2017 Progress Edition
These local businesses support the local arts, theater, and entertainment in our region.
Country Club of Bristol
The Oldest Country Club in Tennessee
Back in the mid-90s – the 1890s – the economic prospects of NE Tennessee were looking up. The railroads were a major contributor to the new-found prosperity. It was at this time that an investor from the Northeast came to the area. He had been a golfer back in Boston, and it wasn't long before he and some friends from Bristol proposed the establishment of a golf club. The group agreed, and in 1894 they formed the Association which is now the Country Club of Bristol, thus becoming the birthplace of organized golf in the state of Tennessee.
The first course was then built on land that was owned by the Bristol Land Co. and was loaned to the club for development that was pending for residential homes. It was then located at the upper end of Park Street near the site that is now Sullins Academy and the United Coal Company. In September of 1900, The members decided that they wanted to own their course. They incorporated and had a charter recorded to make that possible.
The club evolved on several different tracts of land, first near the Fairmont School and then on Maple Street near the present King University. It was 1933 before the club owned its land, fulfilling the 1900 plan.
Nevertheless, the club moved in the 1959-60 period, and they got the clubhouse completed.
The course itself features a challenging 6,474-yard, par-71 layout that was situated on 150 acres of rolling hills. The course was then reshaped in 1999 by the Mark McCumber design group. The changes were executed by Course Crafters, the same company responsible for reshaping Augusta National.The Country Club of Bristol is proud to be the home course for both King University and Tennessee High; youth golf is the future of the game, and the club wants to be a part.
So, the oldest Country Club in Tennessee and one of the oldest in the country has quite a history all right. But the best is yet to come. After enduring some rather well-documented difficulties over the recent past, the Club has emerged with a solid management team and aggressive plans to get all aspects of the “Country Club” experience going again. Shelbees on the Green, the club restaurant, and bar, serves top-notch food and drinks and is becoming the center of club activity again. Now featuring live music on Saturdays and with a refurbished ballroom to handle larger affairs, the club is well-positioned to become a hub for the membership and the surrounding area. Their Valentine’s Day special dinner for couples, offered on two different days, is the latest example of the club’s positive direction.
With the club’s resurgence, they want to attract as many members as possible (423) 652-1700 or email Patrick@ccob.club). Country Clubs are great fun and good places to meet new people. Maybe you should give it a try. Oh, and you can always read The Loafer in Shelbees!