Adairsville, Ga. 'Todays guests can thank Prince Hubertus Fugger of Bavaria for the transformation of this luxury resort an hour northwest of Atlanta. Engaged by the propertys history, Fugger bought the land in 1988, spent more than $3.5 million to restore the elaborate gardens planted a century and a half earlier, and opened them to the public in 1992. Five years later, Barnsley Gardens became Barnsley Gardens Resort with the addition of 33 English-style guest cottages, a Jim Fazio-designed golf course called The General, and other activities, including fishing, horseback riding and sporting clays.
The original owner, Godfrey Barnsley, would have been proud, for he intended the estate to be a place of respite. Barnsley, an English cotton baron, was married to Julia Scarborough, a shipping heiress from Savannah, Georgia. When Julia fell sick, Barnsley moved her to north Georgia, hoping she would benefit from the gentler climate, but she died of consumption before the gardens and luxury manor he envisioned were completed.
According to legend, Julia appeared to Godfrey in the gardens a year after her death and told him to finish the work for their six children and future generations. He did finish, building a mansion and a garden inspired by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing, designer of the White House grounds and the Washington Mall. But Barnsley soon lost his fortune in the Civil War, and Union soldiers ransacked the estate, helping themselves to the manors imported furnishings, Italian marble and other treasures. Godfreys daughter Julia struggled to rebuild the property, but the sad saga continued when a tornado blew the roof off the manor in 1906. (Julia, incidentally, is said to be Margaret Mitchells inspiration for the character of Scarlett OHara in Gone with the Wind.) In 1935, one of Godfreys great-grandsons murdered his brother during an argument over control of the property. Barnsley descendents continued to occupy the estate until it was sold at auction in 1942.
The property sat in disrepair until the arrival of Fugger, who also looked to Downings writings when building the resorts pedestrian village. Like spokes on a wheel, footpaths extend from the town hall. The grand Woodlands clubhouse sits at the southern edge of the village, while on the northwestern perimeter are the mansion ruins, gardens and the resorts fine-dining restaurant, Rice House.
Fugger, who sold the property to local investors in 2004, was so intent on maintaining the Downing-inspired gardens that he hired a horticulturalist to travel the country with Barnsleys receipts, searching for the same plants. The result is a stunning array of boxwoods, more than 140 species of roses and the largest collection of private conifers in the Southeast, with more than 80 species of pine dating to the 1850s.
On crisp fall afternoons, these grounds beg to be explored on foot. The cottage-lined streets and paths give way to open, rolling fields, which in turn lead up to wooded ridges criss-crossed by 12 miles of hiking trails. Evenings offer pleasant outings as well: Many guests gather at the Bavarian Beer Garden, where an open fire pit is the staging area for staff-led walking tours punctuated by ghost stories from the estates sometimes-spooky past.
During the day, golfers can negotiate Fazios broad-shouldered 7,189-yard layout, routed along 378 acres of woodland. There are a number of dogleg holes and semiblind tee shots'a repeat round is crucial for familiarization'but the challenge is clear on an outstanding set of par 3s. Three of four play downhill, including the 240-yard 8th and the 227-yard 14th, both tumbling nearly 100 feet from tee to green.
Barnsleys homey cottages come with a private porch and rocking chairs, heart-of-pine floors, wood-burning fireplace and four-poster feather beds dressed in Egyptian linens. Adding a personal touch to each guests stay is Denise Webb, otherwise known as the Fairy Godmother. Employed as a sort of down-home concierge, Webb describes her mission as seeking to overwhelm guests with good things. That can mean everything from in-room gifts like cards, stuffed animals and rose petal-strewn floors, to learning someones favorite afternoon snack and personally delivering it to their cottage. Sadly, there is much pain in this propertys past. But thanks to the efforts of people like Prince Fugger and the Fairy Godmother, only the good life abounds at Barnsley Gardens these days.
by Allen Allnoch, LINKS Magazine
Photo courtesy of www.barnsleyresort.com
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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18