In what's certainly becoming a trend at some of America's best golf destinations, the historic Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., will soon be opening The Ashford Short Course.
Following other premium short courses at resorts like Bandon Dunes (Bandon Preserve), Pinehurst Resort (The Cradle) and Sand Valley (The Sandbox) in Wisconsin, The Ashford Short Course is a walking nine-hole loop of par-3 holes open to members and guests at at The Greenbrier and The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
The new course, with holes that range from 53 yards to 122 yards in length, is scheduled to open in August. It's the fifth course at the resort and club, joining the – Old White TPC Course, host of The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour, the redesigned Meadows Course and The Snead Course, an award-winning Tom Fazio design exclusive to members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club. Greenbrier PGA Tour ambassador Phil Mickelson is currently renovating the other course at The Greenbrier, The Greenbrier Course. The Greenbrier Course was the host course for the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup Matches.
The holes on the new Ashford Course pay tribute to revered architects and courses around the world and provide a relaxed family environment that will be entertaining for golfers of all levels and abilities. For example, the first hole, named the Lions Mouth, plays to a double green shared with the "Duel" hole. A large ridge that dissects the two holes splits the green. A "Lions Mouth" bunker, guards the front right of the green. The Lions Mouth is a concept that Seth Raynor and C.B. MacDonald used on many of their courses. This hole plays approximately 76 yards.
Some other examples include the "Punchbowl" fourth, "Reverse Redan" eighth and "Plateau" Ninth, which has a double-shelved putting surface.
"The Greenbrier is known around the world for first-class golf, and this is just another example of our commitment to giving guests what they desire," said Robert Harris, vice president of golf at The Greenbrier. "The Ashford will provide an opportunity for something new and different on days where guests and members just don’t have time to play 18 holes. We’re incredibly excited to add The Ashford to The Greenbrier collection."
In addition to providing a place for beginners or an experienced golfer to work out the rust in his or her short game, the course will host unique events like night golf and closest to the pin contests.
The new course's name, The Ashford, pays tribute to the history at The Greenbrier and remembers a unique moment in The Greenbrier's more than 240-year past.
In 1942, the historic resort was sold to the United States Army, and it became a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers during World War II. Named for Army physician Col. Bailey K. Ashford, Ashford General Hospital treated more than 25,000 soldiers from 1942 through 1946. It employed 45 doctors, 100 nurses and 500 enlisted men, along with hundreds of volunteers. The recovering servicemen benefited by using The Greenbrier’s immaculate facilities – including the pool, the golf courses and the tennis courts – during their recovery.
"We’re incredibly proud of our history at The Greenbrier, and we want to do all we can to make sure it isn’t lost," said Dr. Jill Justice, president of The Greenbrier. "The Ashford name honors the men and women who spent time here in service to this great country, and it fits perfectly on this exciting new course.