Returning golf course; Mayor of Bamberg calls for “wonderful news” to reopen | Local
BAMBERG – An 18 hole golf course has reopened under a new owner.
The course at 128 Paw Paw Road in Bamberg is now called the River Birch Golf Course.
New owner Joe Schlierholz said: “I knew it was right and this was the place to hang our hat.”
While the course had a “soft opening” on November 26th, the official sale took place on December 7th. The inauguration is scheduled for this Saturday.
The golf course will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week for the winter. The schedule will change as the days get longer.
Schlierholz said there are plans to modernize the golf course and renovate the golf club. He said he will also make sure the pro shop is well stocked.
âIt will be a great golf course,â said Schlierholz. “We’re going to bring it back to where it should be very good for this community and the surrounding communities.”
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With Chief Golf Professional Jim Williams at the helm, he says the course will feature a PGA Hope program for veterans, a PGA Junior Kids League, Women’s Leagues and Professional Leagues. The golf course will employ around ten.
âYou will hopefully see your golf course flourish and be a lot more golf oriented,â said Schlierholz.
âThere’s not much you can do in winter,â he continued. âWe have our work in front of us. We have beautiful modeling clay.
While the initial focus will be on the golf course, Schlierholz said he hopes the restaurant and bar will be open by Christmas. The process of acquiring a beer, wine and liquor license is underway, he said.
âIt’s a very good social thing. â¦ It will be family oriented, âhe said.
The restaurant will be open to the general public and take-out meals will be offered.
The golf course, formerly named Paw Paw Country Club and Bamberg Golf and Sports Club, closed in mid-August 2021.
It didn’t stay closed for long.
Schlierholz said that what inspired him to come to Bamberg and take over ownership of the golf course was one of his best friends, the late Harry Bloom.
âI became friends with him and the whole family,â said Schlierholz. âWe used to come down and go hunting. I have met a lot of good people thanks to him.
Schlierholz said that by going down to Bamberg to watch the course everyone knew him from Bloom.
A native of Florida, Schlierholz has lived in the Columbia, South Carolina area since the 1980s.
He has been involved in business for most of his 55 years, ranging from restaurants to hardwood floors.
He recently worked as a COO at the Hidden Valley Golf Club in Gaston for approximately a decade.
âThey say God favors you,â Schlierholz said. “It was a tremendous favor to be able to own our own golf course.”
Schlierholz said the name River Birch came from the driving and sight of the birch from the river.
It is the first time that he has owned a full golf course.
“We are delighted,” said Bamberg Mayor Nancy Foster of the course reopening. âThey’ve been preparing for about a month there. It’s just wonderful news.
Foster said she was concerned about the closure, noting that the golf course and restaurant have always been an asset to the community.
The golf club was built in 1981.
The 6,683 yard par 72 golf course was designed by Russell Breeden, who designed a number of golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area.
It features four sets of tees with the 16th par 5 517 yard hole requiring a tee shot over a lake and a lone pine in the middle of the fairway.
Golf course makers have often praised its lakes and woods, greens, contoured fairways and hybrid grasses. The course was deemed ideal for all levels of play.
The course was purchased by Tom Cornforth in May 1996 but closed in December 2016 after nearly four decades of operation.
Following its closure, some residents demanded that the city of Bamberg buy the golf course and lease it to a group of investors. The proposal never came to fruition.
The golf course was finally sold to DHC Inc. in the summer of 2017 for $ 750,000. It reopened for a while before closing in August.
For more information on the golf course, call 803-245-8432.