Black Creek golf course expected to reopen next month following destructive tornado

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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ELLABELL, Ga. (WTOC) - The owner said they’ve been working hard everyday to remove all debris from the course and it’s mostly clear.

The clubhouse and fitness center will take a while to replace, but you should be able to hit the green in just a few more weeks.

The only two recreational centers in Bryan County were destroyed by an EF-4 tornado weeks ago -- Hendrix Park and the Black Creek Golf Club.

“Just to see what it’s done, it breaks my heart and it really breaks a lot of our hearts,” said Dennis Seger, who plays at the course.

Dennis Seger plays on the course and he was shocked like people to see video showing the roof being ripped off during the storm.

“That was actually one of our members out there on the porch and took that video. It’s amazing he didn’t get hurt,” said Alton Godwin, owner of the Black Creek Golf Club.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was actually at its strongest –185 MPH when it hit.

“Totally changed the concept of the golf course, the layout without the trees,” said Godwin.

Alton Godwin has been the owner of the Black Creek Golf Club since 2017.

He said they lost 300 to 400 trees in the storm and the estimated damage is more than one million dollars.

“We’ve been cutting and hauling trees for three weeks now,” he said.

With all the work they’ve done since the storm, Godwin said the course should be back open in about a month, a huge relief to their pockets.

“As a business owner, I know with money going out, bills going out and no money coming in, you aren’t gonna survive long,” said Godwin.

Getting the course open is huge for the north end of Bryan County. There are some who haven’t stopped trying to come out since the storm hit.

“If we got our own golf carts, we can actually still ride the golf carts and they got the course to where we could play,” said Seger.

Seger was one of the first members of the club.

“Since day one it’s been open,” he said.

Some tree damage and debris weren’t going to stop him from getting back on the green and when it’s finally back he’ll be there then too.

“We just can’t wait so we can get back out here again and make it official where we can start playing with our buddies,” Seger said.

The owner said the clubhouse could take years to rebuild, but they’re currently working on a temporary shop to replace the training and fitness center.

Right now, they’re waiting on permits, but Godwin is confident that next month the course will be open to the public.

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