Timber Truss Golf Course owner Jon Goin wants to make the golf experience at his 18-hole semi-private course in Olive Branch as much about fun as it is about golf.
You may not immediately recognize the name, but the former Plantation Golf Club off Germantown Road in Olive Branch was acquired by Goin in May of this year. He renamed the course Timber Truss for an iconic structure that is part of the layout.
“When I came out here to look at the property, there is the covered bridge behind the 13th green that I really felt should be the logo of the golf course,” Goin said. “It’s something that people are going to drive through every single time they are out here on the golf course. To me, it’s the course’s focal point. It is made with a wooden truss, therefore Timber Truss.”
Knowing the many golfers and golf courses there are in DeSoto County, Goin went about setting Timber Truss apart from the other courses around. One item has definitely done that in what is called a Finn Cycle, which golfers may use to make their way on their rounds in a different, and faster, way.
“People believe golf takes too long to play,” Goin said. “They think it’s stuffy, things along those lines. We have introduced the Finn Cycle, which is a solo rider, motorcycle-looking golf cart. That has been huge for us and is something nobody in this marketplace has. We have had people come play golf here because of that product.”
Instead of plodding along to play 18 holes for an entire morning or afternoon, Goin said some foursomes have used the Finn Cycle to complete a round in as short a time as two hours and 30 minutes.
“It makes the game more enjoyable for the average player just because they go a little faster than a regular golf cart,” said Goin. “It’s unique, it’s different.”
Goin, who worked with the TPC Network for 17 years and was a head golf professional at TPC Southwind in Memphis for 15 years, also likes the layout because it will challenge golfers, but not beat up on the average golfer.
“I think for the day-in, day-out golfer, it is very user-friendly,” Goin said. “You can walk off this golf course and feel like you either want to come back or you want to play more golf.”
Goin’s golf background goes back to his first position in 1993 with a course in Phoenix, Arizona, and he has been involved in golf programs elsewhere in the West before coming to the Mid-South.
“My wife is from the Pacific Northwest, so we moved and lived in Seattle, Washington for four years, where our oldest daughter was born,” Goin explained. “I took an opportunity to get into the TPC Network in Las Vegas in 2001 and we were there for about two years. I was promoted to head professional at TPC Southwind now 16 years ago.”
Goin was later to become a director of business development for the Spring Creek Ranch course in Collierville, Tennessee in 2018, but early this year started to think more in terms of course ownership. That’s when he took advantage of the chance to acquire the Plantation course, the first course he has ever owned. Goin acknowledges the golf competition in DeSoto County is there for him to compete against. Even the Olive Branch Country Club is just down the road.
“There are plenty of golfers within DeSoto County that we feel like we can continue to grow here just continuing to do what we do,” said Goin. “The customer service piece is a huge focus for us. Our head golf professional Alan Hickam has a reputation for the customer service side of things.”
Hickam came to Timber Truss from Southaven’s North Creek Golf Club, and Goin believes Hickam will help Timber Truss get interconnected with DeSoto County.
“We want to make sure that we are involved in the community on multiple fronts,” he said. “One of our main goals is to have some sort of a charitable component. We have done a function where part of our proceeds was donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF. I think that’s the one thing I learned working with the (PGA) Tour for 17 years. It helps tie us into the community if we can help support local charities and charitable institutions.”
The golf course is located at 9425 Plantation Road in Olive Branch. Visit their website at www.timbertrussgolf.com or phone 662-895-3530.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.