In June of 2016, Southeastern West Virginia was absolutely demolished by devastating floods that resulted in 23 deaths and widespread homelessness.
The floods also ravaged the Old White Course at The Greenbrier, the site of the annual Greenbrier Classic, forcing its cancellation.
The damage was so severe and widespread that many questioned whether The Greenbrier, a world-renowned resort, would be able to get the course in playing condition for this year’s event. However, with one month to go before the tournament, course restoration has gone well, and is expected to be ready to go.
- Watson Surprised: Bubba Watson, who owns property at The Greenbrier, was in the area during last year’s flooding, and said that the damage was so severe that he strongly doubted they would be able to hold the 2017 Greenbrier Classic. Watson says he was proven wrong.
- Phil Impressed: Phil Mickelson, the biggest name currently committed to playing the Greenbrier Classic, called the restoration effort “remarkable” and expressed a desire to spread word about the effort.
- Severe Weather: Torrential downpours, with nine inches of rain in some areas, led to the historic floods.
- Influential Owner: Greenbrier Resort owner (and as of this year, West Virginia governor) Jim Justice remained committed to getting the course ready in time for the 2017 tournament, an important event for the local economy, which is dependent on the opulent 11,000 acre resort.
— TheGreenbrierClassic (@GbrClassic) June 24, 2016
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) June 23, 2016
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) June 6, 2017
“That town revolves around the hotel, the resort, so rebuilding the resort and the golf course is a step in the right direction to push people to make the city great again. It’s beautiful to see. It’s beautiful to see the people working, taking pride and getting the tournament back again.”