Brandt Snedeker’s childhood municipal golf course is getting a $2 million upgrade

NASHVILLE — Brandt Snedeker pointed out Thursday that Shelby Golf Course, where he often played as a youth, is the least-played course in the Metro Parks system in this Tennessee city. But that might not be the case much longer.

Snedeker, a nine-time PGA Tour winner and the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, attended a media event at the golf course Thursday where Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a $2 million renovation project that will begin at Shelby and VinnyLinks, also located in Shelby Park, in March.

The upgrades slated for Shelby include combining the winter and summer greens into one green complex on each hole; expansion of the practice putting green at the clubhouse to more than five times its current size; new irrigation; replacing and expanding six tee boxes; and work on the cart path.

The main scope at VinnyLinks will be an improvement of all nine tee boxes and tree work.

The renovations coincide with Shelby Golf Course’s 100th anniversary in 2024.

“Being a Nashvillian, I grew up playing golf courses around here but Shelby is where I spent most of my time,” Snedeker said. “My dad would play here every day with the old chief of police Joe Casey. They had a 12 o’clock standing tee time and I’d come out here when I was 16, 17, 18 years old and play. It was awesome getting to spend time playing golf with my dad and to have this momentous day where we’re doing a redo of this course with Metro Parks wanting to bring it back to the way it was designed is a really special moment.”

Snedeker, who estimated he has played thousands of rounds at Shelby, also mentioned how unique the 18-hole course is with its location so close to downtown.

“The access that this course can provide to a lot of Nashvillians that have not been traditional golfers is huge,” he said. “But it’s in dire need of an upgrade . . . We have a jewel here that has kind of been underserved the last 15 to 20 years.”

Shelby, a 6,079-yard, par-72 course, has long been the least-played municipal golf course of the seven in the Metro Parks system. It had more than 39,000 nine-hole rounds played in the past fiscal year, compared to McCabe, which had the most at more than 122,000.

Whit Turnbow, president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation, which will oversee the renovations executed by architect Bruce Hepner and Hepner Golf Design LLC, expects the average rounds per year to double or even triple after the improvements. The foundation has a guarantee on cost overruns that might occur with the project.

Cooper said the improvements are part of those that began three years ago after a tornado caused severe damage to homes and businesses in East Nashville.

“The homes and businesses that have been rebuilt have been substantially repaired but now this is the last link to the tornado damage,” Cooper said. “The $2 million for the project is funded, it’s ready to go and work is going to start in March.”

Hepner recently finished similar renovations at Percy Warner Golf Course.

“What we’re trying to do here is upgrade the facility,” Hepner said. “It’s the least-played golf course (in Metro) and it might be because of conditions, it might be because we still have the old winter/summer greens. So we’re trying to improve the playing characteristics of the golf course so we can get this community involved here in playing golf.”

The renovations are expected to take a year to complete. Turnbow said Cooper, who is a golfer, would be invited back to tee off on the first hole when the project is done.

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on X, formerly Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek