(Photo by Larry Hardy, The Times and Democrat)
The club formerly known as Paw Paw Country Club was built in 1981 with an 18-hole golf course designed by Russell Breeden and an on-site restaurant and bar. Local officials cited the club as a “real asset” to the small town and expressed hope they could find a way to help it be reorganized or sold to a new owner.
The 18-hole golf course and on-site restaurant and bar at the Bamberg (S.C.) Golf and Sports Club have permanently closed, The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, S.C. reported.
The club was formerly known as the Paw Paw Country Club and built in 1981, The Times and Democrat. Its 18-hole, par-72, 6,683-yard golf course was designed by Russell Breeden.
It was purchased by Tom Cornforth in May 1996 but then closed at the end of 2016, The Times and Democrat reported, with Cornforth saying it was a challenge to keep golf courses open in small towns with declining populations like Bamberg (population 3,607).
Following its closure, The Times and Democrat reported, there were calls from some residents for the city of Bamberg to purchase the golf course and lease it to a group of investors, but that proposal never came to fruition.
The golf course was then eventually sold to DHC Inc. in the summer of 2017 for $750,000 and reopened under the Golf and Sports Club brand (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/local-group-buys-paw-paw-cc/; https://clubandresortbusiness.com/paw-paw-cc-reborn-bamberg-s-c-golf-sports-club/).
The current ownership could not be reached for comment about the closure, The Times and Democrat reported.
Longtime club member Marion Hiers expressed his sorrow about the closing, The Times and Democrat reported “I hate it for the community,” Hiers said. “It was a good place, but the nature of the beast and the environment that has gone on for the last 18 months with COVID made it difficult.”
Added Bamberg Mayor Nancy Foster: “I am just kind of torn up about it. It was a real asset to Bamberg and a real good golf course. It was a good design. Russell Breeden designed the course and he designed several other courses in Myrtle Beach [S.C.]. He was one of the top designers of his day.”
While the course needed some work, Foster added, some repairs were being made. “I do intend on talking to the owner to see if there is anything we can do to help,” she said.
“Anytime we lose an asset like this, it will hurt our quality of life,” Bamberg County Administrator Joey Preston said. “But I do know recently golf courses all over the state and nation have been closing. Hopefully, the owner will be able to reorganize or find a new owner.”
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