McLemore Golf Club Opens New Design
By Dave Daubert
In Rising Fawn, a village nestled between Lookout and Pigeon Mountains in the heart of Northwest Georgia, McLemore Club has opened its new Highlands course, designed by celebrated golf course architects Rees Jones and Bill Bergin. Development firm Scenic Land Company has completely overhauled and rebranded the 2005 Rick Robbins original design at Canyon Ridge Club, located on a plateau of Lookout Mountain, to create a destination that attracts both resort guests and second-home owners.
The design team of Jones and Bergin was tasked with exposing the natural drama of the course while making it conducive to enjoyable golf. A new 18th hole is perched on a cliff edge. Bergin says, "Hole eighteen may become one of the most photographed holes in the Southeast. By moving the clubhouse site to the ground occupied by the original finishing hole, we were pushed to discover and build a golf hole on an amazing lower shelf along the eastern rim of the property."
The new clubhouse which will open in 2020 now sits often above the clouds, on the edge of the upper brow, overlooking the new eighteenth all the way to the base of McLemore Cove one thousand feet below. The old fairway has been completely repurposed as a delightful six-hole short course- the perfect spot to start or end and an amazing day at McLemore.
For the remaining seventeen holes, existing hole corridors have been utilized, reworking the green complexes, optimizing angles to the greens and overhauling the fairways and greenside bunkers allowing for increased playability. The area around all 17 green complexes has been expanded, offering diverse recovery options and allowing golfers to attack or navigate their way around the many natural challenges to the rugged site.
"I first worked together with Bill at the Country Club of Winter Haven, Florida in 2013," said Jones. "And when the opportunity to work with him again at McLemore again arose, we saw it as a chance to really deliver something special for Duane Horton, President, and the entire team at Scenic Land Development. The collaboration works because we share common ideas about strategy, playability and the way a golf hole should fit the landscape."
Forward tees have been added on every hole and the maintained areas have been widened to make the course more playable for golfers of all abilities, improving pace of play and reducing the number of lost golf balls. As a group, the par fives are the most improved holes, three of which offer distinct scoring opportunities, and one is a stern test for all players.
Starting with the opening hole on the edge of McLemore Cove and finishing at the amazing cliff on 18, the dynamic golf experience takes players on a journey strewn with boulders and native grasses. Wildlife is abundant and golfers often find themselves above the clouds looking down on majestic birds soaring over the Cove.
"We could not have asked for a greater spirit of collaboration and creativity on the project than what Rees and Bill brought to the table," said Horton. "From planning through execution, the expertise and artistry were matched only by their shared vision and passion for the design. Equally
impressive was their understanding of our site's unique mountaintop setting, respect for our overall plan and stewardship of the land. We are confident guests and members will appreciate and enjoy McLemore for generations to come."
McLemore Club is about a half-hour drive south of Chattanooga off of Interstate 59 and about two hours from Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville and Nashville. The Club has a 'stay and play' program available providing guests with many of the privileges of a McLemore member when staying in their club-managed properties. The residences are fully outfitted with all the comforts of home and sleep from 4 to 14 guests. Current natural amenities include both hiking and biking trails, scenic overlooks, rock climbing and more.
You need to experience this 'Island in the Sky.' Visit https://www.themclemore.com/ for more information on membership and home sales.
Revised: 11/19/2019 - Article Viewed 2,928 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Dave Daubert
David has been writing about golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years, published in Canada, the IAGTO and a Staff Writer for The Georgia Golf Trail. His insightful perspective brings golf to life.