It’s hard to believe it’s been 35 calendar flips since our magnificent Champion Hills was formed. Bright minds came together to create a private club community and a tight-knit resident-member lifestyle that, to this day, is the crowning jewel of Western North Carolina.
Happy 35th anniversary, Champion Hills!
For nostalgic types, culture and politics were in high gear in 1988:
- George H.W. Bush was elected the 41st President of the United States
- The first Walmart Super Store opened in Washington, Missouri
- Women’s leg warmers became all the rage
- The Chicago Cubs played their first night game ever at Wrigley Field
- McDonald’s opened its 10,000th restaurant
- A loaf of bread costs 60 cents
- Microsoft sold its one millionth mouse
- The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director
- Floppy discs were a thing
- Margaret Thatcher became England’s first female Prime Minister
Meanwhile, closer to home, a local real estate broker identified the need for a luxury private golf club in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He shared the idea with the head golf professional at his club. Soon after, the pair found 524 acres that would later become the site of their shared vision.
By February 1988, more investors were added, and the renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio was approached to design the course. By the end of the month, the group had acquired additional acreage, making a total of 730 acres in the famed Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
What is now known as Fazio’s Mountain Masterpiece was constructed in four phases over the course of two years. The natural curvature of the land guided his design. Each fairway was sculpted inside its own valley with ample space for homes to be tucked discreetly into the woods along the hillsides.
By 1994, the first homes in Champion Hills were built across from what is now the award-winning wellness center, and the construction of our beautiful clubhouse was complete. The following two years saw enhancements to the golf course irrigation and drainage systems and the transition of fairways from bluegrass to bentgrass.
Arguably, the most significant transformation in the history of Champion Hills was the conversion of Champion Hills from privately owned to member-owned in December 2000. This allowed our members and residents to help mold the future of Champion Hills through our Club and Property Owners Association.
Our association has overseen the implementation of several enhancements, including the 2011 renovation of our clubhouse to include the Fazio Grill Room, along with significantly expanding our pool, fitness, and real estate offerings.
In 2016, we redesigned our driving range, and by 2017, we created an event lawn with stunning mountain views and a firepit for those crisp evenings with friends. The wellness center received another update that year. In 2019, the entire clubhouse was refreshed and reimagined. The main dining area became the Mountain View Room, and our grill into the current Fazio Pub.
So, here we are in 2023, celebrating 35 years, providing members with a sense of belonging in a warm and welcoming club atmosphere, and the pride in knowing they are a part of one of the premier clubs in golf-rich North Carolina. “Amazing” comes to mind, considering Champion Hills’ humble beginnings. What started as a quaint mountain community in Hendersonville, North Carolina, has grown into a highly acclaimed community with members and residents from across the globe.
We look forward to writing the next exciting chapter in the history of Champion Hills.