When Colonial Country Club closed in 2014, it was a blow to golf addicts in the area. For nearly 70 years, the golf club had been a central element in Jackson’s golf community. It didn’t seem real that it should end like this, overnight.
In fact, that may not be the case: the Colonial Country Club may be making a comeback, albeit in a reduced format.
It is not a golf club for young people
Colonial Country Club was born in 1946 in Jackson, Mississippi. The 18-hole course had been designed by area architect A.G. Boswell, who had shaped the 300 acres so that it embodied the postwar joy of living–and spending. Thus, the Colonial was a child of the economic boom, appreciated especially by baby boomers and frequented by them.
And that was the problem.
Until the early 2000s, Colonial Country Club had more than 1,000 members. Too bad they were largely people of a certain age. As time passed, some old club members stopped attending because they were too old, while others began to die of old age. Unfortunately, the lost members were not replaced by new members.
Colonial Country Club was too “old” a reality for younger golf addicts, who were attracted to a wide range of alternatives better suited to them. New generations preferred to go outside the city limits, to seek new challenges elsewhere. Then came the economic crisis of 2007 and it was the coup de grace: the club gasped for a few years, membership became less than 300.
At that point, keeping the club open had become a cost: the management decided to close everything down. It was 2014.
From golf course to luxury residential complex
After 2014, the second life of what had been the Colonial Country Club began. The entire property was bought by an investment group, which decided to turn a good chunk of the area into a residential complex. The plan was-and still is-to build more than 600 luxury housing units, plus restaurants, stores and gyms.
In 2018, work began with the demolition of the old clubhouse: by then, there was no turning back. Even the name of the site was changed to NorthRidge.
No more golf, then?
Sometimes fate takes strange paths. Luke Guarisco, one of the partners in the new project, is also a committedgolf addict. The idea of demolishing a piece of history like this, without appeal, did not sit well with him. Jackson had undoubtedly changed over the decades and no longer had room for a Colonial Country Club, nothing to say about that.
What about another golf course?
Smaller, cheaper, younger
The planned residential complex was never going to require all the space once occupied by the old golf course: what to do, with the remaining space? Another golf course, of course! A different golf course than the old Colonial, but enough to satisfy the craving of golf addicts in the area.
And here we come to today’s project.
The residential complex has left about 120 acres vacant, insufficient for an 18-hole golf course. Not that this is a bad thing: the 18 holes have amply demonstrated that they are too many and too expensive, for the needs of the area. Architects Collins and King then developed a somewhat more restrained design: a 12-hole golf course.
From what is known, the 12 holes will be divided into a 9-hole loop and a 3-hole loop, playable together or separately. This will also make it possible to meet the needs of those who only want to have a quick round.
We do not yet know when the new field will be completed and whether it will work. In the meantime, all that remains is to wish the old Colonial Country Club good luck in its second life.