(And Check Out the Best of Augusta Golf)
By Ken Mink
AUGUSTA, Ga. – This city, widely known for The Masters golf tournament held here each April, is also famous for its rich history, not the least of which is the magnificent Partridge Inn.
Located just a good par five from the Augusta National, The Partridge Inn is a poster child for antebellum hotels in the South. As you come around the corner of Walton Way, the Grand Dame’s setting immediately stands out. Its extensive verandahs, stately Magnolia trees and uniquely southern architectural features, makes The Partridge Inn one of the most beautiful hotel showcases in the South.
The hotel has hosted many famous folks over its 124-year history, but the new owners Partridge Inn Holdings, LLC. and management company, Northpointe Hospitality Management, LLC., decided to spruce up and modernize the historic building, spending about $8 million on renovations during the past year. Now, the hotel still retains its incredible charm and provides its guests with the most modern facilities available.
“Our guests tell us that they love the way we retained the historic charm while adding modern amenities and impeccable service,” says Hotel General Manager Lloyd Van Horn. “During their stay at The Partridge Inn, our guests will not only experience the Southern hospitality but will also enjoy a first-class culinary program, live entertainment and a host of special events.”
Known as “The Grand Hotel of the Classic South,” and beloved by heads of state, business luminaries and celebrities for over a century, The Partridge Inn has undergone an extensive yet careful restoration; allowing guests to not only experience the original 1836 house which remains encompassed within the building, but to also enjoy the comforts and conveniences of a contemporary luxury hotel.
The hotel has 144 newly-renovated rooms and suites. All guest rooms feature a flat-screen cable TV, iPod docking station, and coffee-making facilities. Rooms at the Partridge Inn are uniquely decorated with contemporary furnishings. Select suites include a balcony and kitchen. In the heart of Augusta, this historic Georgia inn features an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant, and free Wi-Fi. Access to the fitness center and free parking are provided to guests throughout their stay. A laundromat, meeting facilities, and banquet facilities are available as well. The hotel even has facilities for electric vehicle charging.
The Partridge Inn also has a newly-renovated restaurant on-site, The P.I. Bar and Grill. The P.I. Bar and Grill’s new Executive Chef Robert Plouffe infuses traditional Southern cuisine with French, Caribbean, and Continental fare creating dishes sure to please everyone. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with optional outdoor seating on the verandah, which I highly recommend for the full experience. The hotel’s famous Sunday Brunch has long been an Augusta tradition.
When not rented out for parties or special events, the hotel’s rooftop opens as a pop-up bar with unbelievable views of downtown. Yeah, you read that right. You get to hang out in the penthouse and on the roof as long as it is not reserved. Translation: No rooftop bar during Masters week because some golf millionaire flew in and rented it out for the week. But for now, it’s a really cool spot to enjoy cocktails and a fantastic view.
The property is conveniently located three miles from the James Brown Arena, Morris Museum of Art and The Augusta Riverwalk along the Savannah River, which hosts various seasonal events. Georgia’s second oldest city is known worldwide for the Masters, and keen golfers will be spoiled for choice with several beautiful courses in the area.
The Partridge Inn was first built back in 1836 as a private residence. It wasn’t until 1892 when the then residence was purchased by Morris Partridge, that is was converted in to a hotel. During 1892 – 1930, Morris Partridge’s hotel became a popular destination for visitors to Augusta, the South’s premier winter resort destination. He developed a reputation as being a gracious and charismatic host, whose hotel served the very finest in cuisine, and provided the utmost in care to all guests. During this period of prosperity, Morris expanded on the Inn, adding an extra four stories to the existing two, and a quarter-mile of verandah and balconies. In total 60 rooms were added, enabling the hotel to open as an ‘official hostelry’ in 1910.
In 1923, the city officials of Augusta chose The Partridge Inn as a host for a special gala to be held for President Warren G. Harding. During the great depression of the 30’s – 50’s, the Oil tycoon, Henry Flagler, extended railroads to Florida, which soon surpassed Augusta as the south’s go to winter destination. This had drastic effects on the local economy, leaving Morris Partridge with no other alternative but to sell.
In the 1960’s the building was converted into a block of apartments, that served as a residence until the 1970’s. In the 1980’s after a long period of decline, a group of local community leaders, activists, politicians, and investors fought on behalf of The Partridge Inn, saving it from the brink of demolition. By 1988 the hotel was re-opened to roaring success that would last to this day.
If you like your hotels to have some spirits other than the ones you can drink, the Partridge Inn is reportedly haunted by the spirit of a beautiful young girl named Emily. She has long chestnut colored hair, and is allegedly seen wandering the hotel in her wedding dress. It is believed, Emily was getting ready for her wedding day when she heard of the tragic death of her fiancé. He was on his way into town on his horse for the ceremony when he was mistaken for a soldier wanted for treason. He was shot on sight. This tragic news was completely devastating to the young Emily. She reportedly wore her dress for several weeks, before dying of a broken heart.
