Nine holes of the River Oaks Golf Club closed, to become lodgings


Nine holes of the 27-hole River Oaks Golf Club have been sold to a developer who plans to redevelop the property into approximately 200 single-family home lots.

Chris Manning Communities bought all nine holes for $ 3 million, according to Manning and Horry County online records, and the sale was recorded in the Horry County Register of Deeds on Friday.

The Bear nine has been closed for the past two weeks in anticipation of the sale and will remain closed permanently, Manning said.

River Oaks still includes the new Otter and Fox, which combine to measure approximately 6,800 meters. The course is one of the most visited in the market, as holes are visible when crossing the US 501 Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway to and from Myrtle Beach.

Chris Manning Communities is a construction, development and real estate company that owns and operates the Myrtle Beach International Club in Murrells Inlet through East Coast Golf Management.

Manning, a Grand Strand resident, bought this course last November and was previously a partner of the Diamondback Golf Club in Loris, but he sold his interest a few years ago.

River Oaks Bear nine is about to become a home

The Bear nine consists of 66.6 acres and was rezoned by the County of Horry in 2019 to accommodate a housing project that was proposed but was unsuccessful.

Zoning has changed from SF10, which allows land with a minimum area of ​​10,000 square feet, to multi-residential MRD3.

“This is what county staff have recommended in terms of the residential development that they like to see in what they call their urban corridors of the unincorporated part of Horry County,” said Wayne Gray, partner from River Oaks in 2019.

The course is owned by a group of investors, including the Gray family of Myrtle Beach, and Wayne Gray said in December 2018 that the owners wanted to take advantage of a booming housing market and sell part of the property.

The Bear nine was designed by Tom Jackson and opened in 1991, four years after the original 18 holes designed by Gene Hamm. The 3,432-yard Bear nine is on the east side of River Oaks Drive. It does not reach the waterway, unlike the Fox nine.

Manning said he was interested in the property because it is in the popular Carolina Forest area and is already zoned for housing. “Those are the two key factors,” said Manning, who said he was not yet sure which homebuilder or homebuilders would be involved in the redevelopment.

Chris Manning Communities is building houses and Manning said he is currently building about 50 houses in North Myrtle Beach on the old Robbers Roost golf course, which closed in 2003. “We are building there and we are going. expand into other areas next year, ”Manning said.

A golf cart crosses an elevated bridge over River Oaks Drive to The Bear nine at River Oaks Golf Plantation. Tuesday, December 18, 2018. Jason Lee [email protected]

Manning said he is not done buying golf courses in the area. He said he was negotiating with the owner of another course in Horry County that he planned to purchase in 2022 and close for redevelopment, although he declined to name the course. “It’s closure. It won’t work anymore. The owners have already made that decision, ”Manning said. “It’s already zoned [for housing]. “

Right now is a good time for golf course owners to sell land if they choose to do so. The golf market has recovered somewhat over the past year. years, but it is still not a very lucrative business to operate a relatively speaking golf course, so for so many owners it is easier to sell the land and close operations.

Manning, however, said he was not opposed to purchasing another golf course to operate it. He also owns and operates the private Grand Harbor Golf & Yacht Club on the East Coast in Ninety Six, SC

Development at the International Club moving forward

At the International Club, Manning said he was redeveloping the driving range of the course and some surrounding properties into 45 single-family lots.

He said he worked with community members to come to an agreement on the project, and that the owners association is also involved in the expansion of the community pool and the renovation of the clubhouse, which includes the addition of an outdoor space.

“It’s just about meeting the needs of additional people in the community,” Manning said. “We are adding residents and the clubhouse was in need of renovation, so we will be adding an outdoor area for the community and the club to the back of the clubhouse.”

The River Oaks Golf Course is operated on a long-term lease from a group of investors under the name of River Oaks Golf Club LLC, which includes the club’s general manager, Scott Taylor.

The Bear nine joins The Witch Golf Links in Conway and Farmstead Golf Links in Little River / Calabash, NC, as golf course closures in October and November, as course owners continue to sell to residential developers .

Farmstead is scheduled to close on October 31, and The Witch is scheduled to close on November 21. Additionally, the owners of The Wizard Golf Links have requested a zoning change on the property to allow for a sale to a developer.

This story was originally published 11 October 2021 3:42 pm.

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Alan Blondin covers Coastal Carolina golf, college and athletics, as well as many other sports-related topics that deserve coverage. Well versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the 1992 Northeastern University School of Journalism Promotion Major has been a Sun News reporter since 1993 after working for newspapers in Texas. and Massachusetts. It has won eight of the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Top 10 National Writing Awards and 20 of the SC Press Association’s top three writing awards since 2007.

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