How did the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort, home of the Valspar Championship get its name?

While Copperhead snakes are not found in that part of Florida, Cottonmouth (for the indigenous Cottonmouth snakes) was considered and rejected. The founders wanted a snake name, so Copperhead it was.

More about the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort

Founder, Harvey Jones, formed a company called Innisbrook Associates in late 1967 (he "borrowed" the name Innisbrook from a street sign in Toledo, Ohio). He then worked with realtors in Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa to search for land (500 to 2000 acres) to realise his dream. 

On one of many trips to Florida, Harvey was walking some land in Tampa when he asked the realtor about land immediately south, on the other side of a barbed wire fence. 

Although told it was "not available" Harvey hopped the fence for a closer look. As they walked through the woods and came upon Bee Pond (The Island Course) Harvey turned to the accompanying realtor and declared “This is Innisbrook”. 

Acquiring that land is a story in itself but acquire it they did and they eventually "broke ground" in August 1969.

During construction of what was to become the Copperhead Course a ‘Name the course' contest was set up for the Innisbrook employees. $250 prize money was on offer!

Many names were submitted. One employee, Donny Cosgrove, submitted over 75 names. Donny was in charge of maintaining the fleet of golf carts and his extensive list had many entertaining names including Big Divot CC, Run Gator Run CC, and Skinny Squirrel CC. 

Harvey Jones named the course Copperhead and announced Donny the winner not having the heart to tell him that the name was not on his list. Donny died thinking the name Copperhead was on his list.

The Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort was designed by Mr Larry Packard and opened in 1974.

It was the second of four courses to be built at the Innisbrook Golf Resort.

Larry worked on over 600 golf courses and was a former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

Guest Contributor: Sam Jones. 

Sam is Harvey Jones’ son and was with Harvey through the Innisbrook and Copperhead journey, including during the 'Name the course' contest.

Sam loves his golf and is currently a smooth swinging 21 handicapper.

Many thanks to Sam Jones for taking the time to help us with the above information.

American Golf Courses