Alex Findlay added a basic 9-hole golf course to the wide range of sporting activities at the famous Greenbrier spa and hotel a century ago and this initial layout has developed over the years into a fantastic 54-hole golf complex that has hosted both the Ryder Cup in 1979 and the Solheim Cup in 1994.
The two main 18-hole courses on the property are the Greenbrier and Old White but for golfers who find this pair a little too arduous, the Meadows course is just the job as it’s a less demanding course, perfect for the vacation golfer.
Uniquely, the Meadows course (formerly known as the Lakeside) actually came about as a means of spreading and disguising the spoil from construction of The Greenbrier Hotel’s Cold War Bunker which housed the then secret underground Congressional command shelter.
In 1963, Dick Wilson incorporated some of the Seth Raynor holes from The Greenbrier (now holes 8-10) into what was then called the Lakeside, a par 70 course measuring 6,336 yards. In 1999, Bob Cupp updated the layout, adding over 450 yards to the overall length as he formed the par 71 Meadows course.
Tom Fazio subsequently replaced two holes created by Cupp in 2004 due to new flood control issues when he was constructing the Snead course at the Greenbrier Sporting Club. However after sustaining significant flood damage in 2016, the Meadows course closed for restoration, managed by director of grounds Kelly Shumate and Vice President of Golf Operations Burt Baine. The Meadows reopened in 2017 with a new design and routing, using six holes from the Greenbrier course.
The six former Greenbrier holes (#9 through #14) are now holes #10 through #15 on the Meadows course and the only hole that was significantly modified was the driveable par 4 #14 (Sahara), which is now a tough 220-yard uphill par three. The new par 70 Meadows course measures 6,602 yards from the tips, but five sets of tees make this layout manageable for all levels of golfer providing Greebrier's trademark revetted bunkers are avoided.
The par five 4th hole is the longest of the three par fives on the card and is rated the toughest hole on the Meadows course. It demands accuracy, with Howard’s Creek guarding the left side and out of bounds on the right. The home hole is the second hardest on the scorecard, which requires a forced carry approach over Swan Lake to a well bunkered green.