Start Today for a Lifetime of Play

Bill Blackburn, more commonly known by the kids as Mr. Billy Bob, who worked in the turf industry for many years, wanted to create a facility that would allow his daughter an opportunity of making new friends while learning and growing the game of golf. This dream became a reality on July 31st, 2004, with the grand opening of Lightning Bug Golf Course in Triune. The first annual Lightning Bug Golf Course Tournament benefiting the Jesse Frank Junior Golf Scholarship Fund was held on June 4, 2005. Bill added the additional last four holes in the early fall of 2009 to complete the nine-hole course providing an environment where kids could be kids and learn at the same time. 

Bill’s father-in-law, Jesse Frank, who passed away in 2004 and was a long-time educator and elementary school principal for well over thirty years, had solid values, beliefs, and ethics, which positively influenced countless children and families through the decades.  At Lipscomb Elementary, he knew every child by name, and each child’s self-esteem was of the highest personal and professional concern.  Those same philosophies and core values that Jesse believed in pertain directly to the game of golf. My mother-in-law, Ann Frank, continues to play a vital role in the success and upkeep of Lightning Bug.  Having grown up on her family’s farm, which was established in 1802, Ann remains diligent in the aesthetics of the course.  Often you will find her planting, pruning, or weeding the flower beds on each hole.  While we continue to miss Jesse, we are extremely grateful that Ann remains in great health and continues to promote the development of a place for “kids to be kids.”

Over the years, and with your help and support, we have raised over $260K for deserving area golfers to attend the popular Tennessee PGA JR Golf Academy at Golf House Tennessee.  By summer’s end, we will have provided funding for over 250 children to attend The Academy.  
Bill’s hope is that they can continue to provide a means for deserving young golfers from diverse walks of life to attend the Academy, which began in 1973 and has over 15,000 graduates to date.  Their goal as they move forward will be to raise enough money to fund a minimum of twenty scholarships per year with an even mix of boys/girls. Visit this website for information on scholarships.
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Bill and his family for a long time. He has the biggest heart and loves the game and its traditions. Bill wants every child to have the opportunity to experience the joy of hitting the ball, making friends and learning life long lessons despite the cost.” Lissa Bradford, TGF Senior Director of Jr. Golf.

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