BRISTOL, Tenn. — Construction equipment sits outside the historic Golf Club of Bristol building, which will soon be demolished, as the 18-hole golf course continues operation.
In April, Bristol Preservation LLC owners Mitch Walters and Roscoe Bowman told club members that they reached an agreement with Donnie Bradford, the owner of Lifestyle Fitness, to lease, operate and manage the golf course, in addition to the fitness and aquatic center.
The golf course was originally designed by Tennessee golf architect A.G. McKay and opened in 1958. It was remodeled in 1999 by Mark McCumber & Associates design group, with changes executed by Course Crafters.
The Golf Club of Bristol is owned by Bristol Preservation LLLC, who acquired the Country Club of Bristol in July 2015.
Since then, it’s had multiple operators.
“Please be assured that as the property owners we tried the very best we could to allow The Golf Club of Bristol to survive and succeed, in spite of the months of frustration and lack of professionalism we experienced with the previous owners,” the April letter to members states.
The historic country club building, which closed in March, remains vacant. Walters confirmed Friday that demolition of the structure will begin soon.
Donnie Bradford has taken over management of the golf course, as well as the fitness center, according to Walters. Golf operations are now headquartered in the fitness center along King College Road.
“He’s doing a great job,” said Walters, noting that the golf course remains well-kept and operational.
Walters said there’s no need to keep the country club building, which he admitted had some historic value in Bristol. It is one of the oldest operating country clubs in the state of Tennessee.
“All you need is a pro shop and hot dog stand,” Walters said.
Golf services and a restaurant now operate in the fitness center. The pro shop was the last thing to operate in the country club building before it closed.
“Those days are over,” said Walters, referring to gatherings at the country club building.
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