May 12, 2017
Ashville, North Carolina - The Country Club of Asheville celebrated a grand reopening of its renovated golf course May 4-6 with the unveiling of a new practice facility. 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.
Last month, the Country Club of Asheville, the oldest private club in North Carolina with its origin dating back to 1894, unveiled its newly renovated golf course to the membership for the first time. The Donald Ross-designed golf course was closed for 348 days and redesigned under the guidance of Richard Mandell. The Pinehurst-based architect was in charge of reshaping and reconstructing all 18 greens to the original 1928 Ross design. After nearly a year of construction and a few battles with Mother Nature, the course reopened on April 14 with more than 180 members seeing the changes for the first time.
The member's re-opening weekend turned out to be a big hit. Long-time Country Club of Asheville member Clay Emerik, a fixture of the course prior to reconstruction, struck the inaugural tee shot.
Keeping in the spirit of what Donald Ross was known for - Pinehurst No. 2 being one of his more famous designs - the greens were re-shaped with plenty of slope and undulations designed to present a fair but challenging test on the putting surface. Numerous club members, some of more than 30 years, were astonished at how outstanding their golf course had become. CCA member Rick Arpin said, "I would kiss the architect if he were standing here right now... this place is beautiful."
"Country Club of Asheville members have a golf course and private club of which to be very proud," said CCA Head Golf Professional Matt Stewart. "The positive reviews of the course were overwhelming."
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."
In 2016 at Country Club of Asheville, McConnell Golf spent $3.7 million on capital projects, of which $3 million was devoted to the golf course renovation. That brought McConnell Golf's total investment since purchasing the Country Club of Asheville in late 2014 to more than $4.6 million.