A brief history of Biltmore Forest Country Club
From the earliest days of the Roaring Twenties, Biltmore Forest Country Club has played a significant role in the distinguished social history of Asheville and the Carolinas. Its reputation extends to the premier country clubs of The South.
Mrs. Edith Vanderbilt, widow of George W. Vanderbilt, was instrumental in acquiring the land for the town of Biltmore Forest from the Biltmore Estate in 1920. Included was a site for a country club. She made plans with a group of leading citizens, including Junius G. Adams, Burnham S. Colburn, Thomas W. Raoul and William Knight, all of whom were Charter members.
Once the town was laid out and the first houses were under construction, Donald Ross was retained to design the golf course; Edward L. Palmer of Baltimore was given the architectural commission for the clubhouse and Chauncey D. Beadle of the Biltmore Estate was chosen as landscape architect.
Construction began the following year. Miss Cornelia Vanderbilt, the owner, advanced funds for furniture and equipment. An organizational meeting for the board of governors was held on June 8, 1922. The official opening ceremonies were held on the Fourth of July, 1922 as part of a gala celebration.
In the years between the world wars, Biltmore Forest Country Club’s magnificent setting and superb views attracted many world famous leaders such as Bobby Jones, Bill Tilden, General "Black Jack" Pershing, John D. Rockefeller, William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Queen Juliana of Holland, and New York Governor, Al Smith.
In 1940, the club executed a 10 year lease with the Biltmore Company at $10,000 per year, with the option to buy the club for $200,000. In 1948, the club exercised the option and issued $175,000 in 30 year 5% bonds to the Biltmore Company thereby becoming a member owned, private club.
The club has undergone many changes and renovations over the years with the most recent being a 2.5 million dollar restoration of the golf course and an 8.5 million dollar restoration of the clubhouse. Both projects had as their mission to restore the club’s facilities back to its original 1922 splendor.
Biltmore Forest Country Club continues to be a by-invitation, member owned, private club. It has achieved Platinum status placing it among the top 10% of all private clubs in North America. The staff and membership are proud to be part of Biltmore’s history and fine traditions.