The sale of Northwoods Golf Club, a public course in northeast Columbia, is “both disappointing and exciting,” says director of golf Greg McBride, whose family had owned and operated the facility for a quarter-century.
Owners Bobby and Doyle McBride finalized the sale to a management firm owned by Charleston attorney Joe Rice this week, and Greg McBride foresees the course returning to its glory days.
“You don’t like to see a family business sold, but, at the same time, it’s exciting to see the direction the new owner (has),” Greg McBride said. “The clubhouse and course will get a complete overhaul: cart paths, bunkers, driving range, new carts, everything.”
Northwoods is among the many golf facilities that have struggled financially in recent years. Needed repairs and upgrades have often been delayed or cancelled for economic reasons, and “Doing what we needed to do did not make sense from a business standpoint,” McBride said.
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The new ownership, which also owns Bulls Bay in Awendaw near Charleston, will begin finalizing its plans and schedule on Monday. The club’s staff of eight, including McBride and assistant pro Burke Cromer, will remain at Northwoods, and McBride can see adding additional employees during the renovation.
Designed by P.B. Dye, son of famed architect Pete Dye, Northwoods opened in 1990 and played host to SCGA tournaments, USGA qualifiers and the annual Columbia City men’s championship. McBride hopes those high-profile events will return after the upgrades are complete.
“We missed having those tournaments, but conditions of the golf course did not warrant them,” McBride said. “The possibility of having them again creates more excitement for Northwoods as we go forward. It’s going to be a new day for Northwoods and we’re looking forward to it.”