Furman Golf Course/REK Center
Furman’s beautiful 170-acre golf course is considered one of the finest college courses in the country.
Designed by Richard K. Webel of Long Island, N.Y., and Walter Cosby, superintendent of grounds and greens at the famed Greenbrier Hotel and Golf Resort, the course was built in the late 1950s when few colleges had a course on campus.
Measuring approximately 6,994 yards from the championship tees and 6,400 from the women’s tees, the course features Champion Bermuda greens and Bermuda fairways and is fully irrigated. With Greenville’s temperate climate, the Furman course is open for play year-round.
Since the 1970s, the course has been the site of two outstanding college tournaments, the Furman Intercollegiate and the Lady Paladin Invitational. In addition, the Furman Pro-Am, has welcomed back many former Furman standouts and LPGA superstars.
Through the years, some of golf’s top talents have played Furman’s course, including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Patty Berg. In addition, many former Paladin greats such as Brad Faxon, Betsy King, Beth Daniel, Dottie Pepper and Sherri Turner have returned often to play the course where they honed their skills on the way to outstanding professional careers.
Now a semi-private facility, the Furman golf course has approximately 300 members. The course hosts the annual AAAA South Carolina State High School Championship and sponsors several tournaments for club members and guests. The Furman golf course is also home to several top national junior golf tournaments, including AJGA, SJGT, PKBT, and Hurricane Tour.
The REK Center for Intercollegiate Golf, which opened in the summer of 1997, has provided a big boost to Furman’s golf program. Launched with a $75,000 gift from Betsy King, Beth Daniel and Dottie Pepper and completed with the help of an anonymous donor, the center serves as clubhouse and practice facility for Furman’s men’s and women’s golf teams. In addition to coaches’ offices, locker rooms and a meeting area, it features putting and chipping greens, as well as fairway and greenside bunkers.
The lobby in the REK center is dedicated to the memory of Connie Timmons, who hosted the Pro-Am breakfast for many years.
In 2005, Connie and Bill Timmons were selected as honorary inductees into the Furman Athletic Hall of Fame due to their tireless support of the university’s golf programs, the Pro-Am, and entire athletic program. Furman’s basketball arena is also named for the Timmons family, and daughter Scott Timmons Hipp was a letterwinner on the Lady Paladin golf team in 1973-74.
A Kris Spence-directed renovation of the Furman Golf Club in 2008 featured a redesign of green complexes, change from bent grass to Champion Bermuda turf, repositioning of fairway bunkers to bring them into play for the modern era, and addition of approximately 200 yards to the championship layout. Spence, who has renovated several Donald Ross designs in the Carolinas, added many Ross characteristics to the Furman course.
In March of 2012 Furman expanded the REK Center, adding four new Champion Bermuda grass greens while also renovating the existing bent grass green. The approximately seven-acre area, designed by Scot Sherman, provides players with multiple short game practice possibilities and an opportunity to play multi-directional par-3 holes.