Here’s a little-known fact about country music legend Kenny Rogers: He was a golf course designer.
He only has one golf course to his credit, and that golf course went to auction this month as part of a vast 973-acre estate once owned by Rogers.
Located near Athens, Ga., and the University of Georgia, the estate known as Beaver Dam Farms offers much more than a golf course. It includes three lakes, a 12,000-square-foot mansion, five guest houses, a golf clubhouse, a massive covered equestrian arena, two swimming pools, two tennis courts, a movie theater and, well, the list goes on and on. But back to the golf course.
It truly is a Kenny Rogers design — not just a course with a famous name on it, as we often see these days.
“Each hole…was carefully planned by Rogers,” says the Beaver Dam Farms website. And this isn’t your typical do-it-yourself golf course. It plays to 6,300 yards and has been rated by the Georgia State Golf Association. The Beaver Dam Farms reviews are positive.
“The par 3s are some of the finest this side of Augusta National,” wrote course reviewer Patrick Jones in 2005. Jones detailed the course’s creation after interviewing longtime superintendent Gary Morris.
“Building the course was a hobby to Kenny. He really didn’t have any intentions when he first started to build 18 holes. It started out with just one putting green, but it grew quickly over the years. When he went out on concert tours, it became his passion to go and look at other golf courses to get ideas to bring back. He would return with some things he liked, and we would image them into the next holes we were building. It was shooting from the hip the whole way.” — Morris in Golf Styles Atlanta
Over the years, Rogers held charity golf events at his estate, attended by the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Ahmad Rashad, as well as golfers Payne Stewart and Lanny Wadkins.
Before selling the estate in 2003, the country crooner loved to personally mow the fairways and enjoyed playing the course even more.
“I have so many fond memories at Beaver Dam Farms,” said Rogers, who owned the property from 1983-2003. “I still dream about playing golf on its course two to three times a week.”
(Read more about the property at Realtor.com, and click any photo on this page to see enlarged view.)