Canyon Ridge Golf Club, located atop Lookout Mountain, opened for play in 2005. The course and surrounding real estate development found early success as the mountain-top resort showed promise to become a jewel among the high-end establishments in the area. Excellent course conditions and incredible scenery drew interest from real estate buyers and golfers, alike, from throughout the Southeast.
The economic meltdown of 2008, which affected almost every aspect of American life, affected the golf industry, and, more importantly, it affected the real estate sector that fueled Canyon Ridge’s growth.
At that time a single entity maintained ownership of the golf course and real estate. As property sales and public play slowed, the golf course began to be sorely affected. From 2009 to 2011, the golf course conditions suffered due to operating in a heavy deficit. In early 2011, a potential deal surfaced that would bring a hotel and conference center to Canyon Ridge. That venture failed to come to fruition and the course continued to suffer. During this turbulent time, contrary to many myths that circulated the Chattanooga area, Canyon Ridge never went into foreclosure, was never closed, continued to maintain a fleet of golf carts, and the course was never in such disrepair as to be considered unplayable.
In September of 2011, however, Canyon Ridge found hope in the transfer of ownership of the course to Darryl Mims of Shelby, N.C. Mr. Mims’ father, Bud Mims, invested in the Canyon Ridge development long before the course was finished. Unfortunately, the late Mr. Mims passed away before the course opened in 2005. Darryl Mims assumed operations the golf course in 2011, but left the remainder of the real estate in the hands of Wells Fargo. The golf course now operates as a separate entity from the development.
Mr. Mims, a successful businessman in his own right, saw the same potential in Canyon Ridge that his father had seen. He immediately began investing in the course, upgrading maintenance equipment, improving the irrigation system, and implementing aggressive turf maintenance programs to improve the overall quality of the turf, all under the direction of Head Golf Professional Doug Amor and Superintendent Mark Dillard. He also began investing in the golf operations, by increasing staff, increasing the quantity of carts in the fleet, and by adding food and beverage service at the half-way house between holes nine and ten. The golf shop, which remained barren of most products during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, is now fully stocked with merchandise such as logoed apparel, playing essentials, and hard goods.
The excitement that Mr. Mims brought with him to his involvement at Canyon Ridge has transformed the fledgling golf course of 2009-2011 into, once again, one of the most pristine courses in the Chattanooga area. The plush fairways, the greens that roll true, and the overall golf experience (including the incredible views) will once again provide visitors with a reason to return time and time again. The future of Canyon Ridge is once again bright, with the leadership of Mr. Mims, Doug Amor, and Mark Dillard certain to continue guiding the course in the right direction. The course is open Tuesday through Sunday, and you may contact the golf shop at (706) 398-0882 or visit their website, www.canyonridgegolf.com, to schedule tee times or to find out more information about the course.