If you’ve driven by historic Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, you know it has been undergoing a huge renovation, also the new Bobby Jones Golf Course is set to open early November.
As part of the project, the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation built 12 new hard tennis courts for their next door neighbor, the beloved Bitsy Grant Tennis Center. The courts are being dedicated to a much loved and much missed member of the Bitsy Grant community, Ralph Foster.
The Friends of Bitsy Grant Tennis and the City of Atlanta will celebrate the opening of the new courts on September 4, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. with a public commemorative event and dedication ceremony at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.
The twelve new hard courts, along with women’s and men’s bathrooms, will replace the tennis center’s previous ten hard courts demolished in July 2018. They are named in honor of longtime City of Atlanta employee and Bitsy Grant Tennis Center desk manager Ralph Foster, known by friends and players as “Tennis Center Ralph.” Foster, who passed away in 2007, was actively involved with the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center for more than 30 years. His natural charm, practical jokes and dynamite checkers skills kept players entertained and engaged through long court wait times.
“Ralph was the face and spirit of Bitsy Grant for decades, and we can think of no better way to pay tribute to our dear friend than by making him the namesake for our new courts,” said Dart Meadows, President of the Friends of Bitsy Grant Tennis.
The addition of the new hard courts was made possible by the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation and the generous support of the James M. Cox Foundation.
“He always answered the phone ‘Tennis Center Ralph’ so I started calling him that, and it became his nickname. He called me ‘Newspaper Jim,’” said Jim Kennedy, Chairman of Cox Enterprises and the Cox Foundation. “He was a great guy and we are happy to name the courts in his memory. He encouraged thousands of people to get out on the courts and be active.”
The opening of the Ralph Foster Hard Courts is just the start of an exciting season for the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation. The Foundation’s work on a newly reimagined Bobby Jones Golf Course began in November 2017, and the new and improved Bobby Jones Golf Course is projected to open in November 2018. The course will debut a new and enhanced golf experience that is unique in design and playability. The new Bobby Jones Golf Course will include a revolutionary, reversible 18-hole championship course, driving range, state-of-the-art indoor instructional building, short game practice area and more.
“We are very pleased to see the first phase of the project completed with the new tennis hard courts and parking deck” said Marty Elgison, President of the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation. “Serving the local Atlanta tennis community as well as the golf community has been a top priority of this project since day one, and we are honored to oversee the building of new hard courts at Bitsy Grant and their dedication to a truly remarkable community member.”
Bobby Jones Golf Course opened as Atlanta’s first public golf course in 1932. In recent years the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, Inc. was formed by a group of citizens passionate about the historic golf course. The Foundation raised more than $23 million to support the ongoing redevelopment of Bobby Jones Golf Course. Bobby Jones Golf Course is managed by Mosaic Clubs, based in Alpharetta, Georgia. For additional information on Bobby Jones Golf Course, please visit www.bobbyjonesgc.com.