It didn’t start out that way, but Annbriar Golf Course was built as a tribute for Ann Nobbe, the daughter of owners William and Nancy Nobbe. Ann was a talented and gifted woman who died at age 26, far too young. Before her death in an auto accident, she had a promising career in real estate and had encouraged her parents to join two of their favorite things together - the family farm and the game of golf.
Hurdzan/Fry had begun schematic designs prior to Ann’s accident. After the accident, the Nobbe family was so shaken that all planning stopped. Several months later, William called and told us that he, Nancy, and their two other children, Dan and Russ, had decided to proceed with the course that Ann had been so enthusiastic about, and dedicate it to her memory.
William Nobbe is a big, strong man who’d worked hard all of his life, and he wanted to be part of the actual construction process. No job was too tough, too complicated or too menial for William. He tried to do it all, as his efforts were for Ann. One of our fondest memories is seeing William driving a loaded monster dump truck up and down hills so steep we were afraid to drive a four-wheeler over them.
One of our associates, Guy Quattrocchi, lived on the project and directed construction on a day-to-day basis. Alois Lohr, a tough old Missouri contractor who became the Nobbes’ partner, thought he could build the course without the help of any golf course construction company, but as time went on, he developed a respect for the construction crew. We still see Alois at our annual golf outings and he still refers to Joe Niebur, of Niebur Golf Course Construction, as "that kid."
The Nobbe property was a dramatic collage of topographical features including rolling farm fields, steep hills, rock cliffs, ravines, magnificent trees, ponds, waterfalls and little creeks that became mighty during rainstorms. The golf holes we produced on this land are no less dramatic. The fifth hole started life as a flat cornfield, but after many thousands of yards of earthmoving, it became an undulating fairway bordered by rolling hills on the left and an enlarged farm pond on the right (see photo). The 11th plays down through a meandering valley, flanked by great trees and bisected by a bubbling brook with the green perched on its bank. The home hole, plays through a natural valley that terminates below the clubhouse.
When you visit Annbriar, you'll likely meet William and Nancy, for they are always there, still working hard to make each round a special golf experience. You'll feel the warmth of a family kindled by their love for Ann and sustained by her memory. There is a purity about Annbriar that is rare and absorbing, as well as a great place to play golf.