Twice in Trouble-Twice Reborn
First time visitors are always taken with the beauty of Sapelo Hammock Golf Club because of its natural surroundings. Shellman Bluff, located halfway between Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia, is the departure point for those wanting to venture into the nearby realm of unspoiled rivers, creeks, miles of untouched salt marshes and barrier islands where one can walk on beaches for hours with no trace of another human footprint.
The story of Sapelo Hammock golf course in Shellman Bluff began in the late 1990s when the remarkable scenic facility was first envisioned and constructed by Rusty Simmons. In 2002, it was purchased by a group of local developers and tied into two adjoining residential communities-Cooper’s Point and Sutherland Bluff Plantation. The recession of 2008 took its toll and the course closed in 2010. The first rejuvenation came from a common stock offering with the help of a local bank, local investors and volunteers determined to reclaim the 171 acres of pristine property. The club operated for six years thereafter losing money every year primarily due to the debt incurred in the purchase and cost of restoring the course. The outlook did not look promising. The business model and financial structure had to be changed in order to save the course and its initial stockholders.
Fast Forward to 2017. #2- A preferred stock offering that enticed new investors and the common stockholders and assured full ownership with no outstanding debt, using the golf course, its buildings and facilities as collateral. Within a matter of months the sale raised over $1.25 million which paid off the debt and provided a cushion for operating expenses for the next few years. Located in a rural area of northern McIntosh County, the golf club is very much tied to the local economy bringing in 60% of the golfers from outside the county. Without the golf course, property values could plummet and new home sales would probably come to a halt. It has been a community effort of investors, many non-golfing volunteers coming together with civic pride to save Sapelo Hammock.
Sapelo Hammock captures the best of the coastal marshlands in the Georgia landscape. Live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss shade the fairways, and expansive marsh views that change with the tides provide the back drop to a challenging yet accessible 18 hole golf course. The layout features five sets of tees to accommodate players of all skill levels. The 6,887 yard, par 72 design boasts
Champion Bermuda greens, 419 Bermuda fairways and rough and coastal marsh hazards. The thought provoking routing will test the better golfers playing from the tips while mere mortals and newbies will enjoy aesthetic value playing it forward. The golf course is managed by Cornerstone Golf Partners from Hilton Head, SC. with Jim Mancill, PGA Professional, as Director of Golf and tucked away on a pristine piece of land near the Sapelo River with easy access from I-95 and Highway 17. Sapelo Hammock is a member of the Georgia Golf Trail, a selection of 27 resorts and courses throughout the Peach State providing unmatched golf experiences and the finest in southern hospitality and accommodations.