After being approached by the club, the city of 30,000 that is located between Greenville and Spartanburg used a portion of accommodations and hospitality tax and bond revenues to purchase the 65-year-old property for about $1.6 million. It is expected to invest another $1 million in capital improvements on the 160-acre site. The 18-hole course will be open to the public. “We wanted [it] to remain green space,” said the city administrator.
The city of Greer, S.C.’s 20th park is an 18-hole golf course and country club, The Greenville (S.C.) News reported. The city bought Greer Golf & Country Club with a portion of $2.8 million in accommodations tax and hospitality revenue tax bonds.
Greer City Administrator Ed Driggers said February 11 that the city of 30,000, which is located between Greenville and Spartanburg, has closed on the purchase of the property and is now its official owner, The News reported. The Greer City Council also approved the ordinance allowing issuance of the bonds for the golf club properties.
The purchase price for the country club is about $1.6 million, Driggers told The News. More than $1 million of that $2.8 million will go toward capital improvements on the site. The remaining funds will aid operations, he said.
The purchase of the golf course and clubhouse makes Greer one of a handful of municipalities across the state that own golf courses, The News reported. Driggers said the purchase of the Greer Country Club—built in 1955—wasn’t one the city pursued. He said the city was approached by the country club with the offer.
“They were having some financial difficulties and we were aware of that,” he said. “Their desire was to have an owner-operator that would continue to provide recreation at that site.”
He said the city evaluated the option to determine if they could continue to offer golf there, The News reported. The golf course will be open to the public rather than members only.
The city also wanted to protect the property, Driggers told The News. “It’s 160 acres,” he said. “We wanted that 160 acres to remain green space.”
If the city had not acquired the property, it possibly could have been sold off to development, he said.
The city has restricted the property for recreation only, “so if it’s not feasible for us in the future to continue to operate it as a golf operation, then we would be prepared to use it more as a park—walking trails, picnic areas, those types of things,” Driggers said.
The city has an operation agreement with the country club at this point, Driggers told The News. When the city takes over management in late spring or early summer, the site will become a unit in the city’s recreation department.