Congaree Foundation refurbishes nearby Sergeant Jasper Country Club
RIDGELAND, S.C. (WTOC) - While professionals compete for millions of dollars and a PGA Tour championship at Congaree this week, simpler golf dreams are playing out in far more modest settings just a few miles away.
“The Sarge has been our local concentration in golf and it’s really been rewarding to try to do that. It’s our only daily-fee course in Jasper County. Now we have three local high schools that are able to go there and play,” said John McNealy, Executive Program Director of the Congaree Foundation.
At Sergeant Jasper Golf Club, Congaree is sharing access to a game that might seem like the only link the two courses have in common. The Congaree Foundation bought the little nine-hole course and will use it to give junior golfers and local high school teams a place to play for free.
“Without having a course in Jasper County, one of the high schools, they would go to the coach’s backyard and they would literally just chip and they could not get any feel. They couldn’t really get a perspective on how to play golf and the etiquette of golf and the camaraderie that you can have out there. So, we feel like this will be really something special,” said McNealy.
The new iteration of The Sarge was launched last month when Congaree hosted a First Tee event at the course, which is being refurbished by its world-renowned neighbor.
“About 30 kids came out. It’s been a long time coming for us to be able to get The Sarge back and saved from a spot where it was on the decline,” said McNealy.
And Congaree got some unexpected help restoring the course from a fundraiser South Carolina native Lucas Glover ran during the RBC Heritage.
“They donated funds off their birdies at the tournament. Stewart Cink then matched funds of those when he won the tournament. And so that got us to where we could have an irrigation system at The Sarge,” said McNealy. “With the irrigation system that the guys all did together, with that we sprigged the greens. And so in a few weeks, we’re going to have nice greens and The Sarge will be off and going.”
And Congaree’s impact on the community surrounding its gates will also go to another level.
“We’ll continue to make enhancements as we go, as we have some members that are members there. Our members here have supported it terrifically, but we’d like for it to come back and grow and be a part of the community again. We’re hopeful for that,” said McNealy.
Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.