If everything goes as planned, come next Spring area golfers will be able to return to one of their favorite locations: The Columbia County Club.
Country Club of Columbia LLC closed on a deal last week with First Southern Bank to purchase the foreclosed property. Allen Entrekin is the managing member, who is being assisted by his mother, Pat Entrekin.
With the Entrekins taking over just last week, they wasted no time in getting to work. She said they already have plans and ideas in mind.
“I want to see it go back to the way it was back in its elegance,” Pat Entrekin said Thursday morning at the Country Club.
One of the biggest assets of the place is the 9-hole golf course. Entrekin said she has heard how great the course was and how people really loved to play there because the course is challenging. She said the course will be getting a face-lift and updated.
“A lot of time will be put into the greens on the golf course. The greens will be made over,” she said.
She said one day she was having a conversation with Nick Davis at First Southern Bank, and he asked her why doesn’t she or her family buy the place. Her response was they knew nothing about golf or running a country club.
Entrekin said she believes in the dots lining up. If the dots did not line up, she said she felt that was the Lord telling them not to do it. However, the dots did all align.
One of the things Entrekin knew they would need is a manager, someone who understood how to run the business, especially on the golf side. People recommended David Pate, a former golf pro who has been involved with the country club off and on through the years. Pate has also managed other clubs as well. Entrekin and Pate connected and it did not take long for Pate to agree to come back.
Having Pate come back to manage is something she has said is a “huge asset.”
The greens are not the only changes being made. She said the three tennis courts will be resurfaced, and the front windows in the main building will be replaced. There will be a concession stand, and they are considering obtaining a license to sell adult beverages.
The swimming pool Entrekin said is still up in the air. At this point it is a matter of how much it will cost to repair before a decision is made on the pool.
She said she really wants it to be a part of the community again and for the community to enjoy it again. She said so many people have been telling her stories of working and spending time at the place. She had heard about the proms being held there. She feels having it back is very important.
Since they have started work on the place, she has had a steady stream of visitors stopping by asking if it was going to reopen and when. Entrekin said she has received nothing but excitement from everyone she has talked with.
The good news for them has been, for the most part, most of the issues they have had to deal with have been cosmetic, but they still have a long way to go. On Thursday, workers were busy redoing the roof on the pool house.
Things Entrekin is looking forward to is not only taking it back to its prime but employing high schoolers to help part time when everything is ready. More than one person has stopped her and talked about their experience working at the country club and how much fun they had. She is also hoping the local schools will start back with golf clubs and/or teams again.
She is hoping to have the venue part ready by the end of the year in order to host Christmas parties.
Eager golfers will have to wait until next spring before the golf course is ready.
Entriken said the country club itself will probably host a few events as well to encourage membership and to let everyone know they are back open.
She said they are looking at the membership fees of other comparable country clubs and from there will determine what the membership fee will be.
An addition they are making is a display case of some pictures of events and tournaments that have happened through the years. She wants to showcase good times celebrated at the country club.
Right now, she and everyone she has been in contact with are just excited to see it come back to life.