Percy Warner GC, opened in 1937, will reopen in late 2023
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Percy Warner Golf Course, one of Nashville’s historic public golf courses, will close for 11 months while undergoing a massive renovation project.
The course will close in November while architect Bruce Hepner oversees the renovations and enhancements to the city-run 18-hole golf course.
Percy Warner Golf Course is expected to reopen in September 2023.
Nashville’s Metro Parks and Recreation, the Tennessee Golf Foundation, and Friends of Warner Parks are partnering to restore the golf course and surrounding landscape.
“After a decade of collaboration and planning, we have achieved the public-private partnership necessary to complete this historic restoration project and enhance the game of golf for all of Nashville,” Jenny Hannon, President of Friends of Warner Parks, said.
Who was Percy Warner?
The course is named for a Nashville businessman who was civically active in the city in the early 20th Century. He served on the Nashville Board of Park Commissioners and helped save Nashville’s Centennial Park. Warner died in 1927.
Percy Warner Golf Course opened ten years later as Nashville’s second public golf course. Throughout its 84-year history, the course has been credited with introducing more people to the game of golf than any other course in Nashville – among them 2012 FedExCup Champion Brandt Snedeker.
The course remains extremely popular, with an average of 26,813 rounds played annually over the past 10 years.
Friends of Warner Parks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the Warner Parks through comprehensive land and resource management, historic site restoration and educational programming.
Their vision is to create a modern, sustainable course that will inspire a connection to nature and introduce the greater Nashville community to the Warner Parks.
Improvements will include modern green complexes
If the project sounds familiar, the City of Memphis recently renovated one of its historic courses – the nine-hole Overton Park course. That course was revamped under the direction of King/Collins Golf and used city funds and private funds for the project.
Improvements to Percy Warner Golf Course will include:
- Installation of a new irrigation system. The current system is over 50 years old and utilizes galvanized pipe. Replacing the irrigation with a modern automated system will improve efficiency, improve turf quality and free up vital labor hours.
• Creation of a one-of-a-kind practice area with putting greens, a short game training area, and practice bunkers. The goal is to create two or three holes in a short course arrangement that would serve for both public use and instructional programming.
• Replacement of summer and winter putting greens and green surrounds with one modern green complex. The current greens were originally built in 1937 and feature a double-green system. Replacing those with one green complex on each hole will improve playability, smoothness, consistency and maintenance efficiency.
• Improvement and expansion of tee boxes and bunkers. The current tee boxes are small and uneven. Expanding and leveling them, as well as creating some new tee boxes, will improve turf quality and playability for all ages and skill levels.
• Restoration and management of golf course woodlands and surrounding landscape. Modern design features will elevate the aesthetics of the course, not only benefiting golfers, but also the neighboring community and park visitors.
Emphasis on juniors, veterans
As part of the Percy Warner Golf Course project, an endowment will be established to support annual needs for equipment, maintenance, junior golf programming and staffing.
The Tennessee Golf Foundation will use its involvement in the project to expand junior golf programming opportunities to Percy Warner, including The First Tee and PGA Junior League.
Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., the TGF impacts more than 40,000 golfers across the state annuall. It has an emphasis on juniors, veterans and the disadvantaged.
“Percy Warner Golf Course has a long history of providing a haven for golfers, of all ages, to learn, grow, and enjoy the game,” Whit Turnbow, President of the Tennessee Golf Foundation, said. “As a foundation, we are proud to partner with Metro Nashville and Friends of Warner Park to assist in the rebirth of such a historic venue.”
The total cost of the Percy Warner Golf Course improvements will be approximately $2 million, and $500,000 of that is still needed.
A “Restoration Celebration” will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m.Oct. 26 at the Percy Warner Golf Course Clubhouse, 1221 Forrest Park Dr., Nashville.
The gathering is open to the public and will feature BBQ, brews and bluegrass music. You can register to attend at WarnerParks.org/golf.
Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News
Photos courtesy Darren Reese, Tennessee Golf Foundation