Angus & Ava Alberson acquired 1,000 acres of pristine Georgia land in the early 1950's. They and their two children, Jenny and Mike, enjoyed the land for almost ten years. They enjoyed horseback riding, hunting for game, and picnicking at the Blue Hole. During those happy, peaceful years, they called the homeplace and land "Westerly Plantation". It wasn't long before it occurred to them that the beautiful place might be enjoyed by many others.
In 1960 they decided to build a gathering place for friends and family that would eventually become known as the Doublegate Country Club. Mr. Alberson set aside 202 acres for golf, tennis, swimming, and social purposes. The Alberson family toured the finest golf courses from Miami to the great Carolina courses in Hilton Head and Pinehurst, on up to Washington, D.C. When the tour was finished, the family decided to retain George W. Cobb of Greenville, S.C. to design the golf course at Doublegate. The Albersons, street planners, and the late Gene Martini and his associates, now called Baldwin Associates, designed South Doublegate and St. Andrews subdivisions together as a single development.
Much thought was given to every design aspect of Doublegate. Mr. Alberson erected scaffolds so he could better decide on a location for the clubhouse that would present the most breathtaking view. The first plan of the Club building was largely inspired by Arnold Palmer's Country Club of Miami where the entryway is between two floors. The mound at the front door makes the Club entrance the highest point in Dougherty County. Richard V. Richards was the architect who gathered the multitude of inspirations and adapted them for use in the Clubhouse. The engineer for the construction was Mr. John Sperry and the Clubhouse was built by Oxford Construction.
The lockers were inspired by the Doral Country Club in Miami while the entrance gate columns are exact duplicates of those at the once famous, but since razed, Roney Plaza Hotel in Miami. The golf course opened for play on Thursday, August 6, 1964. Later, Mr. Alberson's interest was purchased by Mr. O.D. Carlton and Mr. C.T. Oxford (leading and defining forces behind the Club).
The Club continued to operate under private ownership until 1979 when it was sold to members. The golf course has undergone a multitude of improvements since its opening 50 years ago.
John LaFoy, a renowned golf course architect who had previously worked with George Cobb, was hired to design new green complexes, including bunkers, mounds, etc. for each hole. Tifton Golf Services was hired as the contractor and work began in January 1992. The membership played temporary greens during the course of the renovation. The new USGA specification greens opened for play in August 1992.
Doublegate has hosted several tournaments, like the Men's GSGA Amateur Championship (1971, 1987, 2002), the Georgia Women’s Golf Association Championship (1970, 1991, 2004), the State Seniors Championship, and the GSGA Men's Four Ball (1981, 1983, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2013) among others. Doublegate also hosted a Web.com Qualifier Tournament since 2008, as well as the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship Qualifier which one of our very own members, Mr. Bill Clanton, won 1 of the 3 available spots into the Championship. The Annual Nancy Lopez Hospice Charity Tournament remains a local favorite.
The Clubhouse underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 1997. Beautiful appointments and fine amenities are maintained and added to the Club over the years, but the graceful elegance of Doublegate remains a stalwart base of the Dougherty County & Lee County business and social elite.
In 2006, the USGA recommended that Doublegate convert their present Tifdwarf grass to the new Champion Bermudagrass, a member of the Ultradwarf family. With this, Doublegate was once again at the cutting edge of development.
A complete new modern irrigation system was installed during 2012. This included totally new pumps, capable of putting out twice the amount of water as the 50 year-old original system.
The updated “ins-and-out” around the greens were incorporated.
Tony Altum was commissioned to design the system. Tim Teel with the fastest and hardest working crew installed the system in five months.