Old Hawthorne Subdivision History And Background

History Behind The Community of Old Hawthorne

1998 was a pivotal year for PGA professional, golf course developer, Jeff Whitfield. It was the year that saw the opening of his first project, Persimmon Woods Golf Course, in Weldon Spring, MO (just outside of St. Louis County) and it was also the year that a long slumbering vision of a University Golf Course in Columbia, MO was awakened. Two very different projects took Jeff down two very different roads to bring each to fruition. Even though Persimmon Woods was built first, the idea of building a golf course in Columbia had always been on Jeff's mind.

A former University of Missouri Golfer, Jeff wanted for the future teams what had been missing at Mizzou, a championship golf course where the University Men's and Women's golf teams could play and host tournaments. Encouraged by the success of other Universities who had joined with private efforts and associated themselves with supportive memberships the idea and premise grew. There were many locations including properties already owned by the university that had been considered. As various properties were contemplated the word spread through a small circle of friends in the golf community and the suggestion was made to look into a privately owned property east of town. This brought Jeff to the steps of the country estate and colonial landmark atop a hill along Highway WW. The same day Jeff introduced himself to Billy Sapp is the same day that Mr. Sapp opened his door and his mind to the potential of such a project. At this time, these two men knew nothing of each other and yet this idea accompanied by the same strong desire and the enthusiastic passion that had seen the earlier project through once again attracted a man who understood the possibilities when opportunity literally knocked at his door. Not only was the Sapp's home a perfect site for a golf course, there was plenty of land for a spectacular layout and beautiful residential properties as well. A more ambitious and complicated project than the first, there remained a lot of research and logistics ahead. Hundreds of hours and late nights were spent in the home office of Art Shaupeter, architect and close friend, to perfect the golf course layout.

In 2001 Gary Mitchell, also a PGA professional and developer, joined efforts with Jeff and land owner Billy Sapp to create the development group. Long distance visits to other university golf courses and countless commutes and meetings that spanned a seven year period were necessary to make everything come together. It took 2 years just to annex the 632 acre property into the city limits. Annexing the land was paramount to the success of the real estate portion of the development. In 2003 Donny Stamper was hired to help the Old Hawthorne Development Group navigate the politics of incorporation. After a few road blocks the section was successfully annexed into the city of Columbia in the summer of 2005. This was the final act that cleared the way to begin the construction of the long anticipated and meticulously planned project. In the fall of 2005 the endless leg work finally gave way to actual construction and the grow-in of the course. Experience, devotion to the project and great team work allowed Art Shaupeter, Course Architect, Jeff Whitfield, Project Manager, Kyle Downs, Construction Manager and John Futrell, Golf Course Superintendent to finish the course on schedule and on budget.

Impossible to cover all the details or adequately describe the emotional roller coaster involved in the years invested in putting such a project together it can only be understood as a labor of love. When bringing a dream to reality is reliant on others as well as your personal conviction you must be driven by an undying vision. In this case the vision was a great golf course that could be shared. A golf course that could be shared by a community and a university that provided the education and sport that galvanized a love of the game and brought full circle a desire to give back.

Golf Course Virtual Tour

Take an interactive virtual tour of the magnificent Championship golf course at Old Hawthorne

Clubhouse Virtual Tour

Take an interactive virtual tour of the historical members clubhouse at Old Hawthorne

Fitness Center Virtual Tour

Take an interactive virtual tour of the amazing family fitness center at Old Hawthorne

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