A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier returns to the historic Old White TPC Golf Course September 9-15, 2019, and the PGA TOUR’s annual stop at The Greenbrier will continue to honor the men and women of the United States Military, as well as first responders, as the anniversary of September 11, 2001, is recognized.
Along with a fresh date, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier also has a new Executive Tournament Director in Robert Harris, the Vice President of Golf at America’s Resort.™
Recruited to The Greenbrier in 1991 as the Director of Golf, Harris has served in many different capacities during his nearly three decades at America’s Resort,™ including overseeing all of the resort’s recreational activities. Before coming to The Greenbrier, Harris was the Director of Golf at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and the Head Golf Professional at The Resort at Glade Springs. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Harris has been a PGA of America Class A member since 1980.
Harris is a graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a MS in Psychology. He is married to Judith Walz-Harris, a practicing attorney, and the couple has three grown children (one is currently a member of the U.S. Armed Forces) and four young grandchildren spread across the globe.
“I am thrilled and honored to be able to lead this fantastic tournament that brings the best golfers in the world to The Greenbrier each year,” said Harris. “We are extremely proud of the history and tradition of golf here at America’s Resort,™ and A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier gives us the opportunity to showcase our amazing golf offerings to the world, while honoring the military and our first responders.”
Flowers at The Greenbrier’s golf clubhouse
HNS Sports Group, a tournament management company based in Dublin, Ohio, has been retained to support Harris and the tournament management team in all facets of the business operation. HNS Sports Group has been leading and supporting professional and charity golf tournaments in the United States and throughout the world since 2000.
“HNS Sports Group is proud to join The Greenbrier team in support of managing the golf tournament this coming September. Over the years, HNS has enjoyed working on behalf of The Greenbrier since the tournament’s inception and we are looking forward to our elevated role this year.” said Dan Sullivan, Managing Partner.
Helicopter and Paratrooper at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier 2018 / Photo by Mike Wyatt / Greenbrier Photography
In addition to seven days of world-class golf, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier will also feature fantastic fan experiences such as military flyovers, a paratrooper skydive, a kids zone, and much more. The tournament rounds September 12-15 will be aired live around the world on the Golf Channel.
This year, another widely-popular event at America’s Resort,™ The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, will take place during A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, adding to the incredible fan experiences throughout the 11,000 acres. The annual tennis showcase will take place on the evenings of September 13 and September 14 at Center Court at Creekside, the beautiful 2,500-seat tennis stadium, which opened in 2012. Information about tickets and the participating players will be announced at a later date.
A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier Trophy
Since its debut in 2010, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, formerly known as The Greenbrier Classic, has drawn the top golfers on the PGA TOUR to The Old White TPC, a 1914 CB Macdonald classic. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, Xander Schauffele, and Greenbrier Sporting Club member Bubba Watson are just a few of the stars who have walked the fairways of The Old White TPC during tournament play.
Tickets for A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier will go on sale in May and will be accompanied by additional details on other exciting attractions to be hosted tournament week. All tournament information, including ticket availability, will be offered online at www.amilitarytribute.com or by calling 888-598-7380. Room reservations are available now by calling The Greenbrier at 844-317-4099 Option 4 or visiting www.greenbrier.com.
Golf Aficionado magazine named The Snead “Best Course 2018,” receiving a rating of 4.75 out of 5, one of the best ratings on record. The golf course was scored on several elements, including impeccable service, course conditions, challenge, and a fair test of golf.
“What makes ‘The Snead’ course unique to other breathtaking golf courses is that you don’t just view the scenery, you play the scenery.”
To view the original article, including additional imagery, please click on the thumbnail below.
Opens new window: golfaficionadomag.com
The Snead at The Greenbrier Sporting Club
By Jason Naft / November 15, 2018
Following 2 rounds on the Highland Course at Primland Resort we drove across the Virginia/West Virginia border yelling the customary “Ya-hoo!” as we crossed into West Virginia. The second and final leg of this year’s Golf Aficionado Ultimate Golf Trip had us headed to The Greenbrier!
The Greenbrier, known as America’s Resort,™ is world famous for being one of the finest vacation destinations for family and luxury travel for more than two centuries, but to really experience the best of what The Greenbrier has to offer, one must have the privilege of exploring its crown jewel, their private club, appropriately named “The Sporting Club.”
