Tucked away at the base of Oak Mountain sits a premier, idyllic community around an equally premier golf course, both called Shoal Creek. Luscious greenery covers the grounds with ponds teeming with fish and quiet space to enjoy nature. The late Hall Thompson founded a world-class golf course on this gorgeous expanse of land, but his vision for Shoal Creek extended beyond the sport. He saw the opportunity to develop a small community with the peaceful amenities of nature, a place he could even call home. “He married his passions of golf and nature at Shoal Creek,” says his granddaughter, Caroline Little, who serves as president of Shoal Creek Properties, working alongside her father George. The duo make quite the pair and play to each other’s strengths. George is a reserved leader while Caroline is self-admittedly a little bossy. “We are fortunate to have an opportunity to carry this on,” says Caroline of the family business. And the Thompson legacy is undoubtedly the driving force behind the success of Shoal Creek.
As the golf course construction began, George recalls his father constantly working towards his goal, saying, “He was running his tractor dealership, Thompson Tractor Company, but made sure to be on-task and on-site at Shoal Creek.” George, a young man at the time, also helped with some of the construction following his father’s legacy of determination and hard work, and on November 1, 1977, the golf course opened with Thompson’s swing on the first tee. Not long after, the Thompson family followed through with what felt like the natural next step for the property: residential development.
Located just south of Birmingham in dreamy and lush forestry, Shoal Creek’s residents truly “get away every day,” as the motto suggests. Currently, the property houses several hundred residents with 114 exquisite dream homes and more under construction. Full-time security is present to ensure privacy for all residents. The golf course along with its clubhouse comprise a larger portion of the property. While the Williamsburg-style architecture permeates the community, Shoal Creek offers beautiful, high-quality homes in a variety of architectural styles for nature-lovers and golfers alike. Not all residents are members of the golf club, but membership is an opportunity for residents.
“We have a diverse and quiet community,” says Caroline of the people she has gotten to know so well. “And we have become a part of them.” Residents are drawn to Shoal Creek for a variety of reasons, but they all share a love for the setting Thompson dreamed into fruition forty years ago.
The legacy of Hall Thompson continues as his family launches a new cottage project, Troon Hamlet. Developed and spearheaded by Caroline, Troon Hamlet invites new families to access this little piece of paradise. Tapping into her grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit, Caroline organized the construction of the road where Troon Hamlet now sits. With a bachelor of arts in art history and some real estate experience, she dove headfirst into a new realm of property development that ranged from learning elements of city planning to arranging meetings with archeological experts to ensure the land was not historically significant before proceeding with construction. As approvals were given and plans proceeded, Caroline’s overarching vision remained focused on Hall Thompson’s standards of excellence. “We wanted to remain relevant while preserving the legacy already here,” says Caroline.
With space for about eight homes on the street, each house is unique and can be customized specifically for the home buyer. With houses currently in pre-sale, buyers have the ability to modify the plans to create their dream home. Each house sits on a spacious half acre lot surrounded by the gorgeous natural setting for which Shoal Creek is known. Each home in Troon Hamlet is three to five bedrooms with four full bathrooms and an open-concept main living space. With spa-like bathrooms and high-end appliances, the quality in the new development matches the standard one would expect in the Shoal Creek Community.
Troon Hamlet combines the luxury and Old-World charm of Shoal Creek with an accessible price tag. Families can enjoy the benefits of nature like fishing, opportunities to have and ride horses or belong to the golf club — all in their backyard. Caroline encourages young families, who crave a refuge from the noise of more urban settings, to experience the beauty of this one-of-a-kind Birmingham enclave. “There is truly no other development like it,” adds Caroline.
And on the horizon for Shoal Creek, Caroline mentions a new brownstone development that is in the works. The brownstones would be ideal for retirees or other individuals who want to minimize homeownership responsibilities while enjoying the sprawling Shoal Creek landscape. Caroline jokes with George that “he can’t retire until then.” However, she has her eye on her son, Witt, a golf lover, or perhaps one of her bossy daughters, who may be just the ones to continue the great family legacy at Shoal Creek.
This article is sponsored by Shoal Creek Properties.