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Steeped in History, Greystone’s Golf Future is Bright

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Greystone Member Nick Dunlap is taking the golf world by storm. He’s already joined Tiger Woods as the only other player ever to win both the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Amateur titles. In 2023, Nick played in the U.S. Open on a PGA Tour event in Bermuda and helped Team USA win the World Team Amateur Championship in Abu Dhabi. Not bad for a 19-year-old.

Nick has worked extremely hard, taking advantage of both the championship-level courses and the excellent practice facilities available at Greystone, to put himself in a position to write the next chapter in the Club’s history of golf. That history goes back to well before Nick’s birth and begins with legendary golf ambassador Bob Hope.

Laying the Foundation at Founders

A different famous Bob–Bob Cupp–designed the Founders Course at Greystone when it opened in 1991. “There wasn’t even a real clubhouse right away,” says Steve Smith, PGA, Director of Golf at Greystone.  

It’s hard to imagine now, but home construction started slowly around Greystone. “Then they got the Bruno's Memorial Classic, which was a big, big deal and the place just exploded,” says Steve.

In 1992, Bob Hope opened that first national tournament with a ceremonial drive that welcomed the world of professional golf to Greystone.

In the coming years, Membership grew and those Members wanted more golf. In 1998, the 600 or so Members approved a second 18-hole course and hired legendary course architect Rees Jones to design it.

Steve remembers walking through the thick woods in the valley at the base of Double Oak Mountain with the crews using nothing but topographical maps and their instincts to lay out the golfer’s paradise. Steve remembers the reaction when the Legacy Course opened to Members in 2000. “Immediately it was like, ‘Wow!’ This thing is awesome. It’s tight. The greens were firm, they had big grass fairways.”

Creating a Legacy of Developing Golf Stars

Members wanted to show off their new gem and the Greystone Invitational was created as a National Amateur Championship in 2001. It grew to become one of the top amateur events. Players from around the world came to compete in it, including future Masters Tournament winner Patrick Reed.

Greystone’s reputation for developing young players continues today through the work of the Blackburn Golf Academy. Its Director, Mark Blackburn, was named the 2020 PGA National Teacher and Coach of the Year and more recently, the #1 Golf Teacher in America by Golf Digest in 2023. The Blackburn Golf Academy is also equipped with several other PGA Pro instructors like Liz Mattioli, LPGA, who has become a site director for USGA Girls Golf since joining Greystone, teaching girls of all ages every Saturday and growing the golf among young girls in our community.

Young players like Chase Kyes (who won the Alabama High School State Championship in 2023) are flocking to Greystone for the opportunity to train.

“We have a waitlist for our Player Development Membership,” says Steve. “We've got 25 kids who are Members just by themselves and I see them out here all day, every day when school is not in. It's a great tool for them and you get to see a bunch of their names when you're watching the results in golf tournaments.”

Creating Golf History with Tradition

After leaving for several years, the Bruno Memorial Classic returned to Greystone in 2016 as the Regions Tradition—and it had been elevated to one of the five major championships on the PGA Tour of Champions.

Now, each May the eyes of the golf world turn to Greystone to see some of the biggest names compete. Club Members get VIP access to be up close to the World Golf Hall of Famers and enjoy special exclusive events. The week of festivities includes a Celebrity Pro-Am that draws huge crowds, music stars, and athletes like Charles Barkley and Bo Jackson.

The Regions Tradition is a showcase for both the quality of golf and the exceptional beauty that Greystone Members get to enjoy every day. It’s no wonder the tournament has signed on to call Greystone home through at least 2032.

From the budding juniors carrying the game forward, to the many PGA Pros who call the Club home, to the PGA Tour Champions who return each spring to compete in the Regions Tradition, Greystone’s legacy, and future place in golf lore are well secured. download the golf guide at this link