Head professional Bill Clayton has had two years to get used to answering the questions about his golf course’s name. In his first three years at then-Oak Ridge Country Club in Spartanburg
, almost no one wondered about the course’s generic-sounding title.
Heddles Hideaway Country Club
, though … That raises all sorts of questions, not to mention the occasional eyebrow.
“Every time I tell someone what it is, they want me to repeat it,” Clayton says, laughing. “They don’t quite get it. They want you to spell it out.” Even in the Spartanburg area
, “a lot of folks don’t know we changed the name. But we’re doing some marketing, and word is getting around about the changes.”
A bit of history: Oak Ridge CC was built in 1979, designed by noted architect George Cobb, whose resume includes Augusta National’s Par-3 Course and Charlotte’s Quail Hollow, home to the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship. Short by today’s standards (6,190 yards from the “pro” tees), the course drew its share of members and the public to its South Pine Street location over the next 30 years.
Then in 2010, after its original owners put it up for sale, the course was purchased by Warrior Custom Golf, a California-based club company just getting into the course business. Warrior currently owns courses all across the U.S., including Broadmoor Golf Links and Reems Creek Golf Club near Asheville. The three courses are part of a group that includes courses in Florida and Texas).
In a 2010 news article posted on the course’s website
, Brett Miller of Miller Management Associates, brought in to consult on the course’s revitalization, said of the course’s condition: “You start with some really good greens. When they rebuilt them they did it the right way and with a little care they will be back in great shape.” The course’s elevation changes and rolling hills “give Oak Ridge a special character that is only found in courses much closer to the mountains.
“The course is not long but the elevation changes provide a different kind of challenge. You get to hit a lot of different shots and use all the clubs in your bag,” he said.
Clayton says most of the changes since 2010 have been cosmetic, along with the addition of new carts (equipped with GPS for reading yardages) and some clubhouse repairs. “The response has been real good the past few months,” he says. “Warrior is getting better at club management, a new thing for them, and at first they didn’t understand what we needed, but now they do.”
Amenities besides the course include a putting green and driving range, and a revitalized clubhouse with big-screen TV, fireplace and meeting areas. The 19th Hole offers beverages and food, and a second-floor, outside deck with views of the first and 10th tees.
So, about that name: “There’s a gentleman named Mr. Heddles who invested money (in Warrior Custom Golf) and they named it in his honor,” Clayton says. “He came by one time from Ohio, just passing through, and was a real nice guy; he bought some shirts and hats” bearing the club logo.
The unusual name has, in fact, become an international sensation, Clayton says. “A guy from Australia got in touch and wanted to buy 20 hats and logo balls,” he says. “His last name is Heddles, and when he found out about us on the Internet, he wanted those, so I shipped them to Australia.”
Clayton knows some people might come to Heddles Hideaway in part because of the name, but he believes they’ll return because of the golf. The course is located at 5451 South Pine St., Spartanburg 29302. For more information, call (800) 653-0835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org