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Country club and all the fixins’ set to reopen

County says taxpayers won’t foot bill

Currently closed, Colleton County’s only country club and golf course is about to be reopened by the county.

Colleton County Council voted last week to reopen the Dogwood Hills Golf Course and all of its associated facilities. Besides the golf course, the club’s grounds also consist of an in-ground swimming pool, a tennis court and a restaurant, which is independently operated. The club officially closed its doors in August of 2013.

Council’s vote to reopen the Dogwood Hills Golf Course is part of a purchase agreement with Enterprise Bank of South Carolina: the bank has agreed to sell the property and facilities to the county, with the county agreeing to inspect the property and then develop a plan for operations. The total cost is $600,000, with the county currently in the “due diligence” phase, according to county officials.

“If the agreement is completed, the county will operate the golf, tennis and special event facilities as part of the Colleton County Parks and Recreation Program,” according to a county press release.

County Administrator Kevin Griffin says the county’s plan is have the golf course and its grounds operate on its own, financially – to no additional burden to the taxpayers, he said in a press release. The new facilities’ plan would also include local high school teams using the grounds for golf practice, and to promote the 9-hole golf course to more county and regional residents. “We feel there has been a void created in our community since the course and facility closed,” said Steve Murdaugh, county council chairman. “Folks have to drive 30 to 40 miles to be able to play golf … we appreciate Enterprise Bank being willing to negotiate on both price and terms, in order for us to make this happen for the community.”

Murdaugh says the county’s purchase will add to a growing list of “recent investments” that the county has invested in for recreation. Those investments, Murdaugh said, include the ACE Basin Sports Complex, the county museum and the farmer’s market. “These projects have also been very successful in bringing folks into the community to support our businesses,” he said.

When the club first closed its doors in 2013, a petition filled with about 303 signatures of county and Walterboro residents was submitted to Walterboro City Council: at that point, local businessman William Steadman asked the city council to consider buying the property and reopening it for the residents. City council took no action on the matter.

Walterboro City Council and city officials have no intention of jointly operating the golf course or the facilities, according to City Manager Jeff Molinari.

The club was open for about 79 years when it closed.

Heather Walters (1678 Posts)