More than a decade after its initial closure, the Gold Creek Golf Club is eyeing a grand reopening in the near future.
Over the last 18 months, owners Mike, David, Diane and Grady Turner, have been working to restore the original 18-hole golf course to its former glory and are looking reinstate the venue as a Dawsonville golfing staple.
“We’re making progress pretty much every day, but the rain has hurt us,” Grady Turner said on Monday. “That’s slowed us down greatly, but you know, we’re still making progress.”
The golf course has been closed since the summer of 2008 when golfers arrived for their tee times to find the doors locked and a note on the door stating the business was closed.
But in December 2010, local businessman Kenneth Turner, their father, emerged and purchased the business along with surrounding 335-acres, including the clubhouse, golf course and several adjacent home lots for $900,000 — less than half the appraised value.
Before the course could be reopened, Kenneth Turner died in 2016, leaving the property in the hands of his children.
“Our 100% focus is we want to get the golf course back open and be a full-service golf course again and have amenities and opportunities for the homeowners, members,” Turner said. “It was a great golf course before. We think it’s going to be an even better golf course now.”
Over the past year and a half, the Turners have started the revitalization project by removing between 20,000 to 30,000 trees that had taken root on the defunct golf course. Most of the original 18 holes have been cleared, Turner said, with just two and a half more to go. From there, the focus will be on removing all the debris and switching gears to address the irrigation system.
“Once we get the trees finally cleared then we’ll start focusing on the irrigation system, and we don’t have any idea of what all that’s going to entail until we get in there,” Turner said.
Plans for the revitalization of the golf community include not just restoring as much of the original course as possible, but opening the clubhouse and restoring the pool and tennis areas that we left in disrepair by the previous property owners.
As far the course’s reopening date goes, Turner said that weather delays the project has faced the past few months has left them unable to lock down a solid timeline.
“If everything fell into place perfectly, it could be this year,” he said. “Realistically, it’s probably going to be next year. We had hoped for this year, but until we get the debris finished clearing and we’re able to concentrate on the irrigation – because we have no idea what that’s going to entail and that’s going to be the next big thing – the intent and the focus is to get open as soon as possible.”
Turner estimates the cost of reopening the golf course is around $2.5 to 3 million, as long as there aren’t continuous delays.
Since undertaking the massive project, Turner said his family has received a majority of positive and supportive feedback from the Gold Creek homeowners for the golf course’s reopening.
Turner sees the golf course as an opportunity for local homeowners to play golf and enjoy club amenities again, as well as possibly serving as the home course for the Dawson County High School golf teams as they once did at the previous course.
More than anything, the Turners want the Gold Creek Golf Club to make a positive impact in the Dawsonville community and serve as something the citizens can be proud of.
“The homeowners got a bad deal when it closed. We want to get it back to what they had,” Turner said. “This is where I’ve lived all my life, where my family has lived and where we’ll live until we die. We just want to leave it nicer than we found it.”