After nearly 100 years of golf at Forsyth Country Club (FCC), a strong case could be made that the golf course has never been better. Starting as a 9-hole layout with sand greens soon after the Club was founded in 1913, the course was upgraded to a “real” 9-hole course by A.W. Tillinghast on the property that today contains the back 9. In 1920, Donald Ross was hired to give FCC a true championship 18-hole course.
Today, Ross is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, golf course architects in history. In Golf Week’s “100 Best Classic and 100 Best Modern Courses”, Ross tops all other architects with 26 to his credit.
Over the years, however, small and large changes were made to the course, and much of Ross’s genius had been lost. Recognizing that FCC owned a truly spectacular piece of real estate with significant elevation changes right in the heart of Winston-Salem, and that the course routing was still intact from possibly the greatest golf course architect ever, the next step was obvious! In 2007, Ross restoration specialist Kris Spence was hired to restore and update the course and bring back the classic elements of Ross courses that make them so highly regarded.
The result is a great classic layout, updated for today’s game, and showcasing the latest advancements in turf quality. A1/A4 bent grass greens provide smooth, fast surfaces for greens that replicate Ross’s original design. Several unique architectural features restored from Ross’s original work at FCC include the rugged “Bear’s Mouth” hillside on #8, the mounds known as the “Coffins” on #16, and the “Hornet’s Nest” cluster of bunkers on #18. Classic Ross bunkering of flat sand bottoms and steep grass faces require that golfers must think their way around the course. Ross is famous for his green complexes, and some of Forsyth’s greens have distinct shoulders and steep fall-offs while others are low to the ground. Regardless, all will accept low running shots, making the course playable and fun for all ages and abilities.
Playing to a par of 71 or 70, depending on how #8 is set up, Forsyth is 6,784 yards and plays to a course rating of 72.8 at par 71 and 72.2 on the par 70 layout. The practice facility is second to none with extensive driving range tee space, a complete short game facility with two greens and five sand bunkers, and a large putting green. The course has been getting rave reviews from members, as well as guests and course raters from all over the South.
Head Golf Professional
John Faidley, PGA
Our Head Golf Professional, John Faidley, is a graduate of The University of South Carolina- Coastal. He has been at Forsyth Country Club since 2001 and previously held Head Golf Professional/Director of Golf positions at Beachwood Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Country Club of South Carolina in Florence, SC, and The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. John leads our golf operation with over 25 years of Head Golf Professional experience.
After signing and playing at East Carolina University, John transferred to USC- Coastal where he was named All-Conference in his junior and senior seasons. In 2014, John was named to the Big South Conference’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s.
He is a very accomplished player having won many Carolinas PGA pro-ams and events. In the 1990s, John played in a dozen events on what is now the Web.com Tour, making the cut in the 1999 South Carolina Classic where he played final rounds with Chris DiMarco and Charlie Rymer. In 2000, John led every major tournament in the Carolinas PGA entering the final round. Two of his main highlights came in 2005 when he shot 61 twice in competition. In 2015, John qualified for and participated in the RBC Heritage Classic on the PGA Tour.
John is very involved with the Carolinas PGA Section affairs. He served on the Board of Directors from 2010-2013 in the role of Tournament Chairman and has been a member of the tournament committee for nearly two decades. John was instrumental in the Carolinas Section relocating their headquarters to Greensboro, North Carolina in 2014.
In 2010, John created the Forsyth Country Club Celebrity Pro-Am that benefits The First Tee of the Triad. Each year the event donates over $100,000 to this most worthwhile cause. In 2016, the First Tee of the Triad will open the John Faidley Learning Center at Winston Lake Golf Club. The facility will house the western regional office for The First Tee of the Triad as well as a computer lab, short game area, and driving range. The facility will be the first of its kind, including an academic component as well as a golf learning center. John has served on The First Tee of the Triad’s Board of Directors since 2010.
During John’s tenure at Forsyth, he has been nominated multiple times by his peers for the Carolinas PGA’s most prestigious awards; Golf Professional of the Year (six times), Merchandiser of the Year- Private (three times), Bill Strasbaugh Award (three times), Junior Golf Leader (three times), Presidents Plaque (two times), and Horton Smith Award (one time).
John has a strong commitment to the junior golf program at Forsyth and in our community. He has had more than a dozen juniors at Forsyth who have signed Division-I golf scholarships. His staff is very committed to each junior reaching their personal goals within the game of golf