Black Creek Golf Club reopens after being hit by tornado

BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – Golf enthusiasts in northern Bryan County once again have the opportunity to hit the links in this area.

The course at Black Creek Golf Club has reopened following extensive damage from April’s deadly tornado.

Black Creek Golf Club was at the epicenter of the tornado’s strength. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado passed through there at the height of its fury with winds of 185 miles per hour.

And course owners say it took a lot of work to reopen the course.

A video taken from the porch of the clubhouse when the tornado unleashed its strong winds shows the power of the storm.

“It’s really unfathomable how much damage it caused and how much debris there was,” said owner Hal Godwin.

Today the clubhouse remains damaged but the course is once again welcoming golfers at the height of the busy summer season.

“People have been surprised at what has changed and how much it has actually changed the golf course.”

Course owner Hal Godwin gave us a tour of the course describing the countless hours of work it took to remove the more than 500 damaged trees from the greens.

“This has been devastated.”

Once the tree-lined fairways are now reduced to open fields, as Godwin puts it, they had to build mounds to separate the holes from the course.

“We were just trying to get our heads out of the water, because we were pretty good underwater.”

But those who have returned to Black Creek say they are happy to be back on the course while dealing with the scars left by the tornado.

“Honestly, it’s pretty surreal. I haven’t been to this area to see the aftermath…only on TV, but in the years I’ve played here it’s a huge blessing that it’s still open and still here,” said golfer Kenneth Kelly.

And while Godwin is happy to be open again, he says the job is not done.

“It was very overwhelming for a while, but we put our faith in God, our friends and our family and with everyone’s help and support, we got through it. We’ve come a long way. way since the tornado, but we still have a long way to go.

As he hopes the reopening is a hole-in-one.

Godwin says the financial balance sheet was just as important as the physical balance sheet. This clubhouse is staying because Godwin says he is still working with his insurance company on appraisals.

He says he expects the final claim to be over $2 million.

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