The Olde Farm Golf Club in Bristol, Virginia hosted the American Legends for Mountain Mission Kids, an all star charitable tournament in September, raising $56.6 million- the new largest single-day charitable gift in PGA Tour history and televised on the Golf Channel.
“This was an exciting event with truly extraordinary results,” said course designer Bobby Weed, ASGCA, who played in the tournament. “Mountain Mission Kids School does exceptional work with at-risk children, and we are proud to have played a part in this historic charitable initiative in support of the school’s work.”
Golf luminaries participating in this year’s tournament included Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Betsy King, Lorena Ochoa and Lee Trevino, joined by former PGA Tour Commissioner Tom Finchem as well as NFL icons Dan Marino and Peyton Manning and NBA legend Jerry West. The tournament was played on the 10th of September, which would have been Arnold Palmer’s 89th birthday. The King was memorialized in a tribute at the event.
In speaking of the event, Founder of the Olde Farm, Jim McGlothlin, paid tribute to all of those who helped make it a success as well as to the exceptional ways in which Mountain Mission School(MMS) in Grundy, Virginia serves its students.
“This is the result of an exciting partnership with a group of extraordinary athletes and sponsors,” said McGlothlin. “For ninety-seven years, Mountain Mission School has provided a home, an extended family and high-quality education for children in need. Many generous hearts have created a much firmer foundation for the thousands of children the school serves-now, and in the century to come.”
The charitable donations at this year’s event greatly exceeded the previous gross record of $15 million set in 2010, which featured Jack, Gary and Arnold at Old Farm’s Big 3 Tournament. The money raised supports Mountain Mission School endowment fund.
Founded in 1921, MMS is an accredited, non profit school providing shelter, stability, nourishment, and high-quality education for at-risk children. Receiving no federal or state funding, the school has operated solely on financial gifts and donations. The school has served thousands of youth from the United States and 70 other countries, representing diverse backgrounds.
Title sponsors of this year’s event included Gregory Pharmaceutical Holdings, makers of Blu-Emu topical analgesics, Food City, Johnson & Johnson, and the United Company.
To donate to Mountain Mission go to MMSKids.org.
About Olde Farm Golf Club
There are few places in the world, if any, where you can truly disappear and escape from the realities of modern-day life. At the Old Farm Golf Club, members and their guests speak volumes about ‘crossing the cattle guards’ and entering a sanctuary in which golf and friendships are all that matter. The frenetic pace of modern day life definitely seems to stop when you cross through the gates.
Olde Farm, which sits in a natural valley in the southwestern foothills of Virginia, is the brainchild of James McGlothlin, a coal-mining baron and lover of golf. McGlothlin grew up in nearby Grundy where he was one of the founders of United Coal Company back in 1970, a company that grew into a diversified giant known as the United Company that sold in 2009. Jim wanted to build a place for his friends and their friends to gather and play golf which led him to the rural hills of Bristol, Virginia.
The land is a stunning piece of property full of creeks, rocks and rolling hills. It used to be a working farm, with several barns and structures incorporated into the course, After purchasing the land, McGlothlin invited Bobby Weed up from his Ponte Vedra, Florida office to take a look at the site. He and Weed had worked together on the development of the Slammer & Squire course at World Golf Village in St. Augustine. Weed came, walked the property, and in one day ‘found’ the golf course.
“When I first walked the property,” said Bobby, “I was amazed at the landscape and I realized the golf course was already here. We just brought it out and knocked the dust off of it.” Weed’s routing was laid out in the valley, playing alongside the hills rather than up and over them, preserving the integrity of the valley and promoting walkability, both McGlothlin desires. “The course complements its surroundings completely,” said Kenny Schweitzer, Membership Director. “You can’t come here without admiring the natural beauty of the landscape.”
That landscape is clearly evident when approaching the property, but nothing prepares you for the view of the course and the Clinch Mountains from the back porch of the clubhouse, which was patterned after Castle Hill, a home built by Dr. Thomas Walker, guardian of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville. From this vantage point, the links-style course unfolds below, with windswept grasses, rugged bunkering with fescue “eyebrows”, expose rock croppings, several ponds and Sinking Creek meandering across the bottom of the valley.
The 7,063 yard, par 71 course features bentgrass tees, fairways and greens with Kentucky bluegrass roughs. Wide fairways, open entrances to greens and large putting complexes make The Olde Farm a course anybody can enjoy. There is a great openness to the course which allows it to play firm and fast, the way Weed designed it to play. Scoring well is another matter. The course requires strategic placement of tee shots, accurate approaches to well-guarded greens and a dependable putter. There are few flat spots on any of the putting surfaces and Sinking Creek comes into play on seven holes.
While every hole is memorable, standouts include the 446-yard, par 4, 2nd with its intimidating downhill tee shot and well guarded green; the 438-yard, par 4, 3rd which rides along the ridge top and offers unimpeded views of the entire course; the devilish 386-yard, 14th, which one member says has ‘one of the meanest greens on the course;’ the 461 yard, par 4,16th guarded down the entire right side by cattails and a pond. Let’s just say it is a daunting design.
To learn more, go to TheOldeFarm.com.