping in the spirit of what Donald Ross was known for, Pinehurst #2 being one of his more famous designs, the greens were re-shaped with lots of slope and undulations that were designed to present a fair but challenging test on the putting green. CCA member Rick Arpin exclaimed, “I would kiss the architect if he were standing here right now... this place is beautiful!” Numerous club members, some of more than 30 years, were astonished at how great their golf course had become. With warmer summer weather on the way, the course will get better and better as the new grasses on the property start to prosper and fill in.
The Grand Reopening Event is scheduled for Friday, May 5th through Sunday the 7th when the practice facility will be unveiled. With the addition of a larger practice tee that offers more space for players to work on their game and a newly added short game area to fine tune chipping, pitching, and bunker play, the club will offer not only a new course but a more modern practice area for all to enjoy.
Rounding out McConnell Golf’s $4.6 million investment to the club’s facilities since 2014, Country Club of Asheville members have a golf course and private club to be very proud of. After enjoying three rounds during opening weekend CCA member (and Club Champion) Pat Thompson declared, “We are going to be as good as it gets when it comes to golf courses in Western North Carolina!”
Pictured Above: Rich Ford, Clay Emerick, Bob Gelder, and Rod Pennington were the first members to tee off