Lookout Mountain Club breaks ground on $12 million restoration project

  • Lookout Mountain
    Lookout Mountain Club

    Kyle Franz, Tyler Rae and Jim Ryan will restore the Seth Raynor design at Lookout Mountain Club in Georgia

  • Lookout Mountain
    Lookout Mountain

    The club hosted a ground-breaking ceremony on 22 June

Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers

Construction work has started on a $12 million golf course restoration project at Lookout Mountain Club, near Chattanooga, Georgia.

The layout was originally designed by Seth Raynor in 1925 and opened as Fairyland Golf Club, the centrepiece of a mountain resort. Raynor died two months after drafting his final plan, with his associate Charles Banks taking over. But the Great Depression and World War II prevented the full realisation of the Raynor’s original design.

The club hired Brian Silva in 1995 to develop a master plan that would complete Raynor’s vision. However, budget limitations meant only some of his recommendations were made – updating fairway bunkers and restoring the eleventh and seventeenth greens.

In October 2021, the club approved new plans to restore the golf course to its Raynor roots. A project team comprising Kyle Franz, Tyler Rae and Jim Ryan was hired, whose focus will be rebuilding and resurfacing greens, as well as rebuilding and expanding bunkers. A new irrigation system will be installed and new cart paths added.

“We have been blessed by the golf gods and are charged with breathing life back into the property,” said Rae. “This is one we may look back on in the later stages of our lives with pure joy and happiness, as these types of projects don’t come around too often.”

Caroline Williams, Lookout Mountain’s president, said: “This is such a defining moment in the narrative of Lookout Mountain Club. Our membership, board and team have overwhelmingly embraced the opportunity to invest in our future by partnering with the best in their fields to thoughtfully restore our historic golf course and clubhouse. The project will allow us to provide generations of members and their families an experience like no other – one that is distinctly Lookout and decidedly extraordinary.”

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2023, alongside renovations to the Fairyland Clubhouse.