Oakhurst Links Continues the Original Tradition of Golf in Ameri - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Oakhurst Links Continues the Original Tradition of Golf in America

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS -

 The Greenbrier Resort has been very popular recently hosting some of the greatest names in Golf for the groundbreaking of a brand new golf course. The interesting story is that Oakhurst, is home to one of the oldest golf courses in America.

 Over a hundred and twenty years ago, a guy named Russell Montague bought land in White Sulphur Springs to get away from the city life on the Atlantic Coast. He was then approached by a neighbor, George Grant, who proposed the design of a golf course on Montague's land for a group of friends to play together.

 "It's the first place that they actually designed a golf course," said Greenbrier Historian, Dr. Robert Conte. There really hadn't been a designed golf course before that, 9 holes. So they design a course, they play it on a regular basis, they have a competition, and then, as I say, it kind of dies away, which is the reason most people have never heard of Oakhurst."

 In 1959, Golf legend, Sam Snead introduced Louis Keller to the Montague family and ultimately Keller bought the property. However, Keller turned the land into a horse farm, and the course is all but forgotten. 

 In 1994, Keller met with a golf architect named Bob Cup and eventually created what is now Oakhurst Links. "And so, in 1994, they opened it again. For those who want to play golf the old fashioned way," says Conte.

 Today, Oakhurst Links keeps the traditions alive by playing the game with hickory shafted clubs, gutta percha golf balls, proper golf attire, and sand tee boxes, making the game much different than today's play. Oakhurst is also the home of the National Hickory Championship, where golf enthusiasts enjoy the way the game used to be played.

 The course is now closed for the season, but for all golfers, next year the course will be open again to all hotel guests. The brand new course, which is being designed by some of golf's greatest players, is scheduled to be complete in the Fall of 2016, and will be operated by the Greenbrier Sporting Club. 

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