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Our beginning dates back to October 23, 1958. On that day, Lloyd K. and Gordon Gibson, two Florida real estate developers in search of the ideal location to develop a golf resort in the North Carolina, signed the deal to purchase 300 acres of land from Mr. W. Edwards. The price tag was $45,000.

They brought in another partner from Florida, Dr. Frank G. Hodnette and formed Gib-Net Realty Group doing business as Sky Lake Golf Estates. The Gib-Net team started construction of the golf course using a bulldozer, a Jeep with a trailer, a farm tractor and countless hours of manual labor.

In 1959, golf course architect William Amick was brought in to complete the design work. Over the next four years the construction team faced incredible challenges such as removing solid rock hills and boulders, along with plenty of delays caused by summer downpours and brutally cold winters. The hard work and perseverance came to fruition on June 20, 1963 when the nine-hole Sky Lake Golf Estates golf course opened to the public.

Over the next several years, three holes were added to the course and ownership changed, first to a Florida golf pro William A. Meyers and then to a group of investors led by Edward Callaham.

The new investor group changed the name to Highlands Falls Country Club after the 100 foot waterfall that serves as the backdrop for our signature hole and hired Trout Jenks to redesign the course to an 18-hole layout and build a clubhouse.

In 1980 Leland Speed, the Chairman, CEO and President of Eastover Companies, formed Golf Properties, Inc. and took ownership of Highlands Falls Country Club.  Leland and his wife Bessie fell in love with the natural beauty of the place and they set about securing the future path the development would take.   To this end, Leland hired Joe Lee, a prominent, well known golf course architect to redesign and expand the course.

Never a club to rest on its laurels, Highlands Falls recently upgraded the clubhouse and dining experience. Howard Kuo, of Kuo Diedrich Chi Architects, created “an immersive experience with the mountain” through generous decks, large windows and an elevated position. The centerpiece of the redesign is the new indoor-outdoor casual bar with expanded seating to gather with friends and enjoy the captivating views in every direction.

Along with an updated clubhouse, Bill Bergin, ASCGA and his team at Bill Bergin Design  also worked their magic on the golf course, using the latest construction technology and specifications to reveal more natural features, increase the dramatic impact and elevate the playability of our premier facility.  

What comes next remains to be seen, but you can rest assured it will be another creative way to build on our hidden gem to take play to a higher elevation.