"You see things and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'" -George Bernard Shaw
A Dream Becomes Reality
In 1946, Stanley Robbins purchased substantial acreage a few miles east of Florence, Alabama on Wilson Lake. Mr. Robbins and his wife, Martha Rose built a beautiful estate home on the property at the mouth of Shoal Creek. Sometime later, an early developer approached the Robbins about building a golf course on the Shoal Creek frontage; however the idea was soon abandoned as being impractical. Then, in the early 1950s Mr. Robbins and Byron Bower Sr. began talking about a lakeside golf course again. Mr. Bower mentioned the idea to his attorney friend, George McBurney, who thought it was a very good idea. Mr. Robbins agreed to donate 200 acres of back property and sell sufficient water frontage at a reasonable price to a new club if there was enough genuine interest.
Mr. Bower and Mr. McBurney enlisted the support of good friend Sam Hardie who liked the concept and agreed to serve as the initial membership chairman and another attorney friend, Karl Tyree who agreed to act as membership co-chairman and treasurer. World renowned golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was contacted to design the course layout.
Messers, Robbins, Bower, McBurney, Hardie, and Tyree, the “Founders” brought their visions together to produce a fine product. George McBurney was elected Turtle Point’s first president in 1961. Under his leadership the construction of the Turtle Point clubhouse, marina, golf course and first tennis court and maintenance buildings were begun. On December 17, 1961 Turtle Point hosted its clubhouse Grand Opening party.
Since its Grand Opening, 50 years ago, Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club has grown to over 600 members. The growing success of the club has afforded it the opportunity to host many a prestigious event including an evening with The Glenn Miller Band in 1974, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Exhibition in 1979, and the 18th Annual Southeastern Women's Amateur Team Championship in 2010. The golf course has been the host site of the SEC Championship, the State Amateur Championship, Southern Amateur, and other notable events.