The Sporting Club has every possible activity imaginable, but it is headlined by “The Snead,” a fabulous golf course designed by legendary golf architect Tom Fazio. When you think of golf at The Greenbrier your first thought would most likely be TPC Old White. After all, who could blame you, we see TPC Old White showcased every year as the PGA Tour descends upon the resort for A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, formerly known as The Greenbrier Classic. However, those lucky enough to have access to The Sporting Club will get “The Snead” experience, and boy is it an experience!
“The Snead” which is named after Hall of Famer and the resorts favorite son, Sam Snead. Sam grew up in the mountains of nearby Hot Springs, Virginia. Sam Snead is one of the all-time great golfers, having won 7 major titles (Masters 3x, PGA Champ 3x, and 1x Open Championship). He holds the record for most tournaments won all-time on the PGA Tour at 82! He was the money leader on tour three times with his 1950 tour-best $35,759….times have certainly changed. And one last Sam Snead cool fact, he has hit a hole in one with every single club in his bag with the exception of his putter…and I am still searching for my first. The bottom line, if The Greenbrier’s private club is going to name a course after Sam Snead, it better deliver on the highest level. Foreshadowing….it sure does!
Like all golf rounds, the first impression is the clubhouse. The Sporting Club clubhouse sets the tone, with its massive stonework façade and wooden doors to the grand spiral staircase you see on the right as you enter. In the distance, you can see the 18th green through the two-story floor to ceiling windows that surround the dining room in front of you. We entered the pro shop and were greeted with a sense of warmth and attentiveness. The Snead pro shop is not large, but has all the items you need with the best brands in the business. As you walk outside, encased in glass are Sam Snead’s Masters Green Jacket, the Open Championship trophy, and Ryder Cup captain jacket. How cool is that? Also, on display are his fishing and hunting trophies, something most people probably didn’t know about Sam Snead. Around the corner is the current course record scorecard set by member Bubba Watson. At this point, everyone in the group knows they are in for a special round.
We hop on our golf carts for a short drive over a wooden bridge, past meandering streams, and in front of us is a large practice area, consisting of a chipping section with multiple bunkers, driving range, and putting green. We are greeted in a gently cordial manner by the starter as he gets to know us better. At the range are the aiming sticks, golf club cleaning stations, and Pro V1 practice balls…no red or green stripes on range balls here. After a short time warming up, I sat down on the oversized Adirondack chairs on the range itself, waiting for the last ones to finish warming up on the driving range. Time to head out!
We’re captivated by the beautiful nature of the Appalachian Mountains surrounding us in every direction, as this is a valley. As you stare down the first hole, we recognize the courses overall magnificent condition. Imagine perfect flat rectangular tee boxes, lush rolling fairways, combined with large, well-positioned Tom Fazio bunkers. Later, we will realize that the greens are quick, but not too fast, yet very true. It’s time to tee off, so let’s explore just a little further the experience at The Sporting Club’s Snead golf course.
Each hole is appropriately named, just as it is at Augusta National. My favorite holes and their corresponding names were as follows: Ante Up (Hole #1), Stonewall (Hole #7), and the amazing stretch home featuring Howard’s Creek (Hole #14), Postage Stamp (Hole #15), Allegheny Vista (Hole #16), and Swan Song (Hole #18).
The Snead Hole #1 Ante Up
Hole #1: appropriately named Ante Up (we decided to play a game of Wolf for this round). I love how a golf course opens up with a straightforward 1st hole, “what you see is what you get.” This hole does have a stream down the entire left side of the fairway and a bunch of punishing bunkers in front of an elevated green. Hit a straight tee shot and reasonable approach, you are putting for birdie. Essentially a fair first hole.
The Snead Hole #7 Stonewall
Hole #7: Stonewall, (the first of three great holes on the other side of Sam Snead Blvd). On this par 5, Bubba Watson got an eagle, but there is no way I am thinking of carrying the creek 235 yards and over the stone wall in 2 shots. The green moves strongly from back to front and right to left.
The Snead Hole #14 Howard’s Creek
Hole #14: Howard’s Creek has a world-class tee shot as it uses the terrain of Howard’s Creek that you must cross, as well as avoid down the left-hand side. It comes into play again for your approach. Don’t miss left.
The Snead Hole #15 Postage Stamp
Hole #15: Postage Stamp starts with a fun drive up the mountain in your cart. You stand what seems to be on top of the world as you take on a short 100-yard par 3. Left and you’re in the woods, and the green is just that…a postage stamp.
