Golfing across Mississippi – literally!

carline and children

It was a “Robert Harrell” sort of day…breezy, warm and a golf course nearby just waiting for his foursome to tee off. They would hit a few balls, have a few laughs, followed by the requisite Canadian Club and coke at the 19th hole.

Today was just such a day.  Sadly, Robert was there in spirit only as his legions of friends and family gathered.  It was a great day to remember Robert and all he meant to the community of West Point. The crowd was gathered to dedicate what is the most unique putting green in the world – designed in the shape of the State of Mississippi.

(Pictured above are Robert’s children, wife Caroline, fourth from the left, and his brother- in-law George Bryan at right served as master of ceremonies.)

IMG_1783Robert Harrell died almost a year ago (March 30,, 2015) and today seemed the perfect time to honor his memory.  His image is so enduring I could almost see him over in the corner, hands on hips, with a broad grin on his face, wondering what all the fuss was about.

Located adjacent to the new Mossy Oaks Golf Club, Robert’s putting green is in the shape of the State of Mississippi. His brother-in-law, George Bryan, explained how it all came about.  It seems Robert was consumed by the need to imprint his beloved state image for the world to see. He began cutting his grass with a “low mow” in the shape of the State of Mississippi.

“He wanted planes passing overhead to know where they were,” said Bryan.”

When Mississippi State University approached the family about participating in the establishment of a golf course to serve the university golf team, the Bryans obliged.   Twelve (or was it 13?) acres were deeded over to the university to build Mossy Oaks.  It is located a stone’s throw from Old Waverly and the Robert Harrell home.

Robert insisted on the Mississippi putting green even though he had a hard sell to the course’s designers.

In case you haven’t heard, Mossy Oak Golf Club features a 7,400 yard, par-72 golf course, a clubhouse and guest cabins to accommodate golf travelers. Together,Mossy Oak, the George Bryan family and 76 founding members have created a new premier golf destination experience that will be known as Nature’s Golf.

It will be a sustainable and mindful approach to course development that leaves a gentle footprint on the local habitat while delivering a world-class golf experience.

Robert also left a gentle footprint on our world which will never be forgotten as long as people are playing golf at Mossy Oaks which won’t be anytime soon.
robert and state of ms

All I can think about is how proud Robert (pictured above developing his idea) would be that he had a small part in making the club unique.



6 thoughts on “Golfing across Mississippi – literally!

  1. I can only imagine the big smile Robert must have had during this ceremony today. A beautiful day to honor our special friend.

  2. What great fun this afternoon! You have recorded the event well. I surely felt Robert’s presence when we were tossing down that Canadian Mist mixed with Coke, Robert’s staple drink. I was so glad to see Johnny Bryan and Neville, his wife, and all the Bryan children and grands and all the West Point friends gathtered in one place. Especially you.

  3. Over the last 50 years I probably only saw Robert a maximum of 10 times. BUT each time we said hello he always greeted me with that BIG smile…a hearty handshake…always asking about family and friends. Robert was truly a “one of a kind” representative of West Point, Clay County and MSU. He and Carolyn are truly “givers”. Even from afar, he is missed.

  4. What a special tribute to such a special man!
    I can only imagine that big happy smile of his
    as I am sure he was smiling down from Heaven.This ceremony surely brought smiles to all those that loved Robert and to those that were able to be there.

  5. Robert obviously pulled some strings up there to give us a beautiful day sandwiched between a series of black stormy days.

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