The course, which was originally designed in 1998 by Williams when he was with the Nicklaus Design Group, is consistently ranked as a top course by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Golfweek and others. The course also serves as the host of the bi-annual Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, which brings top men and women amateur golfers together for a team and individual golf event.
“After 20 years, we felt like it was time to revamp the course, so it continues to provide the best possible experiences for both our members and for the great players who compete here,” said Corby Robertson Jr., founder of Whispering Pines Golf Course and The Spirit Golf Association (SGA), 501(c)(3). “We’ve remained close with Chet through the years and have worked with him on various projects. This is his baby, so we felt comfortable with him leading this project and, as always, his work has exceeded our expectations.”
Under Williams’ guidance, the course was entirely re-grassed with Zeon Zoysia in the fairways and rough and TifEagle Bermuda on the greens. All of the greens were completely rebuilt, including several that were totally redesigned, and all tee boxes were leveled with several new tees added. The course’s bunkers were also rebuilt with some eliminated and others added.
“It’s always a challenge to take what many consider a masterpiece and make changes,” said Williams. “However, course design has changed over the past 20 years and Corby and I had been making a list of changes we’ve wanted to make for quite some time. I’m pleased with the result and know that golfers will find Whispering Pines even better than ever.”
“While the new bunkers and tees are nice improvements, I believe the grass will be the most noticeable change for members and others who have played here,” he added. “The old 419 Bermuda was simply worn out and it showed. Now, from tee through the green, it’s just beautiful.”
The property which encompasses Whispering Pines Golf Club was purchased by local philanthropists Barbara and Corby Robertson Jr. in 1970 for neighboring Camp Olympia, a renowned summer camp. In 1998, the Robertson’s vision for the property broadened when they decided to add a world-class golf course. Williams, then with the Nicklaus Design Group, was hired to design the ‘best course’ in Texas. Twenty months later, in March 2000, Whispering Pines Golf Club opened its doors and rave reviews ensued.
The construction was strategically planned to begin during the course’s end of season closure in December 2019, to be completed during the break and to reopen to members in the fall of 2020.
“We’ve always taken great pride in our excellent course conditions,” said Robertson. “The construction was a response to upholding that standard of excellence. Chet and the team reimagined the course and added some fine-tuning and we’re very pleased to share the new Whispering Pines Golf Club”
Members of The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), receive playing privileges at Whispering Pines. The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), serves as the host for the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship. This event will be held again in 2021. In addition, SGA also hosts the Spirit Charity Challenge featuring Spirit alumni and Spirit Hall of Fame Game which features local sports Hall of Famers and celebrities at the course.
For additional information on Whispering Pines Golf Club and membership opportunities, please contact Bettiann Barnard at The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), [email protected]