A South Carolina golf course is changing owners, but it will still be known as “The Sarge.”
Sergeant Jasper Country Club in Ridgeland — which sits about 35 minutes north of Savannah, Georgia, and a similar distance west of Hilton Head Island — has been a staple in the community since the 1960s. The Congaree Foundation announced last week it has acquired the nine-hole course.
“The new, revamped Sergeant Jasper Golf Club will support access to the game of golf by providing a new home to area high school teams, as well as a quality public golf course for the Lowcountry,” a news release said.
The Congaree Foundation said local golfers can tee off at the revamped club March 2. The release said it also will provide opportunities to learn new skills and serve as a pipeline of talent for other courses in the region.
“The acquisition of Sergeant Jasper is a natural continuation of the Congaree Foundation mission: to positively impact the lives of young people locally and around the globe by providing opportunities through the game of golf,” said John McNeely, executive program director for the foundation. “The re-opening of the course reflects our commitment to serve the local community.”
Sergeant Jasper board president Bradley Bonds said the club had many stockholders, but most have passed away and its membership has dropped dramatically the past few years.
His father and fellow board member Buzz Bonds said the club started with about 130 members and dwindled to 10 at one point, though it has rebounded to 45-50 members.
“The club was in need of financial assistance and Congaree had approached the board about taking over ownership of the club to utilize it, in part, for youth golf,” Bradley Bonds said. “We went through the process with Congaree to make it public.”
Bonds said with Congaree Foundation assuming ownership there will be “a lot better product with lots of improvements.”
“We were in need of financial help and Congaree came in to help,” he said. “They explained they wanted to have youth golf programs and still have golf for the public. This facility was not going to be there much longer had it not been for Congaree Foundation saving the golf course.”
The foundation said it plans to allow high school teams to play at no cost.
“Access to the course will also offer an opportunity for area high schools to establish new boys and girls golf programs,” McNeely said. “The club will host events for the local First Tee chapter.”
Congaree has helped several schools in Jasper County, beginning in 2018 when its first girls’ golf instruction introduced more than 300 students to the game.
In partnership with Congaree Golf Club in Gillisonville, the foundation also hosts underserved students for its Congaree Global Golf Initiative. It welcomes students from around the world, including many from South Carolina and Georgia. They participate in an intensive camp that provides golf instruction and college admission prep.
“Congaree Foundation is looking forward to making Sergeant Jasper a full-service course for the entire community to enjoy,” McNeely said.