As seen from a drone, the Franklin Bridge Golf Club features a historic bridge that crosses the Harpeth River and was once part of an old county road that ran through farmland. / Photo submitted
By JOHN McBRYDE
The former Forrest Crossing Golf Course known more recently as The Crossing has been sold to a Mississippi native who has more than 20 years of golf industry experience and a longtime desire to own his own business.
Brooks West, a PGA professional since 2004, joined local investor partners to buy the course from American Golf, and has changed its name to Franklin Bridge Golf Club after the historic bridge that crosses the Harpeth River on the course. West said the timing on this purchase was ideal.
“I heard through the grapevine that American Golf was going to sell this property, so I’ve been pushing and clawing and scratching since then,” he said. “I got it under contract in July and here we are.
“My whole life has led up to this. Really, everything I’ve done has kind of prepared me for it.”
West said in the time since he changed the name to Franklin Bridge he has heard plenty of stories about when the bridge was a prominent feature on what used to be a county road. That, of course, was long before the arrival of the golf course as well as the adjacent Mack Hatcher Parkway.
“This was old farmland, and a county road dissected the farmland,” West said. “It’s been great hearing some of the stories from people who remember the bridge.”
After he does more research and gathers more stories, West said he plans to install a plaque in the clubhouse entryway that tells about the bridge. He will also have the bridge cleaned thoroughly and painted red.
In addition, West will make a commitment to improving pace of play on the course, a concern he has heard since he began the deal to purchase last summer.
“In all my research and talking to folks the past 10 months, the golf cars and slow pace of play are the two biggest complaints,” he said. “I already have a new fleet of golf cars and will be making a daily commitment to improving pace of play.”
West plans to switch the nines, therefore changing what has been the 361-yard, par-4 9th hole the club’s signature 18th hole. It features an approach to an island green, testing the nerve and ability of even the most skilled players.
Other improvements and changes include:
- Renovated restrooms, entryway and golf shop
- Comprehensive Player Development Program, targeting juniors, women and beginners
- Flexible membership options and expanded loyalty programs
- Reversed layout, finishing on the signature Par-4 island green framed by the plantation-style clubhouse
- Opened sight lines between holes for enhanced Harpeth River vistas
- Improved course conditions, including lower and more-playable rough heights
West has worked a wide variety of roles in the golf industry prior to his purchase of Franklin Bridge. He graduated from Mississippi State’s acclaimed Professional Golf Management Program and is an accomplished player, winning the 2007 Gulf States PGA Professional Championship. He would go on to caddy on both the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour, highlighted by a win on Jerod Turner’s bag at the 2009 Soboba Classic, Rickie Fowler’s professional debut.
West’s green-grass golf operations experience spans from Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville to The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Dorado Beach Resort & Club in Puerto Rico. Most recently, he worked in golf car fleet sales for the Yamaha Golf-Car Company for eight years as a district, regional and national sales manager – U.S. Dealer and Direct Fleet Sales.
West currently lives in East Nashville with his wife, Ashley, and their 1½-year-old son, Holden. The family plans to move to Williamson County later this year.
“I wanted to raise my family in Williamson County, wanted to own my own business and I wanted to be in golf, so I think I’ve found the perfect confluence of all that,” he said.
The Franklin Bridge Golf Club is located at 750 Riverview Drive in Franklin.