One of the city of Rincon’s biggest investments may be starting to provide dividends.
Business at Lost Plantation Golf Club has been on the upswing, according to city officials, who have praised the course as being one of best in terms of condition in the Coastal Empire.
“In the last 17 months, the health of the course has dramatically improved,” said course pro Paul Johnson. “We’re starting to get some players from Savannah.”
Johnson lauded the efforts of course superintendent Seth Zeigler and his staff for bringing the 6,667-yard, par-72 course to peak condition.
“The golf course is in phenomenal shape,” said course pro Paul Johnson. “Seth and his staff have done a phenomenal job.”
“It’s in the best condition it’s ever been in,” added City Manager Wesley Corbitt. “It’s taken some time to do that.”
Johnson said he had a four-year plan for the golf course and the first year “was beyond successful.”
His focus, he said, was in two areas, including instituting corporate passports. Last weekend, the course gave out its 300th such discount, targeted to employees at Georgia-Pacific, Gulfstream, Georgia Transformers and the Savannah Airport Commission.
“That has seen a tremendous amount of growth,” Johnson said of the corporate discounts. “We’re continuing to work these large corporations to get them out here.”
Johnson also wanted to increase individual memberships, which he said haven’t yet reached the benchmarks in mind but are up by 15 over this time last year.
The course has had an increase in the number of rounds played, and in the number of tournaments it has hosted. Johnson said he got in contact with groups that have held tournaments at Lost Plantation, and their total generated from their events was almost $100,000.
“The golf course is helping these organizations raise money,” he said.
Lost Plantation also tried something different away from golf two weeks ago, with a dinner service at its grill, with more than 50 people on hand.
“It gives us good publicity with people who are not golfers,” said Mayor Ken Lee.
One issue the course has is the number of geese on the grounds.
“We’ve always had geese at the course,” Zeigler said. “In a couple of years, the number has increased dramatically. A lot of people would love to get rid of them.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife division can capture the geese — for a price, Zeigler said.
“That’s not fool-proof,” he said.
The capturing of the geese can take place only for two weeks in June, when the geese molt and don’t fly as well.
Zeigler has talked with someone about procuring a border collie to herd and chase the geese away.
“It’s a little more humane,” he said. “If a flock feels threatened, they won’t come back.”
Zeigler said he didn’t want to get a permit to shoot the geese, and that the geese aren’t nearly as migratory as they used to be.
“They have taken up residence, that’s for sure,” Lee said.
The city also may look into using “bird bombs,” bottle rocket-type devices that produce a loud noise when triggered, scaring away the birds.
For more on Lost Plantation visit www.lostplantationgolfclub.com.