Since its opening in 1963, the mission of Gainesville Country Club has always been the same: To offer its members a lifestyle that includes high quality recreational facilities, member services and social opportunities in an open, friendly and family-oriented environment.
The first part – high quality recreational facilities – has easily been accomplished. Since taking over management of the facility in March 2016, Brown Golf has made capital improvements to the golf course, tennis center and pool, including a new filtration system. As country club pools go, this Olympic size pools at the top of the list for swimming events and a separate diving area. There’s also a spacious sun deck that affords members ma modicum of privacy.
The tennis center features six beautiful Har-Tru courts that are lit for night play and according to members, are the best courts in the city. There’s also a full-service tennis pro shop and a full schedule of activities to accommodate every level of player. The men’s and women’s Tennis clubs are very active and play host to numerous citywide events.
The golf course is a special part of the equation here at Gainesville Country Club. It was originally designed by architect George Cobb and opened in 1963. In 1992, Mark McCumber and Associates rebuilt the greens and brought them up to USGA standards. Playing anywhere between 5,163 and 6,866 yards, the course is well suited for anyone from beginner to touring professional.
While there are many outstanding holes, my favorite is the first hole, a dogleg right, par 4, that plays 399 yards from the White Tees. Number one portrays the challenge of the course and brings several elements into play: elevation changes – which are prevalent here – water and sand. You’ll need to avoid the trees on the right side of the fairway off the tee if you’re going to get off to a good start. Favoring the left side gives you a good approach to the green which sits well below the fairway. Your approach shot is played downhill, over water to a large green, well bunkered on the left. A very challenging and scenic opening hole that sets the stage for what’s in store!
Most of the members I spoke with favored Number 16, a short par 4 that plays slightly uphill to a well contoured green surrounded by bunkers. Most players will need to fly the ball onto the putting surface. The green features a lot of undulation and can be tricky depending on pin placement.
One of the more interesting features of the course is the monster moss-draped oak tree that sits between #16 green and #17 tee. Some of the members told me the tree is over 200 years old and has been hit it least twice by lightning. Its massive branches stretch down into the ground, making for some incredible photo opportunities.
OK, so Gainesville Country Club has successfully fulfilled part one of its Mission Statement, now for the second – high quality member services and social opportunities. This aspect is being addressed as we speak. Shortly after taking over management of the course, a water leak destroyed a good portion of the clubhouse. Brown Golf Management saw this as an opportunity to make major upgrades and set in motion plans to revamp the men’s locker room, bar area and create a multi-purpose room.
Changes to the men’s locker room include a complete huge makeover with new lockers, a lounge area with big screen TVs and a media area with high speed Internet access. There are several tables for games and a pass thru window from the bar so that your favorite libations are close at hand.
The bar area will be a little smaller but a lot more functional and will have multiple big screen TVs. It will be located adjacent to the dining area and will provide service to diners as well. A new multi-purpose room is being added between the men’s locker room and dining area and is perfect for small family gatherings and private parties.
Presentation is everything and the food at Gainesville Country Club is not only exceptional, it looks great when it arrives at the table. Little touches such as shaved Parmesan cheese on the French fries add a nice touch. The food is so outstanding, I saw a table of 18 women in the dining room and not one was eating a salad! Pretty impressive! The head waiter Phillip has been there for years and practically knows every patron by name. If you’re unsure of what to order, he’s a great help and will never steer you wrong.
Gainesville Country Club is pulling out all the stops when it comes to attracting new members. The grand opening of the new clubhouse is set for May 17th and beginning that day for a limited time, GCC is offering a “Summer Preview Experience” that will let non-club members +see firsthand all that this private club has to offer on an “a la carte” basis with limited restrictions. The program will run from April 24th – October 15th and prospective members will have access to all club social events, dining services, the pool facilities and tennis as well as complimentary Junior Golf and Tennis programs. This is a great opportunity for those who are thinking about joining a private club to experience Gainesville Country Club.
For membership information on this outstanding facility, you can reach them by phone at (352) 372-1458 or visit them online at www.gainesvillecc.com. If you’re looking for a private club where you can meet new people with similar interests and get the kids involved, check out their Summer Preview Experience.