WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS,W.Va. (WDBJ) Today at the Greenbrier Sporting Club, you would hardly know that just two years ago, it was all under water.
“An amazing amount of work has happened here, and really catastrophic is the only way to describe that flood of 2016, which would have been a knockout blow for a lot of people,” says Greenbrier historian Dr. Bob Conte.
But for the Greenbrier, it became an opportunity to make a new golf course from a piece of land in search of an identity.
“There was a polo field out here," says Larry Klein, Greenbrier Sporting Club's Vice President and General Manager, "The original gun club for the hotel was out here, which is our hunt cabin in the center of the course. There was actually a house, called The Meadows, that stood out here at one time.”
So with a short drive from a baseball hall of famer, the new Ashford Short Course – just nine quick holes - opened.
“It’s weird, ‘cause you know, it’s like you’re never prepared for a 47 or 50-yard shot teed up," former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz says of his shot from the 6th tee. "You just want to make it, with it being wet, you don’t want to take a lot of turf. That was my biggest concern.”
“When you’re faced with something like a tragedy, like the flood, you need to make the best of it," says Klein. "And I think we really did.”
In what essentially marks the end of the resort’s recovery, and perhaps lets this area find its true identity.
“I think that we’ve kind of found the last and best use. Certainly nothing is forever, but this is going to be here I think for a very long time.”