Starmount Forest's history dates back to 1930 and includes some of the legends of golf.
Starmount Forest Country Club was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Benjamin in 1930.
The course was designed by Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek, noted golf course architects at that time. It is the only course to ever bear their names in the state of North Carolina. There were once 140 of them stretching from Maine to New Mexico. Today there are less than 80 remaining.
When the golf course opened on August 1, 1930, West Market Boulevard (now West Market Street) had not been extended beyond Sunset Hills and there were very few homes for miles.
Starmount Forest has hosted golf's greatest players.
Nearly eight years later, Starmount Forest was the inaugural co-host for the first GGO (Greater Greensboro Open) on March 26, 1938. Sam Snead, age 24, won the first tournament by five shots with an 11-under 271. He earned $1,200 for his efforts.
Starmount Forest was host of at least one round of the PGA Tour stop on 16 occasions from 1938-1960. During that time Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan all were victorious on these hallowed grounds.
And they weren’t the first legends to walk Starmount. Prior to that, Henry Picard and Walter Hagen dueled in an 18-hole playoff for the 1932 Carolinas Open title. Hagen had already won five PGA Championship titles before that time, while Picard would go on to win The Masters six years later.
The 1947 United States Women’s Open was held at Starmount Forest Country Club, just the second year the event was held. Winning $1,200, Betty Jameson won by six shots with a nine-under 295. The layout for that event measured at 6,414 yards. Par for the tournament was 76.
It was the first time a 72-hole stroke play format was used. The 1946 Women’s Open had been played in a match play format.
The contractor for the original clubhouse construction was D.F. Harwell. In the latter part of the 1930’s, a ballroom and golf shop were added, then a kitchen and dining area were provided, and later four tennis courts. In 1956, the swimming pool was added.
In May 1956, however, the clubhouse burned to the ground and everything was lost. Commencement of the present clubhouse, with greatly enlarged facilities, was started immediately after the fire. The new clubhouse opened in the spring of 1957.
Rising from the ashes, Starmount Forest continued to grow.
The clubhouse was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original structure in 1956.
In 1970 and 1971, the entire 18-hole championship golf course was renovated under the direction of course architect George Cobb. All tees and greens were rebuilt at that time.
The Club was purchased by the members in 1984 from the Benjamin family and Starmount Corporation. Starmount Forest has been member-owned ever since.
During the last three decades, the club has undergone several significant renovation projects. In 1988, the Club renovated several areas including a new swimming pool, air conditioned snack bar, tennis building, card/game room and golf pro shop on the lower level.
In 1994, the Club closed for six months for a major renovation of the kitchen facilities, the entire lower level, locker rooms, meeting facilities, new golf course irrigation system and landscaping in major areas around the clubhouse.
In 1999, a total golf course renovation was designed by architect Lester George. At the same time the Turf Center was rebuilt and significant Clubhouse renovations took place. As part of the renovation, 8,000 linear feet of creek banks throughout the course were reconstructed to eliminate course flooding.
A new century brings a modernization of Starmount Forest
The Club built four new clay tennis courts in 2005 bringing the total number of soft courts to eight. The original four courts were later deconstructed to make room for the current Indoor facility.
A brand new, state-of-the-art Indoor Tennis and Fitness Facility was added to the Club in 2008. The indoor tennis facility, which totals 22,000 square feet, has four DecoTurf courts for year-round play. The attached fitness facility, which spans just under 9,000 square feet, has two classrooms for fitness instruction, plus circuit training & cardio equipment on the upper level.
The latest renovation, which began in 2015, set out to add a resort-style pool and outdoor dining facility, short game practice facility for golf, renovate the member dining side of the 34,000 square foot clubhouse, and add two more outdoor clay tennis courts.