Right from its inception in the 1920s, Biltmore Forest has played an integral role in the distinguished social history of Asheville, N.C. Edith Vanderbilt, the widow of industrialist George W. Vanderbilt, was instrumental in acquiring the land from the Biltmore Estate in 1920. Included in the land purchase was a site for a country club. Along with a group of leading town citizens, including Junius G. Adams, Burnham S. Colburn, Thomas W. Raoul and William Knight, she created a charter membership.
Once blueprints for the town were created and the first houses were being built, the club hired Donald Ross to design the golf course. Edward L. Palmer, of Biltmore, was chosen as the architect for the clubhouse and Chauncey D. Beadle, of the Biltmore Estate, selected as the landscape architect.
Construction began a year later. Cornelia Vanderbilt, the owner and daughter of Edith Vanderbilt, advanced funds for furniture and equipment. A gala opening ceremony was held on July 4, 1922. Cornelia Vanderbilt even struck the “opening shot’ on the golf course.
Between the two World Wars, Biltmore Forest Country Club’s serene setting and picturesque views attracted plenty of dignitaries, including Bob Jones, tennis star Bill Tilden, General “Black Jack” Pershing, John D. Rockefeller, William Jennings Bryan, U.S. Presidents William Howard Taft and Calvin Coolidge, Queen Juliana of Holland and New York Governor Al Smith.
Over the years, the club has undergone several changes and renovations, with the most recent being a $2.5 million restoration of the course and an $8.5 million restoration of the clubhouse. The mission of both projects was to restore the facilities to its 1922 look and feel.
The golf course is located on rolling terrain that offers up gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Water comes into play on seven holes and many of the fairways are tree-lined.