Cheekwood Golf Club Partners with Nicklaus Design to Create Flagship Golden Bear Golf Facility

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — (BUSINESS WIRE)—Cheekwood Golf Club in Franklin, Tennessee, has partnered with Nicklaus Design—the world’s acknowledged leader in golf course design—to create an innovative, environmentally friendly expansion with multiple golf and outdoor recreational opportunities for people of all ages in Middle Tennessee and beyond. 

Todd Jester, a Franklin resident and nationally renowned golf course architect with more than 30 years of experience, is leading the transform of Cheekwood’s existing course into a premier golf facility.  

“While golf has been around for more than 500 years, in the past decade technology and innovation have enhanced our timeless game by developing new traditions and experiences that make the sport more accessible and enjoyable for multiple generations,” Jester said. 

The centerpiece of the expansion is a par three, nine-hole course accessible to the public and capable of hosting local, state and national tournaments, along with a seven-hole par three that wraps around the driving range.  

Nicklaus Design, which has completed more than 425 golf courses all over the world, will work in association with Jester Golf to create the course. 

“Nicklaus Design is pleased and honored to be working with Todd Jester,” said Paul Stringer, president of Nicklaus Design. “We look forward to creating something very special for Franklin and all the golfers in Tennessee.”  

Mike Hathaway, founding principal of 906 Studio Architects + Interiors, has been selected as the project architect for the collection of new buildings that will make up Cheekwood Golf Club. Based in Franklin, 906 has built a reputation as one of the region’s most respected architecture firms, most notably serving as the design architect for the Harpeth Square Development in downtown Franklin. 

The full Cheekwood expansion will include: 

  • Three-tier covered hitting stalls combining state-of-the-art technology with a family friendly atmosphere 
  • A driving range with soft, contained lighting
  • Uncovered hitting stations and practice areas that enable year round golf instruction and recreation 
  • The Golf Performance Center, where students of all ages will be taught by PGA professionals
  • A restaurant, golf house and club facilities, with space to host social, corporate and community gatherings
  • A public trailhead and attractive greenways connecting Cheekwood to Franklin’s park system

“There is a great need in our community for a place like this where businesses and families can come together and enjoy an entertainment venue that is well-run, well-respected and meets the high standards of Franklin,” said local businessman Paul Pratt, an investor in the project. 

Cheekwood’s dress code will be similar to that of the PGA and LPGA tours. Operating hours will be until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

The City of Franklin owns the 54 acres on which the proposed expansion will take place and is working with Cheekwood on a long-term lease agreement. When completed, as currently designed, the expansion is expected to generate a probable revenue of nearly a quarter million dollars annually for the city. Franklin’s Board of Aldermen will vote August 10 on the project. 

About Nicklaus Design

The Nicklaus Companies is dedicated to promoting excellence in the game of golf, preserving its great traditions and growing the game. For nearly 50 years, the mission of the Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer, golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of Jack Nicklaus.  

Products and services include golf-course design, development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Nicklaus Design (, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created over 425 courses worldwide, open for play in 40 countries and 39 U.S states. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed over 300 courses around the globe, close to 100 of which have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists.  

Nicklaus-branded products have been marketed worldwide since 1962. The Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products include: Jack Nicklaus Apparel by Perry Ellis International; AHEAD Headwear; Nicklaus Art and Memorabilia; E-Z-GO golf carts; Jack Nicklaus Wines by Terlato International; Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Lemonade by AriZona Beverages; Jack Nicklaus Socks by Stance; GOLF Magazine;; Miura and True Spec industry leading club fitting. 

About Cheekwood Golf Club

Cheekwood Golf Club ( has a 30-year successful history in Franklin. Todd Jester, a former designer at Nicklaus Design, and his two partners purchased the property in 2015. It is one of only three golf courses in Williamson County fully open to the public. Jester, owner of Jester Golf, a nationally renowned golf course design firm, and his associates have been involved with courses on four continents with some of the most influential names in the resort industry, including Clint Eastwood, Trump Nationals, PGA National, Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. 

Media Contacts:

Cheekwood Golf Club
Don Beehler, 615-566-0776

Nicklaus Design
Tommy Hearden, 561-227-0332 (direct) or
920-680-5755 (cell)

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