Sign up for newsletter >>
Nashville Fairways Gets Some Love
Photo by Arthur Guiot / Unsplash

Nashville Fairways Gets Some Love

⛳️ Nashville Fairways and a round at McCabe · Andrea strikes again · New South · Harmony Korine movie · Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

This morning, we take a look at Nashville's municipal golf system. It's hard to imagine the present iteration of city leadership undertaking a public works project like this today. It seems as if government in America has long abandoned the function of doling out public recreational spaces for citizens.

Maybe golf courses are a utility better served by private enterprise, but whatever your opinion is on that, consider what kind of language would need to be used to justify such a public works project today. Golf courses would probably be criticized as inequitable or some other such thing.


In the South, the golfing season unofficially starts after the Masters and runs all the way until college football’s “Week Zero”. In recent years, golf has seen something of a resurgence, with more rounds played annually in 2023 than any other year on record. With that in mind, we here at the Pamphleteer have taken it upon ourselves to highlight a true gem within Davidson County, the Nashville Fairways — the city’s collection of public golf courses. 

Usually the phrase “municipal golf” evokes images of bombed-out fairways and rough greens, a scattered collection of holes slapped together on whatever spare land the city has lying around, funded by some leftover money allocated to the city’s parks. But not in Nashville. For my money, Metro’s public golf courses are right up there in quality with the most popular, semi-private courses in Middle Tennessee.

The Nashville Fairways system comprises seven courses. Shelby Park and Vinny Links on the Eastside; Two Rivers up by Opryland; Ted Rhoads north of town; McCabe on the West side; and Harpeth Hills and Percy Warner out in the suburbs. Each one elegantly takes advantage of the natural landscape, providing aesthetic, fun, and challenging experiences for all skill levels.

If there was a Mount Rushmore dedicated to Nashville municipal golf, it would feature the heads of at least five men who were vital to the foundation of our flourishing amateur golf scene. We will highlight their stories throughout our series as we review each course. With over a dozen amateur associations, junior programs and ladies’ tournaments year-round, the sport sat right up there with country music as a cultural pillar for decades.

In Sylvan Park, on the site of the former McConnell Field, Nashville’s first municipal airport, sits McCabe Golf Course. Named after former parks commissioner Charles McCabe, it is easily the most profitable municipal course, and thus, a fitting place to start. A 27-hole parkland design consistently voted as the best place in Metro to play, we’ll be playing the Middle and North courses today.

After the tremendous success of Shelby Golf Course in the 1930s, demand from the public spurred the city’s Parks Board to plan another public course. Construction of the McCabe Golf Club began in 1939 through FDR’s Works Progress Administration, under the direction of Parks Commissioner Edwin Warner and the head pro at Shelby Golf Club, C.E. Danis (who would later go on to become supervisor of the entire municipal golf system). With further assistance from Hershel “Hut” Eaton, the course opened to the public in 1942, making it the third oldest operating muni in Metro Nashville. The nine-hole South course was added in 1947 and given an update in 2006.

The course has hosted the annual Capital City Golf Classic since 1960, which brought out the best club pros in the mid-state and beyond while attracting celebrities like Mickey Mantle and pro wrestling legend Jackie Fargo. The clubhouse, built in 1999 after the original was damaged by fire, is the small side, but has a cozy cottage-like fee with a vaulted ceiling and fireplace. The first thing that greets you on the way in is a nice display of historical memorabilia, mostly related to the CGA and a handful of greats who have come through and won.


If you want to support The Pamphleteer, a recurring donation is the best way. We have a $10/month Grub Street tier and a $50/month Bard tier. Membership gets you access to our comments section and free access to upcoming events.



🗑️ Andrea Strikes Again With a Trash Take Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker drew the ire of liberals across the country after a clip of his commencement address at Benedictine College hit the internet. “Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from pervasiveness of disorder,” Butker remarked in an excerpt chosen by the surfeit of outlets decrying him as variously sexist and homophobic and misogynistic and, well, you get it.

A petition materialized on Monday calling for the Chiefs to dismiss their kicker over his “sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist” comments. “These dehumanizing remarks against LGBTQ+ individuals, attacks on abortion rights and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights,” it reads. As of this writing, it has reached over 100,000 signatures. 

