Many things make Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort the special place it is today. The golf course is one of the main attractions for those who live here and others who just love golf! Speaking with Rob Vaughn, the Brunswick Plantation golf course superintendent, I learned more about why and how Brunswick’s 27 Hole course became so popular with golfers…Far and Near!
Brunswick Plantation was the Vision of Mason Anderson and his business partners, Jimmy McLamb and Tripp Sloane. The golf community was envisioned as a cultural composite of Southern Hospitality, Southern Architecture, Southern Landscaping!
The Golf Course at Brunswick Plantation was designed by famed golf course architects, Willard Byrd and Associates with Tim Cates designing the first Nine Holes at Magnolia in 1991 and the second 9 Holes at Azalea. Tim has gone on to become a very popular golf course architect in the area! Clyde Johnson, also a famous golf course architect (once named the golf course architect of the year) , designed the third 9 Holes at Dogwood in 1998. Jimmy McLamb’s company did the shaping and moving of the earth for each of the 9 Holes. It is now a 27 Hole Course with most of the fairways lined with Carolina pines! The golf course is known for, among other qualities, it’s expansive Fairways!
Course Rating 73.2…Challenges to Enjoy:
- Extensive mounding
- Water comes into play on 3 Holes & 3 more heavily bunkered…Key element of opening Holes!
Course Rating 73.2 …Setting of challenges from every caliber of golfer:
- Water is the dominant theme of many holes.(requiring thought & strategy)!
- Island Green Signature Hole is surrounded by Oyster Shells!
Course Rating 73.8…Wide Open Design Presents:
- Scenic Landscapes
- Allows each golfer the opportunity to hit every club in the bag!
- Hole # 6 is highlighted by a Picturesque Island Green…Beauty of the South & a challenge!
The developers of Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort, Mason, Tripp, & Jimmy, wanted to be sure that this land is preserved and the environment remains always protected ! That is the reason they put it into the Conservation Easement. The plaque by the front door of the Plantation House reads:
Caw Caw Land Corporation, Developer of Brunswick Plantation has given in perpetuity, to the Smokey Mountain Land Trust, Inc. , a Conservation Easement on all of the land that comprises the 27 holes of Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort.
The purpose of the Conservation Easement is to preserve and protect many native species of trees, shrubs, herbs, and the many species of wildlife located in the area. Another purpose is to preserve the scenic views of the creeks and open vistas associated with the golf course.
Caw Caw Land Corporation
Mason H. Anderson, President
George A. Sloane, Vice President
Jimmy A. McLamb, Secretary Treasurer
How Conservation Easement Protects Environment Today
Rob Vaughan, Golf Course Superintendent, says that the standards set by the conservation easement help him to be a “Better steward toward the environment!” Through the terms of the easement, Brunswick Plantation Golf Course is inspected once a year. Karen Heiman does the inspection and travels to all 27 Holes evaluating the following:
- Looks at Ponds and Trees
- Assesses Wildlife
- No excessive harsh chemicals are used
- No erosion problems
- Spraying is done Right
In respect to these standards, Rob looks at thresholds. Under his direction, Brunswick Plantation is careful not to totally eradicate a weed or bug… enhancing a place to bring in wildlife, not killing them. He sprays microbes to attack disease. It is a different way of managing and Brunswick keeps improving!
Rob Vaughan…Pioneering the Art of Fairway Painting
Rob Vaughan, the Golf Course Superintendent of Brunswick Plantation, has led the way in using turf colorants instead of rye grass to give their dormant warm-season Fairways the permanent Bermuda Grass Greens that Golfers Love! In the September/October edition of Carolina’s Golf Course Superintendents Association magazine…Carolinas green, Vaughan graces the cover as the Master Painter of a Fairway Trend! The USGA Green Section’s Southeast region director, Pat O’Brien, refers to Rob Vaughan as “The Rembrandt of the Fairways”!
Rob has earned this recognition, as he really is a national leader in colorants for the greens that really work best for the Golf Course and the environment! This has been a process for Vaughan. After learning at a seminar at the Carolina’s GCSA Conference & Trade Show, that painting was an alternative to overseeding, he started out trying about 60 different colorant samples that he had worked up himself. He tried test plots on the driving range. One goal was to get a Green pigment that would not turn to Blue.
Jennifer Seevers, from Geoponics Chemistries, was in his office one day lamenting the fact that she could not make a living selling fertilizers in winter. Rob gave her his variety of samples of colorants that he had mixed and told her to take them and see what she could do! On October 1st of 2010, she came back with the results of the mixture that she thought would work. As soon as he tried it, Rob realized…”This is It”!
He went to the developers at Brunswick Plantation and asked to try it on 9 Holes. They trusted him and said to go with this for all 27 holes…A Golfer’s Green Delight! Rob Vaughan credits these men with believing in his judgment and encouraging him. Mason has staff meetings every Tuesday with all managers…A great way to share and grow ideas and knowledge! Rob says these developers are great to work for, and he appreciates their support!
As a result, Brunswick Plantation was the first golf course in this area to use these colorants that have now gained National attention! Rob says about 9 golf courses in this area use it now. He has also been invited to speak at meetings of the USGA related Golf Course Superintendents Association in Atlanta, Alabama, and Dallas. Managers from Pinehurst, NC have also come to see what keeps our golf course green at Brunswick Plantation! Rob Vaughan and Brunswick Plantation…Lead the Way in environmental friendly “Fairways to Green Golf Heaven”! Rob wants to be sure that folks know that this is all done for Plant Health…Not economical reasons!
Rob has been in this business for 40 years, starting off in golf course management in 1975 on the crew under the legendary Fred Meda, then at Raintree Country Club in Charlotte, NC. When Meda left to join the Myrtle Beach National Company, Rob went to North Carolina State University to get a turfgrass degree. Rob says golf course management is a passion for him, and it shows!
Rob Vaughn is a perfect match for Brunswick Plantation developers, Mason Anderson, Tripp Sloane, and Jimmy McLamb! They all have a vision, commitment , and passion for Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort! They share a respect for the environment…plants and wildlife , as well as a Sense of Trust! This is what makes Brunswick Plantation one of the Top 50 Golf Communities it is today…The Future Bright! “Nothing great was ever done without enthusiasm!”, Ralph Waldo Emerson Enthusiasm abounds at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort! A Better Way of Life!
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