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Old White TPC - Hole #1

Watson's Favorite Starting Hole in Golf - Old White TPC

Do Not Take My Word For It

By Brian Weis

While on a recent golf trip to The Greenbrier, I had the pleasure of dining at Sam Snead's with Lynn Swann, Director of Public Relations, and Robert Conte, resident Historian. My goal was simple - to uncover some of the rich golf history of the property. The two were an absolute wealth of information and frankly looking at my notes I could write a book. I realize at this point, it might be best to just to recommend one - The History of the Greenbrier.

My notebook is filled with dates of course openings and redesigns, legends who played the course and a recap of Stuart Appleby's history-making 59 shot at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. The one story that stood out to me was the one introduced as Watson's quote about TPC Old White.

In 2006, The Greenbrier's Old White Course re-opened after a four-year restoration by architect Lester George. The ceremonial event started with drives from Beth Daniel, LPGA, and Tom Watson, The Greenbrier's Golf Professional Emeritus. Before he hit his drive, Watson dubbed the first hole on The Old White TPC his favorite opening shot in all of golf.

After hearing the story, I made a comment to the effect that this was a quote you should use for marketing purposes. Robert chuckled, "we thought the same thing. Matter of fact, after Tom said it, I recall Lynn running back to her office in high heels to record his words."

The following morning I had a chance to play The Old White TPC. Standing on the first tee was a surreal experience knowing golf greats like Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead have all teed it up here. Not to mention that one of the very first rounds was played by President Woodrow Wilson.

Lynn followed up a few days later with an email containing the press release from the 2006 re-opening. Watson's quote appeared in the opening line.

"This is my favorite opening shot in all of golf."
~ Tom Watson.

For Tee Times and More Information:
The Greenbrier
300 W. Main Street
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986

Revised: 10/20/2011 - Article Viewed 34,442 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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