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Capital City Country Club was damaged by severe storms in Tallahassee

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Evan Neihaus had no idea what he was going to see when he arrived at Capital City Country Club.

It took Neihaus – the club's general manager – three hours to drive 18 miles from his home in Crawfordville to Tallahassee after violent storms hit the area early Friday morning, leaving significant damage.

Because the entrance to the club was impassable due to debris and fallen trees, Neihaus had to park on Magnolia Drive and walk to the club.

“However bad it was, it was worse,” Neihaus said.

“The damage was incredible.”

The historic Capital City Country Club suffers significant damage from storms

Nestled among pine and Spanish oak trees in the Myers Park District, the historic club, which is over 100 years old, suffered significant damage from the storms.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee confirmed Saturday that two EF-2 tornadoes with winds between 111 and 135 miles per hour hit Tallahassee.

Neihaus said “hundreds and hundreds” of trees along the route were toppled, snapped or torn apart by the wind. The clubhouse, pro shop, Olympic-sized swimming pool and five tennis courts were also damaged.

The consequences broke the hearts of many.

“It really hurts to see a place you love damaged like this,” said member Jay Revell.

“It was a frightening morning for our family and many others in Tallahassee. After touring our home and the neighborhood, we checked in to see how the club was doing.

“It was breathtaking to see the wind damage.”

Capital City Country Club maintenance workers on track

Seven golf course maintenance employees were on the course early Friday morning, with two mowers arriving at 4:30 a.m. and others at 5:30 a.m

A tournament was scheduled for the course Friday afternoon, ironically hosted by Miller's Tree Service.

Cameron Dowden was on hole No. 13 on the course when management alerted him to inform staff that they should return to the maintenance shop due to approaching weather.

“It started raining, but then it got worse very, very quickly,” said Dowden, who ran for cover and squeezed into his pickup truck with three colleagues.

“Suddenly the wind picked up and you could hear the trees above cracking. That was scarier than the rain or the wind.”

In 2021, Capital City Country Club was named the best golf course in Tallahassee and the 13th best golf course in the state of Florida by Golfweek and USA Today.

The 18-hole, 6,502 yard (par 72) course is known for its elevation and challenging layout. The semi-private club is home to many golfers who have been members for decades.

The club also featured two large banquet rooms, a driving range, practice putting greens, a fitness center and a pro shop.

Neihaus assumes that the club will be closed for several weeks.

“It has so much history,” said member Jim Marshall, a former golfer from Michigan.

“I think it's a great layout that I never get tired of playing. The greens superintendent did a great job getting the course in really good condition – especially the greens.”

Anna Harden

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