News 12 at 6 o'clock / Aug. 3, 2011
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- It is really hot out today, but that's not keeping golfers away from the fairways -- which is just what the Mount Vintage Golf Club likes to see.
This golf course community in Edgefield County has had some financial trouble in the past but now it is making a comeback.
The golf club is under new ownership, and they're making changes to draw in more people who love the sport.
Mike Hooker is an avid player at the Mount Vintage Golf Club and as of Monday he is the owner, too.
"For the first five or six years, the golf course exceeded my expectations and then the golf course started to deteriorate probably in 2009," Hooker said.
The course was in such bad shape that there wasn't even money for gas for the golf carts and the club was on the brink of closing.
That's when Hooker stepped in.
"If that would have happened, they would have closed this facility down ... and that would have been a disaster not only for my lifestyle but for the entire community," Hooker said. "This golf course is the heartbeat of the Mount Vintage Plantation."
One year and a million dollars later, Hooker and his staff have turned things around, and they're now looking for more members.
Ryan Mulvey, golf director at Mount Vintage, said the course moved to a private status in April to put a premium on membership for people joining from the CSRA.
With 70 new memberships over the past several months, Mount Vintage Golf Club is back in full swing.
Neighbors like Joe Ward and George Maggio who play there have seen a difference.
"I wasn't sure if Mike Hooker could come through for us or not," Ward said. "I think he certainly did, and the course is as nice as it has ever been since we have been here."
Maggio enjoys the improvements that have been made so far.
"We have new carts, the golf course is in fabulous condition now," he said.
Mount Vintage is not only looking to grow its golf community, but they are also hoping to add more tournaments, too.
The club is hosting the Kandy Waters Memorial Classic at the end of August.
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