The Snead Hole #16 Allegheny Vista
Hole #16: Allegheny Vista is without a doubt the signature hole on the course and if Golf Aficionado had a best 18 in the world, it would be a contender. Your tee shot must carry a creek and reach the fairway at the bottom of the mountain. Hit a good drive and watch it for about 10 seconds as it sails seemingly forever to the fairway below. A reachable green in 2 awaits, but the green has tons of tricks to it, so don’t take your approach lightly, even if you lay up.
The Snead Hole #18 Swan Song
Hole #18: Another appropriately named hole, Swan Song….does this round really have to end? A tough tee shot with long grass and bunkers on the left and a creek on the right. Your approach to the green is guarded by the gorgeous clubhouse in the background and guarded by a green that runs off towards the creek.
What makes “The Snead” course unique to other breathtaking golf courses is that you don’t just view the scenery, you play the scenery. This, combined with impeccable service, course conditions, and a good challenge, yet fair test of golf is why all of us fell in love with “The Snead.”
A side note worth mentioning is the nice conversation we had after the round with the person that sets the tone for The Sporting Club, VP and General Manager Larry Klein. Mr. Klein took his time to really learn about Golf Aficionado and shared with us a little more about the course and its facilities, like the opening of their brand new 9-hole short course and John Smoltz setting the current course record. He was attentive, yet warm and relaxed, which is why the entire club exudes this level of professional and connectivity to its guests/members.
The Snead at The Greenbrier Sporting Club Rating 4.75 out of 5
At 4.75, “The Snead” earned one of the best ratings on record at Golf Aficionado. From the moment you walk thru the clubhouse doors you know that you’ve arrived at a special place. A clubhouse where you might bump into Phil, Bubba, or former MLB stars like John Smoltz, accompanied by first class service from The Sporting Club staff, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
The newest addition to the award-winning golf offerings at The Greenbrier and The Greenbrier Sporting Club follows in the tradition of excellence that has become synonymous with “America’s Resort™,” but it also provides a fresh and unique option for today’s modern golfer.
The Ashford Short Course at The Greenbrier Sporting Club is a walking-only 9-hole loop of par 3 holes, ranging from 56 to 112 yards in length. The holes pay tribute to revered architects and courses around the world and provide a relaxed family environment that is entertaining for golfers of all levels and abilities. Available for both members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club and guests of The Greenbrier, the newest golf offering perfectly complements the courses already in place – The Old White TPC, which hosts “A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier” (formerly called “The Greenbrier Classic”) annually, the redesigned Meadows Course, which features signature stacked sod bunkers, The Greenbrier Course, currently open as a nine-hole routing, and The Snead Course, an award-winning Tom Fazio design exclusive to members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
“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 provides 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 to learn the game, or an experienced golfer to work out the rust in his or her short game, the course plans to host unique events like night golf and closest to the pin contests. The new course’s name, The Ashford Short Course, pays tribute to the rich 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, 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.”
Set in the valley floor with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, the course is accompanied by seven new homesites for members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
“With its close proximity to The Members’ Lodge, the course is convenient for all of our members before or after lunch or dinner, or anytime they have a little extra time,” said Larry Klein, Vice President and General Manager of The Greenbrier Sporting Club. “We can’t wait for everyone to try it.”
To learn more about The Ashford Short Course, including the course routing and hole-by-hole images and descriptions, visit our amenities page.
Click here to watch WDBJ7’s video, taken August 22, 2018, during the grand opening ceremony, where member John Smoltz hit the ceremonial first tee shot.
Golf Course Designer: Kelly Shumate
Golf Digest ranked The Greenbrier’s Old White TPC golf course number 2 out of 10 top courses in the TPC network. Golf Digest’s course-ranking panelists based their scoring on the most recent America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and Best in State rankings.
To learn more about The Old White TPC, click here.
Click the thumbnail to view the article online
The best TPC golf courses
The 10 best golf courses in the TPC network (as ranked by Golf Digest’s course-ranking panelists)
By Stephen Hennessey
You likely know that TPC Sawgrass started the Tournament Players Club movement in the 1980s as the first PGA Tour-owned and operated club. But do you know the origin of the concept of stadium golf, and how the TPC golf courses network grew since Sawgrass’ debut 38 years ago? Much credit is due to Deane Beman, whose legendary commissionership included the immense expansion of the tour’s footprint, which included with a new network of courses. In 1988, the PGA Tour owned eight courses. Today, the TPC network includes 32 courses, both private and public-access, across three continents, with many other facilities either being sold or renamed since.