The Partridge Inn’s rates are very reasonable for a luxury hotel, running from about $120 and up during all times of the year other than Masters. For exact rates and more information contact The Partridge at www.partridgeinn.com.
Can’t Get Tickets to the Masters? Forest Hills Offers Good Alternative
AUGUSTA, Ga – If you are among the 99.99 per cent of American golfers who do not have tickets to the 2016 Masters golf tournament, but still would love to smack some balls on a great course near the revered layout, listen up.
There is still a lot of good golf to be had in the Augusta area.
Not the least of which is the Forest Hills Golf Club, located within a few Bubba Watson drives from the Augusta National first tee.
This rolling fairways course, lined with ancient trees, offers golfers an Augusta National feel with affordable rates.
Established in 1926, Augusta University’s Forest Hills Golf Club is a much loved staple within the golf community in Augusta, Georgia. This 18-hole golf course holds remarkable history from Bobby Jones beginning his 1930 Grand Slam of Golf at Forest Hills in the Southeastern Open to college golf events where future greats like Phil Mickelson (1989), Davis Love III, (1981, 1982) and others have competed.
Forest Hills is home to the Men’s and Women’s Jaguar Golf Teams, and became a part of golf history again when the Men’s Team successfully defended their 2010 NCAA Division I National Title and earned their second consecutive National Championship in 2011.
The 18-hole golf course was originally designed by world renowned golf course architect Donald Ross and was renovated by the Arnold Palmer Company in 2004. Continuing its long-standing tradition of excellence, Forest Hills is repeatedly named “Best Public Golf Course” by Augusta Magazine and offers traditional Southern topography with level, rolling fairways surrounded by magnificent trees.
On top of affordable rates this accessible golf course features a driving range and practice facility, a bar and grill, and banquet facility. Annual memberships are also available. During Master’s Week, special package rates apply – advance reservations for Forest Hills Masters Week play are now being accepted at a cost of $150 per golfer, with a Southern-style boxed lunch, range balls and cart included. www.theforesthillsgolfcourse.com
Here are some review comments:
“Since joining this course late last year, I’ve come to appreciate the old school design of hilly, sloping greens and exact placement of shots. This is a course which will test all your golfing knowledge. Course is continually being upgraded and to me is one of the better courses for the money. The greens were redone a few years ago after a poor replacement several years ago and they are very difficult to say the least. Not a level place on the greens and the fairways are getting better all the time. Hats off to the management for making the commitment for continuing progress on an old styled course and making it better and better all the time.”
“I set up a tee time through Golfnow.com. I have been looking forward to playing this course for some time now. The course was in excellent shape and provided quite a challenge. The staff was very professional. Aside from the Augusta National, I believe that this course is the best in Augusta!”
“Great, great course for those who know how to golf and what golf is supposed to be. Fast and hard and perfect greens. Good luck high handicappers. Beautiful views and gorgeous holes. If you can play here, worth twice the price! DO IT!”
Forest Hills data:
1500 Comfort Rd
Augusta, GA 30909-3044
P: (706) 733-0001
F: (706) 667-0093
The 18-hole “Forest Hills” course at the Forest Hills Golf Club facility in Augusta features 7,231 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 72.2 and it has a slope rating of 126. Designed by Donald J. Ross, ASGCA/(R) Arnold Palmer, the Forest Hills golf course opened in 1926. Dan Elliott manages the course as the General Manager/Director of Golf.
Other golf courses in the Augusta area include:
Green Meadows Golf Course, Green Meadows Course
18 holes over 6,392 yards with a par of 72 (Public)
2900 Green Meadows Dr
Augusta, GA 30906-5368
2 miles from the center of Augusta.
Augusta Municipal Golf Course, Augusta Course
18 holes over 6,056 yards with a par of 72 (Municipal)
2023 Highland Ave
Augusta, GA 30904-5306
4 miles from the center of Augusta.
The First Tee of Augusta, First Tee of Augusta Course
9 holes over 2,772 yards with a par of 33 (Public)
3165 Damascus Rd
Augusta, GA 30909-4035
5 miles from the center of Augusta.
Goshen Plantation Golf Club, Goshen Plantation Course
18 holes over 7,423 yards with a par of 72 (Public)
1601 Goshen Clubhouse Dr
Augusta, GA 30906-9303
5 miles from the center of Augusta.
Augusta Country Club, Augusta Course
18 holes over 6,771 yards with a par of 72 (Private)
655 Milledge Rd
Augusta, GA 30904-6986
6 miles from the center of Augusta.
West Lake Country Club, West Lake Course
18 holes over 6,876 yards with a par of 72 (Private)
3556 W Lake Dr
Augusta, GA 30907-8930
10 miles from the center of Augusta.