By: Rob Harris
Interity assumed the management of the club in July 2015, announcing its arrival with a press release declaring:
Integrity Golf Company, one of the leading golf course operators in the world, is pleased to announce the company is now overseeing golf operations at Country Club of Bristol here in northeastern Tennessee.
The long-term lease agreement, effective July 1, helps broaden Integrity Golf’s footprint in Tennessee and represents a new era for this historic property that dates to 1894. Earlier in the week, the club was acquired by Bristol Preservation LLC, a local TriCities Tennessee group controlled by well-known local businessmen Mitch Walters and Roscoe Bowman. Longtime real estate professional Tim Carter also is part of Bristol Preservation LLC.
“The whole idea behind this effort is to preserve this golf course and keep Tennessee’s oldest club alive,” says Walters, whose Friendship Family of Dealerships is one of the leading automotive companies in the Southeast. “We didn’t want it closed and turned into a major development because you can never build it back once that happens. Integrity Golf gives us the opportunity to do that.
Barely a year later, Integrity was gone, reported to have “abruptly walked out on the 10-year lease.”
The club owners have now filed suit against Integrity issuing a terse statement: “While regrettable, this filing became necessary due to events and actions over which Bristol Preservation, LLC had no control, … We do not expect to make any further comments about the lawsuit at the present time.”