The Country Club of Asheville: Classic & Classy

Setting the Standard for a Premier Country Club
By Charlene &Richard Mixa

No. 1 downhill par-4

No. 1 downhill par-4

Boasting a heritage that spans generations, the Country Club of Asheville is the oldest private club in Asheville and among the first hundred private clubs founded in America.  Initially established in 1894 as Swannanoa Country Club today the Country Club of Asheville continues to set the standard as a premier country club.  Perched on the lush green feet of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the outskirts of Asheville, members breathe in the stunning natural beauty while golfing, swimming, playing tennis or dining.  The camaraderie of families, friends, and hospitality are the primary focus of the Club.

Our golf story at the Country Club of Asheville begins on an early Sunday afternoon.  Arriving at their newly renovated clubhouse we find the dining room filled with members seeking a special Sunday lunch, morning and afternoon tee times booked, and staff busy checking in golfers. Friendliness and hospitality are apparent from the young man at the Bag Drop to the staff in the Pro Shop.  Their well-stocked Pro Shop offers a variety of golf equipment, accessories, and the latest in men’s and ladies golf fashions.

Whether one is seeking to hone their golf skills or warm up before a round of golf, the practice facilities feature both putting and chipping greens as well as a 25- tee driving range.  After warming up on the driving range we attempt to figure out the nuances at the putting green.  Richard drops 3 balls to practice putting.  “Where’d they go?”  The balls just roll off the green.  Looks like our putting skills will be tested today.

No. 7 par-4 fairway is like a valley

No. 7 par-4 fairway is like a valley

Now to experience golf the way it was meant to be played on this championship Donald Ross golf course.  The course underwent a top-to-bottom renovation in 2016 both restoring it to its original Ross design and adding necessary modern adaptation. With six sets of tees, we have options for yardage and difficulty that best meet our golfing skills.  From the Black tees it is 6648 yards (72.5/134) to the forward -Red Tees of 5016 yards (69.0/122).  Teeing off on No. 1 a par-4, from the top of the hill it’s a blind shot to the green at the bottom.  Second shots are from downhill fairways to a large undulating green.  From the first green we find putting a challenge.  Typical of other Donald Ross golf courses, the greens have plenty of undulation and are fast.  After the downhill first hole, we find holes more in the valley with wide open fairways and many large greens. Be prepared as a creek crosses No. 4 which also features an elevated green.  Valley fairways are also found where the ball will roll down to the center of the fairway.  Due to recent rains it is cart path only today, so it’s a lot of walking up and down hillsides, carrying multiple clubs and keeping track of where the golf cart is.  As the front nine winds back to the top of the hill storm clouds gather. With pars on No. 9 a par-4, we stop at the Grill on No. 10, just as the “lightning siren” blows and it starts to rain.  Perfect timing as we have a snack while we wait for the “all clear” siren.

No. 17 a par-3

No. 17 a par-3

With our trusty rain gear, we tee off on No. 10 to find it necessary for the right club selection to carry the creek on a drive.  Despite the rainfall the greens are draining well as are the fairways.  The back nine twists its way up and down a hillside.  A downhill hole is followed by an uphill hole.  Fairways are nice and wide so straight hitters will stay in the fairway.  The wet grass in the rough and around the greens make it difficult to extricate the ball with any touch.   No. 15 a par-4 takes us to the highest elevation on the course with an all uphill fairway to a huge green.  Here we find a stunning and spectacular view of downtown Asheville.  No. 16 a long par-5 for all golfers has several challenges to an elevated green. No. 17a par-3 is scenic with roses blooming at the tee box. As we approach No. 18 it is blue skies and sunshine.  The grand finale of No. 18 has a valley to cross to a dogleg left fairway.  Ugh!  We are all on the left making it a long walk from the cart path to the ball and back.  Despite the weather, we had an exciting and challenging afternoon of golf at this classy and classic golf course.

On our visit, golf was a primary focus.  The Country Club of Asheville offers its members a full scale premier facility where members can “Recharge, Rejuvenate and Relax  Amenities include an Olympic-size swimming pool, a brand-new fitness center, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, and their championship golf course.  Their culinary team offers dining in both a casual dining set and upscale dining venue.  Additionally, the Country Club of Asheville is part of McConnell Golf, the largest owner of private clubs in the region.  McConnell Golf’s stable of premier private clubs is comprised of eleven18 hole, private golf courses plus one nine-hole course in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

If you go:
Country Club of Asheville, 170 Windsor Road, Asheville, NC 28804
828.258.9183
www.ccofasheville.com

 

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About Charlene Mixa

Seeing new places, learning about cultures and seeing the sights has always been my dream. Growing up I was blessed with parents that enjoyed traveling and thought nothing of taking a family of seven on excursions. My career in Human Resources and later as a consultant for an international Human Resource firm offered some travel, but I knew as my husband and I approached retirement, my goal was to do more traveling and broader trips. The nine years since retirement has been filled with fantastic adventures from short local one day trips to several week excursions. Living in Florida, it is especially enjoyable to be away in the summer to cooler climates. Multi-week driving trips across the good ol' USA, settling in for a month in the mountains to explore the local area, or a combination of both fill much of our summer season. Our travels are predominantly self-orchestrated, bringing the fun and challenge of getting everything to click. It's all about doing and sharing! Experiencing a travel adventure is exciting. Reliving a special travel moment with a friend or family is exhilarating. I feel my heart race and pulse quicken, as I sharing that special moment. Thank you for joining in my travel adventures and allowing me to hear your stories.