Say good bye to The Golf Club at Star Fort and say hello to The Fort Club.
Two Greenville businessmen, Jeremy Revis and Shane Birckbichler are the new owners of the club near Greenwood.
The new owners are avid golfers who intend to use their golf knowledge and business skill to revitalize the George Cobb designed course.
The two bought the course from Doyle McBride who had operated Star Fort for 15 years.
“We knew that he wanted to make sure Star Fort continued as a golf course and that is our intention,” said Revis.
Revis is a former Greenville County Amateur champion and Birckbichler played college golf at Furman.
Birckbichler is a part owner of the successful Paris Mountain Country Club in Greenville and the two want to use that club as a model for The Fort Club.
“Playing a lot of golf, we both know what golfers want to see. Golfers want a course with good greens, in good condition all year and that is our goal,” said Revis.
One other important factor is the way golfers are treated when they choose a course to play.
“We want to create an atmosphere here where golfers want to play the course, but they also want to be around the club even when they are not playing,” said Revis.
The new owners have hired Cole Patterson to be the manager and golf professional at the club.
Patterson, like Revis, is a former Greenville Amateur champion who played college golf at Presbyterian.
After college he gained valuable experience in the food and beverage industry and for the last year has been an assistant professional at the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta.
‘We have a lot of work to do, but we have the facilities and the resources to make the improvements that are needed,” said Patterson.
The Fort Club has hired John Franklin from Woodside Plantation in Aiken as the new superintendent.
“We are fortunate to get John to join us and also glad that Tom Taylor, who has been with the club for many years, will help with the transition,” said Patterson.
The George Cobb designed course opened in 1968. It will operate as a semi-private club open to all golfers with membership opportunities.
“I’ve been a member at Green Valley (also designed by Cobb) and when I play here I can see the same kind of outstanding design. Now it is up to us to improve it and make it a fun and challenging course again,” said Revis.
Like all courses, The Fort Club has to blend the wishes of a younger generation with those who are traditionalists.
“What we can do for both groups is make sure we have a well maintained golf course and very good food and beverage service and just make it a fun place to be,” said Patterson.
The Fort Club will host the return of the SCJGA Junior Four-Ball championship in October.
Revis is working with the SCGA to schedule some other events at the club as well as developing some weekend tournaments like those played at Boscobel and Southern Oaks.
“The course has held tournaments in the past and we will be doing that again to give golfers from outside the area a chance to come and experience the course,” said Revis.
Some of the projects to improve the course will be noticeable to golfers and others may not be at first.
“We are going to flip the nines so golfers finish right at the clubhouse. We have a very nice dining room and area outside the club where golfers can gather to watch the last hole,” said Patterson.
The club will have all appropriate licenses for beverage service.
New carts are on order, but supply chain issues mean their arrival will be delayed.
Working on improving the cart paths is high on the list of projects needing attention and improving the condition of the greens is at the top of every list at The Fort.
“As a tournament golfer, I judge most courses by the quality of the greens. We have champion Bermuda greens and we are going to work very hard to make sure they are something every golfer will enjoy playing,” said Revis.
The club is in the process of adding a website at http://www.thefortclub96.com to be in operation soon.
Currently a Facebook page (Facebook @thefortclub) has information about the club’s operation.
Tee times can be reserved by calling 864-543-2757.