Tuesday

Mirimichi - Justin Timberlake's Gift to Golf

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Justin Timberlake has created something truly extraordinary in the rural woodlands just north of Memphis. Something that goes way beyond a golf course, country club or or even a resort. First and foremost, it's "a place of happy retreat," hence it's name, Mirimichi, a Native American word meaning just that.

As you probably know, Justin is passionate about golf, he learned from his father on Memphis area courses, and when he found out that one of the beautiful old tracks they used to play on was set to be auctioned off and developed, he grabbed it, and together with his dad and a dedicated team of experts turned it into a golf utopia that's also a nature sanctuary... and an incubator for future players.

There is a course... of course; par 72, and 7,400 challenging yards, traversed by streams and punctuated by cascading waterfalls. Mirimichi is the first course in the country to receive “Audubon Classic Sanctuary” certification from Audubon International. That implies innovative irrigation systems that recycle rainwater and reuse rinse water as well as environmentally friendly maintenance and building materials. Native grasses and shrubs provide most of the landscaping and that's just the beginning; eventually Mirimichi hopes to become the world’s first golf course to calculate its own carbon footprint. Mr. Timberlake and his team have taken this opportunity to demonstrate true environmental leadership.

Another thing I love about JT's golf sanctuary, and something that to my mind, sets it apart from any other, is that it's all about growing the game of golf. I'd even go so far as to say that it should... and hopefully will... become a model for future golf development.

What Justin and his team have done is create a golf environment that not only challenges the expert golfer with a world class course but also encourages new players with unique facilities and instruction....and without the intimidation factor that comes into play at many high level courses.

Little Mirimichi, a 9-hole, par-35 course, will allow golfers an opportunity to learn the game and improve their skill sets. There will also be an 18-hole putting course and world class practice facility that encompasses a large bunker and chipping practice area and a driving range.

In sum, Justin Timberlake's mission with Mirimichi is to provide a golf environment that's inclusive and empowering for newer golfers while ensuring that the most highly skilled golfers will be challenged and impressed. And to my mind this is outlook is right in line with growing the game.

Beginning today, golfers can book a tee time to play at Mirimichi on its opening day, Saturday, July 25. Reservations can also be made by calling the pro shop at 901-259-3800, or online at www.mirimichi.com.