While there are at least 35 courses that qualify to be charter members on the Blue Ridge Parkway Golf Trail, no fewer than 14 of them have been designed by famous course architects, one of them going back as far as 1927.
That would be the late and legendary Ronald Ross, who created the Asheville Municipal Course 84 years ago. During a long and notable career, the transplanted Englishman worked from his cottage near the famous Pinehurst No.2 course while designing more than 400 great venues across this nation.
Also on that list of 14 are several names most golfers would recognize— George Cobb, who did wonders at Augusta National, and the Robert Trent Jones Team which created a scenic gem two years ago at Sequoyah National near the very beginning of the emerging Blue Ridge Parkway Golf Trail.
Another masterpiece by the Arnold Palmer Design team was unveiled at Balsam Mountain Preserve. Naturally, Pete Dye used a few railroad ties next to the Virginia Tech campus. Add to that admirable list Robert Cupp, Ellis and Dan Maples, Rees Jones, and Bobby Weed, all members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).
A non-member also earned fame and fortune, Tom Jackson. For that matter, Lee Trevino designed a course now called Linville Falls Forest Preserve with help from Bruce Devlin, which has benefited from a recent and needed major renovation. Those guys switched back to playing after that experience.
A design team from England, Hawtree & Sons, established the remarkable Mt. Mitchell Golf Club not far from 6,000 feet above sea level at Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Eastern United States. The team did not join ASGCA.
Then there is the Draper Valley Country Club in Virginia which claims its course was designed by “Mother Nature.”
She has earned an honorary membership in the ASGCA.