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Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd founding new Georgia golf club

Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd founding new Georgia golf club

Bubba Watson slipped into a couple of green jackets in Augusta as Masters champion and returns to Athens on occasion for Georgia football and basketball games.

So what brought the former Bulldog golfer back to the area last week?

He teased a new golf course on the horizon “The Rose,” on his social media accounts.

You might have been thinking, ‘What’s that all about?’

It’s a planned 200 to 300 invitation-only 18-hole golf club that will be built on 588 acres in Hull, less than 15 minutes from downtown Athens. It will be ready to open by late 2026. Unconnected to the course on the tract will be 147 homes.

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It all sprung from an idea of Watson’s Georgia teammate, Nick Cassini, and his brother Dimitri who are developers on the project and have their own development company, Cassini Holdings.

It received approval from the Madison County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 8.

“It’s all centered around creating an amazing golf experience, an amazing golf course,” Nick Cassini told the Athens Banner-Herald. “It’s a collective group that has a ton of experience. Our founders are members of many, many clubs around the country so we’re sort of bringing some of the best aspects of all those clubs into this one.”

Watson, among those who left the PGA Tour for the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Tour, joined UGA golf coach Chris Haack and Cassini last week along with Georgia golf alums Brendon Todd, David Denham and current assistant coach Mookie DeMoss to walk the site on what was a cold day.

Watson and Cassini were teammates in 2000-2001 who traveled together when they played on what’s now the Korn Ferry Tour.

“When I called Bubba up and told him about this, he immediately was excited about it,” said Nick Cassini who’s been friends with Watson since they were 12. “He saw it as a way to give back to the game, to the University of Georgia and with Athens and to really connect more with Athens and the school again. When we got approval, he wanted to come see the property.”

Watson, Todd and Athens resident and recent PGA Tour winner Chris Kirk are among those who will be founding members. They could have input into hole design, Haack said.


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