The Hemingway, S.C. property, which closed in 2013, has been reopened under new ownership. As word of mouth has spread, players from neighboring towns that recently had courses close have come to play. “We beat projections so far, even with the heat, and we’re expecting a bigger fall and a mild winter,” says co-owner Randy Meekins.
Hideaway Golf Course, a Hemingway, S.C. facility that was closed in 2013, has been reopened as Millstone Executive Golf Course under the new ownership of Randy and Lynn Meekins, The News of Kingstree, S.C. reported.
The Meekins own the land the golf course sits on, but it was Lynn’s stepfather who built Hideaway in 1996, The News reported. “He did a fine job laying it out,” said Randy, who helped to build the clubhouse and greens.
It wasn’t long after Hideaway closed that people started encouraging the Meekins to reopen it, The News reported.
By the time Randy Meekins began the remodel, the weeds were so high they had to be chopped down before the grass could be cut. “It was nasty,” he said.
The transformation, which included rebuilding the fairways, greens and tee boxes took more than two years, and Randy Meekins said the feedback has been great, especially from people who had played the course when it was Hideaway, The News reported.
People love the fact that he kept it as an executive course, which is smaller and doesn’t take as long to play. “You don’t have to play all day or eat up a Saturday,” Meekins said. “[People] can come out and play nine holes and enjoy themselves, and it wouldn’t take a toll.”
Millstone’s toughest hole is No. 9, which is 415 yards and has a water hazard, Randy Meekins told The News. Golfers have to decide whether to lay up or try and blast their shot over the water. Then there’s still 200 yards to the green. “It’s a difficult up and down,” he said.
His favorite hole is No. 7, which is only 112 yards. “The green is sitting right there in front of you,” Meekins said. “You can toss the ball up there; you can almost putt it in there.”
One golfer in fact did just that, putting the ball hard enough that it went into the hole for an ace, The News reported. “It just rolled,” Meekins said. “It never left the ground.”
As word of mouth about the new course has spread, Meekins told The News, people from the nearby towns of Georgetown and Johnsonville, which both had courses close recently, have started coming to play.
“We’ve been really happy with the amount of play,” Meekins said. “We beat projections so far, even with the heat, and we’re expecting a bigger fall and a mild winter.”
Last spring, the golf teams from Carvers Bay and Johnsonville high schools both hosted matches at the course, The News said.
Overall the Lowcountry golf course community, including Cherry Hill Country Club in Andrews, S.C. and courses in the Myrtle Beach area, has been “very supportive,” Meekins said.
“What we found in this industry [is] it’s not a competition among golf courses,” Meekins said. “It’s a community of golf courses. They want you to succeed. Because if you succeed, it makes them look good, too. When a course closes, it’s kind of a black eye for golf courses in general.”
The Millstone clubhouse has already been used for parties and a bridal shower, The News reported. “We’re trying to make it a wedding and event venue,” Meekins said.
An area right outside the clubhouse that used to be a miniature golf course is lighted, has power outlets and room for a large tent, The News reported. Meekins envisions using that area for wedding receptions and large parties, with the clubhouse providing a staging area for food.
Meekins is happy with the response from the community since the course reopened, The News reported. “We’ve been really surprised with the success we’ve had so far and the response from people,” he said. “It’s something that the community needed, and I’m glad that people are finally starting to take advantage of it.”
His goals for Hideaway now, Meekins said, are to keep it affordable, aesthetically nice, and enjoyable. And if the course proves to be successful and makes money, the Meekins may expand it to 18 holes in a few years.
“If not,” he joked to The News, “we’ll have a big sod farm out here.”