Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier, one of the foremost destination golf resorts in the country and the home to the annual PGA Tour FedExCup event, The Greenbrier Classic, has brought together four Hall of Fame golf icons, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino, to collaborate on a first-of-its-kind championship golf course, which broke ground last week at The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
The new mountain course, with dramatic elevation changes and spectacular vistas overlooking the historic Oakhurst Links course, is the first-ever collaboration between these four golf legends, and will be the centerpiece of Oakhurst, the newest neighborhood planned for The Greenbrier Sporting Club Subdivision. The course, which is set to open in fall 2016, is part of Jim Justice’s vision to one day host a major championship, including a possible U.S. Open, at The Greenbrier. In addition to the new 8,042-yard, 18-hole mountaintop championship golf course, other planned amenities for the Oakhurst neighborhood and for future use by members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club include: a private ski facility; a clubhouse; dining facilities; a pro shop; an outdoor pool; and fishing, hiking and biking areas.
The existing historic 9-hole Oakhurst Links course (the oldest golf club in America) will also be incorporated into this new planned neighborhood as part of The Greenbrier Sporting Club. Built in 1884 and purchased by The Greenbrier resort in 2012, Oakhurst Links is a 30-acre course, museum and clubhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located just a few miles north of The Greenbrier. Conventional golf clubs are not used at Oakhurst; golfers, often dressed in period golf attire, play with hickory-shafted clubs and hit gutta-percha balls off tees fashioned from sand and water, the way it was done more than 130 years ago.
“We are so thrilled and honored to welcome four of the greatest golfers who have ever played the game into The Greenbrier family to collaborate on this unprecedented golf course design, the very first of its kind anywhere in the world,” said Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier. “As a proud born-and-bred West Virginian, I could not be personally more excited to bring this incredible treasure to our state, which will bring golf lovers and travelers from around the world to The Greenbrier.”
“The ground-breaking for every project is a special moment and memory in the life of a golf course,” Jack Nicklaus said. “This time, you might say you have four old friends coming together for a new beginning at The Greenbrier.”
“This is such a unique piece of property and the golf course that we are building here will be unlike anything I have ever seen in all my years as an architect or player,” Arnold Palmer said. “The dramatic elevation changes will reveal spectacular views of the Alleghenies and it will surely be a memorable experience for anyone who plays here. I’m so pleased we are breaking ground and making this project a reality.”
“This collaboration is going well, and I am very pleased with the direction of the golf course,” Gary Player said. “It’s just a spectacular mountain setting. And the fact that we are moving dirt makes the project so tangible for those interested in a residence at Oakhurst. Now is a great time to consider a Founding Partnership.”
“This day is one for the history books,” said Lee Trevino, The Greenbrier’s Golf Pro Emeritus. “To be here with Jack, Gary and Arnold for the ground-breaking of such a special course for The Greenbrier Sporting Club – right next door to the oldest golf club in America – it’s just something really special for all of us involved. We’re all excited to have the routing plan completed and to move into the next design phase of strategy. It’s going to be a fun course!”
Upon purchase of a membership in The Greenbrier Sporting Club, Inc., the private equity club and residential community set amidst the 10,000-acre estate of The Greenbrier, residents of The Greenbrier Sporting Club Subdivision also will have use and access to exclusive Club amenities and activities. Membership also provides access to more than 55 activities at The Greenbrier resort.