NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt today unveiled artists’ renderings detailing approximately $11 million in significant upgrades to men’s and women’s golf teams’ facilities at the Vanderbilt Legends Club, reaffirming its longstanding commitment to the home that has helped Commodores grow into SEC and NCAA champions.
Former Vanderbilt student-athletes and Hall of Fame inductees Toby Wilt, BE’66, Brandt Snedeker, BA’03, and Lew Conner, BA’60, JD’63, along with their wives, Lucianne Wilt, Mandy Snedeker, BA’02, and Ashley Conner, BA’60, made seed gifts with the goal of inspiring and facilitating gifts from other alumni and supporters to bring the project to life, reimagining the future of Vanderbilt golf.
“Vanderbilt helped me grow so much as a competitor and individual, and I’m thrilled to help bring together and encourage our golf family to ensure that current and future Commodores have the same opportunities,” said Snedeker, who was inducted into the Vanderbilt Hall of Fame in 2009. “Under Coach Limbaugh and Coach Allen, our men’s and women’s programs continue to set the standard for collegiate golf, and Mandy and I are grateful to the dedicated and talented student-athletes who keep the golf spotlight shining on our alma mater and the Middle Tennessee community that means so much to us.”
“The future is bright for Vanderbilt golf,” said Wilt, a former football and men’s golf standout, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. “At Vanderbilt, you know you never stand alone. Lucianne and I are proud to provide this gift as a catalyst to the newest Vandy United project because we want student-athletes to know we stand with them—and because we know our fellow alumni and supporters will stand with us. Together, we will ensure our golf teams continue to have the best facilities in the country.”
“Vanderbilt golf has always been close to my heart,” said Conner, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Wilt in 2017 and funded the existing Conner Family Hitting Bays and the Cleo and Lewis Conner, Sr. Short Game Practice Facility. “My time as a student-athlete shaped my Vanderbilt experience and life, and Ashley and I have been proud to support the student-athletes who have so admirably carried on the tradition and lifted the program to new heights. I’m gratified that facility enhancements we have made over the last 20 years have played a part in an era of such tremendous success, and I’m excited to help take the facilities to an even greater level.”
As part of the unprecedented Vandy United campaign, this initiative will be made possible by the support of generous donors and will fund major investments that enhance the home venue for both highly successful programs through new construction and renovation of team spaces and practice facilities.
“The Vanderbilt Legends Club has served our men’s and women’s golf student-athletes extraordinarily well across more than two decades of combined excellence, and this major investment ensures that both programs will continue to grow and thrive for years to come,” said Candice Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. “I’m tremendously grateful to the Wilt, Snedeker and Conner families for seeding this project and embodying the values that make us Commodores for life. As we continue to reimagine the future of Vanderbilt Athletics through the Vandy United campaign, enhancing and expanding the home of two championship-caliber programs further demonstrates our commitment to give all of our student-athletes the tools necessary to reach their full potential—whether in the classroom or representing our university in competition.”
Building on the foundation put in place by student-athletes, including seven Hall of Famers, the university in 2013 dedicated the Golf House and Training Center and Conner Family Hitting Bays to complement the Vanderbilt Legends Club’s iconic courses, which were designed by former U.S. Open winner Tom Kite and world-renowned golf course architect Bob Cupp. As both programs have continued to raise their respective standards of excellence, Vandy United will ensure that their facilities continue to set the standard in collegiate golf.
Work on the new practice facility will be led by renowned course architect Beau Welling. Upgrades include:
- Renovation and expansion of the existing team clubhouse facilities, which will increase the building’s footprint by roughly two-thirds and include a new lobby, hall of fame, team lounge, locker rooms, meeting rooms, fitness area, outdoor terraces and offices
- Renovation and expansion of the Cleo and Lewis Conner, Sr. Short Game Practice Facility and driving range tee boxes. This includes enhancing putting greens with different types of grasses to better mirror playing conditions on competition courses; modifying chipping areas to create more length for a wider array of shots; and expanding the tee box
- A new strokes gained area to continue to help student-athletes train more efficiently and reach their full potential
“As we approach Vandy United’s second anniversary, this major investment in the Vanderbilt Legends Club, buoyed by generous seed gifts from Toby and Lucianne Wilt, Brandt and Mandy Snedeker and Lew and Ashley Conner, further underscores our ongoing commitment to redefine what is possible for Vanderbilt Athletics,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “For more than 20 years, strengthened by our collaboration with the City of Franklin and the Legends Club, Vanderbilt men’s and women’s golf have set a nationally recognized standard of excellence. Honoring not only the spirit with which we launched the Vandy United campaign but also the energy surrounding the 150th anniversary of our founding, further investment will help student-athletes realize still more of their limitless potential.”