Is TPC Scottsdale and its raucous 16th hole the true origin of “stadium golf?” Or is it TPC Sawgrass? It’s neither in fact—the history of “stadium golf” may have started with a fan named Ford Hubbard who conceived of a “spectator golf course” all the way back in 1947, according to Golf Digest’s Ron Whitten. In 1953, Golf Digest ran a diagram of Hubbard’s design: a circular course routing, clubhouse in the center, with holes radiating like spokes in a wheel. Surrounding the clubhouse was a circular berm, which had bleacher-like tiers for “Possible Stadium Arrangement.”
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Hubbard patented his “Sports Theatre for Golf” idea in 1951, but no one ever bought it. His concept was simply 20 years ahead of its time. In the 1970s, weekly Ryder Cup-type events were held among pro golfers under the International Professional Golf League, which was founded by American Basketball Association co-founder Constantine Seredin and architect William F. Mitchell. Interestingly, Beman, then a tour player, played in at least one of these events. Though he might’ve had the idea for stadium golf already, the idea pre-dated him in some ways. But the PGA Tour commissioner, who our Jerry Tarde calls the most important sports commissioner of all time for bringing the PGA Tour from a mom-and-pop organization to a global leader in pro sports, deserves the credit for having the vision for creating and running the TPC network.
With the PGA Tour visiting its fourth straight TPC-branded course this week at TPC Deere Run—coming off stops at Old White TPC at The Greenbrier resort, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Maryland and TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. for the Travelers Championship—here’s a look at the best TPC courses—ranked in the order our Golf Digest course-ranking panelists scored them based on our most recent America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses ranking and Best in State rankings.
2. The Greenbrier (Old White TPC): Designed by C.B. Macdonald and opened in 1914, this is one of the architectural gems that the PGA Tour visits. Following devastating floods at The Greenbrier and surrounding areas in 2016, Keith Foster directed restoration efforts, earning Golf Digest honors for Best Restoration at a public course, an honor the course also won in 2007. Old White TPC sits at No. 31 on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public ranking.
Cam Huffman, Director of Pubic Relations and Content
The PGA TOUR officially approved the rebranding of The Greenbrier Classic to A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. The annual PGA TOUR FedExCup stop at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV, will begin using the new name and logo immediately.
“We want the world to know that the military comes first, and our focus is on those men and women above everything else,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. “Our new name reflects our commitment to celebrating and honoring the United States Military with everything we do.”
The tournament’s focus on the military will expand far beyond the name change. Active military, as well as veterans, will be admitted to A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier free of charge, and they will receive complimentary access to the Stars and Stripes Outpost. The air-conditioned building includes seating, televisions, private bathrooms and food and beverage for sale.
Tuesday, July 3, will be Military Appreciation Day, and all veterans and active military will be presented with a voucher for a complimentary lunch.
As the United States celebrates its independence on July 4, the tournament will join the festivities with a fly-over and other events to commemorate America’s birthday at America’s Resort.
“Our state has more military members per capita than any other state, and those men and women are unbelievably important to us,” said Governor Justice. “This entire tournament is a tremendous way for all West Virginians to show their appreciation.”
The Greenbrier, which has hosted the tournament since 2010, also has a close connection to the military. More than 70 Team Members on staff at America’s Resort have served in the military, and 27 United States presidents have visited the grounds of The Greenbrier. From 1942 through 1946, the United States Army took full control of The Greenbrier and operated the 2,000-bed Ashford General Hospital. During that five-year stretch, more than 24,000 soldiers were treated at the surgical and rehabilitation center.
From 1961 through 1992, a secret government fallout shelter was maintained in a constant state of readiness at The Greenbrier. It was meant to house members of the United States Congress in the event of an attack on America. The 112,544-square-foot facility housed 18 dormitories, a clinic, a laboratory, a pharmacy, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, a communication room, and more. It was decommissioned in 1992 after being exposed in The Washington Post, and today tours are offered to registered hotel guests and the general public.
“The connection between The Greenbrier and the United States Military is undeniable,” said Dr. Jill Justice, President, The Greenbrier. “We’re proud of that history and equally proud of the men and women who help protect our freedom today. We couldn’t be more excited about showing that appreciation through the name change and hosting a tournament focused on honoring the military.”
The 2018 Military Tribute at The Greenbrier will be held July 2-8 on the historic Old White TPC Course.