By Wednesday, even the NFL chimed in. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization,” Jonathan Beane, the organization’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told The Daily Beast. “The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

But of all the blowback, the most, uh, unique take came from Tennessean reporter Andrea Williams. Williams, you’ll recall, was the one I responded to after she called country music irredeemably racist. But she’s outdone herself this time. In an op-ed titled ‘Harrison Butker decries diversity, but he can thank Black QB Patrick Mahomes for his fame,’ Williams makes the case that without Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Butker wouldn’t have the recognition he does today. And without “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Mahomes wouldn’t have had the chance to play quarterback, much less succeed. Thus, Butker owes everything — his platform, his success, his right foot — to the Tower of DEI. It’s hot garbage, but it probably got a lot of clicks for the Tennessean. DAVIS HUNT

✰   ✰   ✰

🤡 A New South “We're here to send a clear message to my colleagues in the General Assembly. That love is here. That glamour is here. That power is here,” said Rep. Justin Jones in a clip he shared yesterday from a drag show staged in Murfreesboro by the cast of an HBO show. “I look around and I see a multiracial, multigenerational coalition to say, with a clear message to those bigots in the legislature that we’re building a new South.” 

Lately, Jones has been celebrating his debut in Season 4 of HBO’s “We’re Here,” a reality show featuring past Drag Race contestants. Rep. Jones, among other Middle Tennesseans, makes an appearance in episodes in which at cast attempts to confront Tennessee’s new “drag ban.”

“I’ve heard references to this bill that it will ban drag shows? Well, no, it won’t,” Senate bill sponsor Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) said of the legislation in December 2022. “It just says you can’t do something that’s sexually explicit. It won’t prevent someone dressed in drag from being in a parade or being in public.” But that hasn’t stopped Jones from deeming it a focal point of his campaign, an obstacle to his New South. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

✰   ✰   ✰

🎨 Metro Arts Mayhem Continued According to a “fact-finding report” obtained by the Banner, Councilmember Joy Styles and Metro Human Relations Commission Executive Director Davie Tucker  “behaved improperly” toward two Metro Arts employees who criticized the leadership of former executive director Daniel Singh.

Since the beginning of the year, the Metro Arts Commission has been mired in scandal. In April, the commission voted to place Singh on paid administrative leave; in the meantime, Metro will figure out what to do with the director while continuing to untangle the department’s financial mess. 

In response to the HR complaints, Styles defended herself, calling the report a “pack of lies.” Other committee members have also scrutinized those coming forward. During last month’s commission meeting, Committee for Anti-Racism and Equity member Lydia Yousief claimed that they’re being used: “These white people — [Metro Legal Director Wally] Dietz, [Metro Finance Director Kevin] Crumbo, the white commissioners — don’t care about you. They are using the staff to get to us, and to defund us again for the second year.” MEGAN PODSIEDLIK


  • Local hotelier pays $2.35M for Bellevue-area site (Post)
  • Germantown eyed for hotel building (Post)
Off the Cuff

✹ REVIEW: Aggro Dr1ft (2023)

(1h 20m · 5.7/10) Directed by Harmony Korine

Nashville product Harmony Korine has spent the last thirty years earning wonder and vitriol on the international film scene. But after the success of his megahit Spring Breakers in 2013, Korine began a years-long drift to Florida both physically and thematically. Korine’s time in the Sunshine State has souped up his predilection for provocation. And, if his new project, Aggro Dr1ft is any indication, he may be the filmmaker most adept at chronicling our cultural decline. 

To refer to Aggro Dr1ft as an arthouse movie is quite the misnomer. Though Spanish actor Jordi Mollà and rapper Travis Scott give their all as two hitmen in the seedier streets of Miami going through existential crises, Korine’s thin plot and generic dialogue intentionally serve as a barrier to notions of traditional performance. Shot entirely with infrared cameras and enhanced by A.I. to look like a mid-aughts video game based on Dante’s Inferno, the movie seemingly strips away all nuance.

Yet such is the point. Korine may always seem to be wallowing in decay, but he’s on a search for meaning in a time bereft of the spiritual. Consequently, Aggro Dr1ft relishes its contradictions. Its heat signature imagery is lifeless yet pulsing with life. Its video game aesthetic seems simplistic but interrogates the complicity of an audience who views life through their gaming consoles. Its Miami is an unrelenting Sodom but its last images of the city end with the words “Love is God. God is Love.” Most importantly, it's a movie one immediately wants to end, but will still be thinking about for days to come. JEROD HOLLYFIELD

Aggro Dr1ft screens through Saturday at The Belcourt.



View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

📅 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

🎧 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.


🎻 Mahler's Monumental Opus @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $29+, Info

🥁 LIVE JAZZ: Parker James, Paul DeFiglia & Anson Hohne @ Vinyl Tap, 7p, No Cover, Info

🪕 Becky Buller Jubilee Album Release Celebration @ Station Inn, 9p, $20, Info

🪕 The Steeldrivers @ Ryman Auditorium, 7:30p, $33.50+, Info

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

🎸 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
+ vet community here