Outdoor Recreation in Hattiesburg

A Hub for Golf and Tennis

Three country clubs make Hattiesburg a haven for golfing and a growing hub for tennis playing.

The patriarch of local golf and tennis clubs is Hattiesburg Country Club, which began 100 years ago and recently underwent a revolution in how it is operated. It had been owned since 1919 by member stockholders. But in 2017, they voted to sell the club to Carter Callaway, a former professional golfer and Hattiesburg home builder, and Paul Maholm, a retired professional baseball player.

Callaway had been a member of the club for 12 years but had been concerned about it losing members since the Great Recession. “I love the Hattiesburg Country Club,” he told the Mississippi Business Journal. “I love the golf course. We have three small children and that is where we like to spend our time playing golf, tennis and swimming. I was concerned about the future of the club.”

The new owners remodeled and modernized the clubhouse. They are providing more family-based activities like swimming, junior tennis and junior golf.

“Hattiesburg Country Club is one of best courses in Mississippi,” Callaway told the Business Journal. “We want to create an atmosphere where people enjoy bringing the family out for dinner. And during football season, we want people to think of us first as a place to watch the game.”

Timberton Golf Club is a semi-private club founded in 1991. Its 18-hole course was designed by Mark McCumber, who won 10 PGA events and has appeared as a commentator on NBC, ABC and Fox Sports. The course has been ranked 4.5 stars by Golf Digest since 1994.

“You feel isolated on every hole you play. You don’t feel crowded,” said Richard Walsh, the head golf pro. Walsh said Timberton has about 210 members, but non-members can
also play.

After playing, Timberton guests can also enjoy a restaurant and a bar.

Major events and tournaments at Timberton include June’s Three Jacks and a Jill, in which teams of one lady and three guys play 36 holes over two days, with proceeds going to The University of Southern MIssissippi Athletics, and May’s Power the Extra Table Tournament, which benefits a group that supplies food to area food pantries and soup kitchens.

The newest Hattiesburg golf facility, Canebrake Country Club, opened in 1998. The Canebrake Community in West Hattiesburg is built around the 18-hole course designed by Jerry Pate. Canebrake is a private club, but members can bring guests to play or use its other facilities.

“Even if you don’t play golf, there are other membership options to enjoy our non-golf resources at the Club,” said Canebrake Membership Director Kayla Bloor. “Those include a 24-hour fitness center, a salon and spa, a junior-Olympic-sized swimming pool and a restaurant with a covered patio.”

“Canebrake offers a variety of charity events and member events,” Bloor said. These include annual golf tourneys to benefit the fight against breast cancer, the Ronald McDonald House for parents of hospitalized children and tournaments benefiting both of Hattiesburg’s universities.

One noteworthy golf event is bestowed on the region by the ADP itself. “2019 will bring us the 22nd annual ADP Corporate Golf Challenge,” said ADP Events Manager Niki Tillson. The Golf Challenge is rotated among the three country clubs, and the 2019 tournament will be held at Canebrake on Thursday, Sept. 19.

“There are two tee times, one at 8 a.m. and one at 1 p.m., and our goal is to have 100 golfers at each,” Tillson said. “This event is a unique opportunity that the ADP provides for our members to connect with a prospective client, with existing colleagues or with someone new.”