Formerly known as Legends Club of Tennessee, the Franklin venue has long been the home course for Vanderbilt men’s and women’s golf. It was officially renamed Vanderbilt Legends Club in November 2005 and transitioned to a private club in 2008.
“This is a landmark and transformational day for Vanderbilt golf,” said Scott Limbaugh, Thomas F. Roush, M.D. and Family Men’s Golf Head Coach. “From day one, we have been committed to having the best golf program in the country, and this is another step in that pursuit. Our student-athletes already have the opportunity to earn a coveted degree from a world-class university in an amazing city, compete in the best conference in collegiate golf and have two first-class home courses at Vanderbilt Legends Club. Now, with this commitment they will have unmatched facilities that help them continue to pursue excellence and also strengthen our team culture. We owe such incredible thanks to Chancellor Diermeier, Athletic Director Candice Lee and all of our supporters who have believed in our vision and supported us every step along the way.”
Since 2001, when the university purchased a stake in the club, Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s programs have combined to win five SEC championships, make 35 NCAA Regional appearances and reach 22 NCAA championships. The Vanderbilt Legends Club also helped Gordon Sargent hone the skills that propelled him to the 2022 NCAA men’s individual national championship and earn an invitation to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
Additionally, in their time at the Vanderbilt Legends Club, 25 Vanderbilt student-athletes have amassed more than 40 All-America honors from either the Golf Coaches Association of America or the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.
During the 2021–22 year, the men’s team won its second consecutive SEC championship and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship after recording the best score in the stroke play portion of the event. The women’s team won the NCAA Franklin Regional at the Vanderbilt Legends Club and also advanced to the NCAA Championship. The former marked Vanderbilt’s first opportunity to host a regional at the course, which also hosted the 2012 NCAA women’s championship and annually hosts the Mason Rudolph Championship tournament.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the improvements that we will be making to our golf house and practice facility,” said women’s golf coach Greg Allen, a 2021 inductee in the WGCA Coaches Hall of Fame. “With the generous seed gifts from the Wilt, Snedeker and Conner families, these upgrades will take everything we have to offer at the Vanderbilt Legends Club to a whole new level. These facilities, along with the world class education you have at Vanderbilt and the opportunity to live in Nashville, will make the Vanderbilt Golf experience the best in the country. I am so grateful for the vision of Athletic Director Candice Lee and Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and their passion for doing everything possible to make our student-athletes’ time at Vanderbilt something they will never forget. I’m very thankful to be a part of Vandy United.”
A three-year football letterwinner (1963–65) who arrived at Vanderbilt on a football scholarship, Wilt also made his mark on the golf course. As a senior, following the conclusion of his gridiron career, he joined the golf team and represented the Commodores in the 1966 SEC Championship. An active and philanthropic alumnus, he founded the Toby S. Wilt Scholarship, which counts Snedeker among its former recipients. Wilt is also the founder of the Golf Club of Tennessee and was recently inducted in the 2022 class of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in Nashville, Snedeker remains among Vanderbilt’s most decorated golfers. He was the first Vanderbilt men’s golfer to earn All-America honors in 2002 and was subsequently named both SEC Player of the Year and a First Team All-American as a senior in 2003. The 2007 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, he has gone on to a successful professional career that includes nine PGA Tour victories, representing the United States in the Ryder and Presidents Cups and winning the 2012 FedEx Cup. He was one of just six players to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs in each of the format’s first 15 years. Along with his wife, Mandy, he founded the Brandt and Mandy Snedeker Foundation in 2012 to benefit children in Middle Tennessee.
A Double ’Dore, Conner was a four-year member of the men’s golf team (1957-60). In a lifetime of amateur golf competition, Conner won 35 tournaments and is also a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. The prominent Nashville attorney has remained an active and philanthropic supporter of the university. In addition to helping make possible the Cleo and Lewis Conner, Sr. Short Game Practice Facility and Conner Family Hitting Bays, he has been the lead donor on numerous other projects that helped lift Vanderbilt’s golf program to national prominence.
For more information or to support the project, please visit vucommodores.com/vandyunited.