The History of
High Meadows Golf & Country Club
Nestled in the northwestern part of North Carolina in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains just a few miles from the Virginia line along scenic Highway 21 only 3 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will find our club wrapped around the small community of Roaring Gap and steeped in the history of Alleghany County. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary we look back at a history that was forged from hard work and dedication to making this community something special.
Our history begins with the Smith family who came from Norfolk, Virginia around 1770 to settle on the ground that is now our #12 hole. It is said that the land that became the Smith’s homestead was the historic hunting ground of Cherokee tribes and that Daniel Boone camped near the home’s stream. Our members have preserved the chimney of the original Smith house and the chimney can be seen today during play. Legend has it that there are also several spots around the course where moonshine stills were located, an important part of the heritage in our Blue Ridge Mountain community. Reportedly, at the head of the spring that currently flows behind the men’s #9 tee box and #7 tee box you can see the dynamited remains of one of these stills. With these links and ties to the past our development did not take its current shape until 1964.
Robert Glenn Davis, “Redbird”, as his friends knew him, had the foresight to see the potential of our area. Our current location was always a destination for Mr. Davis’ Sunday afternoon family rides and his 1963 gray Cadillac remains with his son Bobby today. From the beginning, Mr. Davis envisioned what was then called “Alleghany Heights” (soon to be renamed by Mrs. Davis as “High Meadows”) as a destination resort with summer homes and a golf course. That vision was realized when High Meadows Golf & Country Club was incorporated on July 1, 1964 with a mission statement to “Develop a resort area for the purpose of promoting outdoor activities for pleasure and recreation and in a social manner by developing a golf course, tennis court, swimming facilities and other activities and facilities essential for a country club.” Mr. Davis and his family did everything from cooking and bartending to dishwashing and land work to make this dream a reality. We are honored to have a plaque in front of the clubhouse recognizing our founder and his many efforts to build his dream.
In 1965, Mr. Davis joined up with Mr. Jim Massey, a general contractor and registered civil engineer, to begin the design and build the first homes in High Meadows Estates. The first house was an A- frame built for the Rhodes family and was completed in the fall of 1965. Followed by the Fox home completed in 1966 on Country Club Road. Over the years we have grown to over 300 homes and home sites. Homes are still available today along with some beautiful lots on which the next generation of members will build their dream homes.
As the neighborhoods started to spring up so did the clubhouse. In 1966, local builders took on the challenge of building a clubhouse close to the lake on a hill just above today’s 18th green. Back then, amenities were important with the construction of social space and an office on the top floor and locker rooms, both men’s and women’s, along with a golf shop below. Over the years, starting in 1977, additions were made to the club with the last addition being the construction of the cart barn and the expansion of service space which was completed in 1989. Some aesthetic improvements were made to the club in 2001. All of these additions and upgrades are maintained by dedicated club staff for all members’ service and social needs.
To satisfy the recreational vision of Redbird Davis, work began in 1963 on the club’s golf course which is one of over 114 courses around the world designed and constructed by Mr. George Cobb. The Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel dated December 8, 1963 described the course thusly: “The course stretches over gently rolling hills and valleys having no arduous climbs. Features of the course allow it to have no blind holes and no two holes are alike. Cobb said the course will be one of the finest mountain resort courses in the southeastern United States. The golf course is of championship caliber, having sufficient length to hold a USGA OR PGA sponsored tournament. Yet by the flexibility in the teeing area it will be enjoyed by golfers of all handicaps.” When you visit our club one interesting course note is our ski slope which is no longer in service. Built in 1966, the ski slope had a 1000’ slope with a vertical drop of 150’ and was serviced with a rope tow. This slope had night skiing and snow making equipment which were all installed in 1967. The ski slope remains today as hole #13 of our course with the golf course superintendent’s office on the site of the rope tow operations building. Along with golf came the original swimming pool and tennis courts in the 1970’s. These facilities have been improved upon and were updated in the 1990’s. With all the amenities in place High Meadows Golf and Country Club truly became the great community for all of our members that Mr. Davis imagined.
We are proud of our history and this page is just the beginning of our story. Over the years it has been our neighbors, friends and members that have moved this club forward. Thanks to the vision and determination of Redbird Davis and those who came after him, we have achieved the dream of being an exceptional private country club nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern North Carolina. The Board of Directors and all of the folks that have served have given us a legacy of family, friendship and fellowship. We are proud to say that we are operating with NO debt thanks to the countless hours of dedication and hard work by families over the years. Come see why High Meadows Golf & Country Club can no longer be a best-kept-secret and envision your family as part of ours as our history continues.
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