At the September 26th meeting of the Franklin, Tenn., Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Cheekwood Golf Club of Franklin was awarded a lease for 54 acres of city-owned land, the Williamson Source reported.
The lease arrangement will allow Cheekwood to expand across the street from its existing course and upgrade from an executive 9-hole course to a regulation 9-hole course in a phased process, the Source reported. The club will also pursue plans to build a new multi-purpose clubhouse, a lighted driving range, and a public trailhead.
“My partners and I are very excited and honored by [the Franklin Board’s] decision to entrust this property to us, and we look forward to creating a much-needed recreational and community-gathering venue that mirrors the city’s history of character and charm, while also preserving and protecting the environmental integrity of the land, wildlife, and the surrounding residential neighborhoods,” said Todd Jester, Cheekwood GC’s co-owner.
“Cheekwood initiated the request for this lease because the 54 acres are a natural extension of our course and are ideally suited for our growing needs,” Jester added. “We knew that to continue to be a sustainable, financially viable business in the future, we must find a way to expand to be able to meet the needs of our citizens of all demographic groups. We also recognized that to be successful in meeting more community needs, we must have a broader base of activities in addition to golf.
“The expansion also allows land-use improvements that will maintain the integrity and beauty of the open space, which is especially important [because] the area is very visible from one of the city’s busiest roadways,” Jester said. “We intend to create quality open space that is noted as an environmental treasure for Franklin.”
Cheekwood has a 22-year successful history in Franklin and is one of only three golf courses in Williamson (Tenn.) County that are fully open to the public, according to the Source. In addition to expanding the course and building a new clubhouse, the new land will also allow the club to pursue plans to:
- Relocate all golf operations (i.e. carts, maintenance operations, clubhouse, parking lot) away from residential homes
- Renovate and enhance the golf course to ensure long-term sustainability
- Remain in an area and on land that is best suited to meet the community’s growing golf needs, and provide Williamson County with a new recreational /community gathering venue for corporate, civic and social use.