DARLINGTON, S.C. — Beaver Creek Golf Club is up for sale, and course designer James Robertson’s son, Billy Parker, said Robertson is open to selling the property on 1133 West McIver Road in Darlington to be used for something other than golf.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Parker, who worked at the course from its opening in 1968 until 1995 when he left to work at Honda. “But when you don’t have any family members to help you, it’s hard. He really wants to keep it open as a golf course, but he’s been thinking about selling it with options. People nowadays are sometimes buying old golf courses and building real nice home complexes on it. A lot of them are putting solar panels on golf courses. And a lot of them are selling them to small manufacturers, who build their plants on the golf courses.
“Those that were lucky enough to be in town, they became high-end real estate after they closed,” he added. “When you’re out in the country, you don’t have much high-end real estate.”
According to Parker, his father built the first nine holes in 1968, and the second nine by 1973.
“Then, he sold it in 1995, got it back and sold it again,” Parker said. “And after that guy died, he got it back three or four years ago.”
Parker talked about the reasons for the course being up for sale.
“He’s selling it because the economy’s not that great. Most people have lost interest in golf. Most people that golf, they travel for golf,” said Parker, whose father is 88. “They go golf course to golf course. And then, there’s the economy with the way that it is. You can play major golf courses at the beach for what price you used to pay to play the golf courses around here.”
Beaver Creek’s length is 6,400 yards and is a par-72 layout. It has five holes with water hazards, and the 352-yard, par-4 16th provides its share of challenges.
Nowadays, Parker said, his family is coming to terms with current times.
“It’s very hard to lose a family business,” Parker said. “It takes a lot of manpower and a lot of play to keep a golf course open.”