This North Carolina golf course was saved and now local owners are making improvements

When Shari Hodson heard that Lakes Golf and Country Club was coming up in Boiling Spring Lakes, she worried about its future.

Hodson lives on the number 7 hole and plays the course regularly. She knew that the place’s previous owner, Steve White, had attracted interest primarily from housing developers.

“We wanted to save the golf course,” she said.

So she and three other people got together and bought it. The deal closed in November 2021 and since then the group has been focused on making improvements.

One of the first things they plan to do is build a new clubhouse. They are currently operated from the front of the former clubhouse building. It looks business as usual from the street, but a walk behind the building reveals how badly the facility was damaged by Hurricane Florence. The clubhouse used to have a restaurant and bar, now all that remains is a pile of rubble.

Shari Hodson, one of the new owners of The Lakes Golf and Country Club, on Thursday March 9, 2023 shows where the new clubhouse will be located overlooking the 18th green. (Renee Spencer/Star News)

The new clubhouse is across the street overlooking the 18th green. Hodson said the facility will be 6,600 square feet and will include a prep kitchen and grilling area, a bar with tables, and an outdoor patio. There will also be security cameras and toilets with electronic locks, allowing players access to these facilities even after the clubhouse is closed.

Hodson said there will be cart barns on each side of the new clubhouse.

“The nice thing is they don’t have to cross South Shore Drive,” she said. “It can get hectic sometimes.”

With all the permits in place, Hodson hopes construction on the new clubhouse will begin soon, but she said the task now is to find workers. The project is about six months behind schedule. However, she hopes that the first phase, the surveying and installation of the silt fence, will take place in the next few weeks.

While the group has made plans, they have also made repairs, replacing portions of the cart path that were washed away during Hurricane Florence. Hodson also noted that the fairways were “beaten up” and the course lost about 1,000 trees. Despite the damage, she said the course was only closed for a few months.

“All the members came with chainsaws and helped cut down the trees,” she said.

She said community support helped the course open so soon after the storm, and she believes the community spirit and level of local investment is making the course an economic engine for the community.

After the clubhouse is completed, Hodson said they plan to build a driving range. Despite the improvements, she said, they want to stay true to previous owner Steve White’s mission of keeping golf accessible and affordable for people in the community.

“We just want to make sure the course is still there for people to enjoy,” she said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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