By Hope S. Philbrick
During a recent visit to Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands, North Carolina, I met with Jordan Kenter, director of golf for Old Edwards Club.
While escorting me on a golf cart tour of all 18 holes, Kenter talked about the joy of the game, the thrills this course presents, and how anyone can learn to play.
The Old Edwards Club, located along a crest of the Eastern Continental Divide, boasts breathtaking views and inherent challenges. It’s exclusive to members and guests of Old Edwards Inn & Spa and 200 Main.
Kenter offers golf lessons to folks of all skill levels. “Invariably, we’ll find something to work from,” he says of helping his students. “Any athletic motion can translate to golf. The golf swing is a daunting, tough motion and can be intimidating, but we can relate it to another known motion that has worked before.”
Mastering grip is the key. “Grip is the most important,” he explains. “It’s the only link to how you hit the ball with the face of the club.”
He gets students onto the greens quickly. “I want you swinging as soon as possible,” he says. He recommends a series of lessons as “best if you really want to get better. You need to do it regularly or risk slipping into bad habits.”
Can anybody learn to golf? “Absolutely!” he says. “Even if you’ve never done it and aren’t generally athletic, you can start with a simple little putt shot and build up from there.” He’s taught first-time golfers who are 80 years old. (Lessons are $85 for 45 minutes with Kenter; rates with other instructors vary from $40 to $85 an hour.)
Originally a public course, this course was designed by North Carolinian Tom Jackson and purchased by Old Edwards in 2008. The entire course has been renovated in the last five years at a cost of $12 million. “We redid 12 of the 18 greens and cleaned up outlying areas,” says Kenter. “It’s been amazing to see the transformation from 2009 to now.”
The front nine holes are in a valley and the back nine are on the mountain. Three holes drop 180 feet. “All holes are par 3, 4 or 5,” says Kenter, explaining that means that you should be able to hit the ball from the tee to the hole in two strokes.
“The course offers a good mix of challenging holes and ones that you can feel that you can do well on,” he says. “Anyone can play.”
Golf can be deceptive (pros make it look easy), but a course like the one at Old Edwards Club can inspire you to take a swing.
In addition to golf, guests can enjoy an outdoor heated mineral pool, clay tennis courts, fitness center, The Grill Room Restaurant & Bar, fireside patio, golf shop and private boardroom for meetings and private functions. Members of Old Edwards Club receive year-round privileges and discounts at Old Edwards Inn & Spa.
Odds of Encountering Children: Relatively low, but children are permitted on the golf course if accompanied by a parent. For the best odds, select a tee time during school hours.
Old Edwards Club
688 Highlands Cove Dr.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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