Buying a new home is a big deal. For many homeowners, it's one of the most important decisions they ever make. When it comes to such a substantial choice, there are a lot of factors to consider, like:
Getting the answers to those questions can be hard but finding a trustworthy manufactured home company can be even more challenging. Sure, you could settle for a fly-by-night company or a shady mobile home dealer. But if you're like most folks, you want to work with a reliable company that has been in business for years. You need a team of professionals who can answer your questions, address your concerns, and sell you a quality home that will keep your family safe and sound.
Welcome to Ken-Co Homes Inc. - your premier choice for mobile home sales in Congoree, SC. Ken-Co Homes has been Lake City's go-to manufactured home since 1974. With several locations in South Carolina, we're the first choice for manufactured homes in the state. As longtime locals in the community, we pride ourselves on honesty, hard work, and running a manufactured home business that you can count on.
There's no secret sauce that makes Ken-Co Homes successful. We work hard, sell the finest Clayton, Destiny, Scotbilt, Homes, and treat our customers like we would like to be treated. That's why, when you meet our team for your home tour, you'll be treated with respect and greeted with a warm smile. Whether you have questions regarding financing or the fit and finish of a floorplan, we'll maintain that same level of kindness, courtesy, and honesty. That way, you know for sure that you have invested in a top-notch manufactured home that your family will love.
Unlike other manufactured home dealers, we have a full selection of Clayton Homes for sale with attractive floor plans to fit your unique lifestyle. When you choose Ken-Co Homes, you're also choosing:
We offer our valued customers a $500 guarantee that we will meet or beat ANY competitor who has a lower price on one of our homes with the same options. Don't believe us? Contact our office today!
With decades of combined experience, our team has the tools and know-how to make your buying process smooth and stress-free.
Buying a home can be challenging, especially with travel logistics and other factors at play. Our team can help answer any questions you have about buying a home and transporting it to a park or piece of private land.
When you buy from Ken-Co Homes, you're investing in a high-quality product that your family will love for years to come. With more than a dozen home choices, you're sure to find a new home that matches your lifestyle.
We'll work with you one-on-one to ensure you get the home of your dreams. If you have questions or concerns once you move in, give us a call - we're here to help.
We offer detail-oriented, experienced set-up crews that make living life in your new home easy and efficient.
At Ken-Co Homes, we offer flexible financing options to help make buying your dream home a reality.
Whether you're looking for a smaller two-bedroom manufactured home or a large, luxurious four-bedroom manufactured home, our friendly consultants are ready to help you build the home of your dreams.
"Is there a difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home?" is one of the most common questions we get online and in person. Today, many people use mobile home and manufactured home interchangeably. That's understandable because both types of homes share similar features and benefits for homeowners. However, understanding the minor differences can be valuable when searching for a new place to call home.
Unlike site-built homes, manufactured homes are built in a factory. Once completed, they're shipped to a specific location where the homeowner will live. The term "manufactured home" refers to any factory-built home constructed after June 15, 1976. That date is when the HUD or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development implemented guidelines centered around manufactured home construction.
HUD code requires manufactured homes to be constructed on a base frame with wheels with a minimum of 320 square feet.
Thanks to fast build times and lower material costs, manufactured homes for sale in Congoree, SC is often more cost-effective for home buyers. Compared to traditional site-built homes, many manufactured homes can be up to 35% less than more traditional houses.
Any mobile homes built after June 15, 1976, are considered manufactured homes today, though many people use the term mobile home casually. In the past, these homes were used to travel and were more like the expensive RVs that people use today than true manufactured homes. Back then, mobile homes received a bad reputation due to poor build quality, but they've come a long way since that time. Today, mobile homes are safe, comfortable, and structurally sound, with many types of amenities and floor plans.
Manufactured homes are more popular in the U.S. than ever, and for good reason: prospective homeowners are looking for affordable, quality alternatives to traditional homes. That's especially true today, with inflation on the rise, necessitating more budget-friendly options for anyone who wants to put a roof over their heads.
If you're used to living in a traditional, site-built home, you may be wondering what the advantages are of buying a manufactured home. Here are just a few of the most common benefits of buying a manufactured home:
When you boil it down to the basics, buying a new home is all about the money. One of the most attractive reasons for buying a manufactured home is that they are often much less expensive than traditional site-built homes. Today, manufactured housing is considered a crucial part of the housing shortage solution and a viable option with inflation rising. According to statistics, the average square-foot cost of a site-built home is $107, while the average price is only $49 in a manufactured home. Whether you're sticking to a strict budget or your finances have changed due to poor economic conditions, going manufactured might be your best choice.
Owning a manufactured home gives the homeowner long-term living options. Because basic manufactured homes are usually very affordable, families with enough land can start with a small home and add additional units as their needs change. Manufactured homes are also great as starter homes, especially for families that plan on building a permanent structure on their land in the future. Though it could be logistically challenging, manufactured homes can also be moved to a different site if the initial one was on rented property.
Manufactured homes have received a bad rap over the last few decades. In reality, most manufactured homes are purpose-built for longevity with structural integrity. Every manufactured home built today is subject to the HUD code adopted in 1976. This code is the only federally-mandated code in existence. It was designed to ensure that manufactured homes meet strict standards regarding fire safety, structural design, energy efficiency, transportation to home sites, and overall construction. All manufactured homes sold in the U.S. have a permanent red seal to confirm they meet HUD standards.
When you buy a manufactured home, you may be able to move in faster than you would via traditional routes. Some manufactured homes are even move-in ready in less than 45 days. Compared to a traditional home, once a new manufactured home is built in the factory, buyers usually find that installation is a quick process. Once the manufactured home is delivered, utility work usually moves quickly, regardless of whether you're moving to a park or transporting your home to a piece of land. Before you know it, you're eating, sleeping, and enjoying life in your new manufactured home.
When asked about the pros and cons, many buyers cite energy efficiency as one of the most significant benefits of owning a manufactured home. In general, manufactured housing is more energy efficient than traditional because HUD mandates ensure that homes have high energy efficiency ratings.
These ratings are achieved through upgraded insulation installation, on-demand water heaters, and energy-efficient windows. These upgrades often make entire manufactured homes Energy Star certified. It's no surprise that manufactured homes are 27% more efficient than they used to be with other additions like energy-saving appliances in kitchens and bathrooms.
If you've ever lived in an apartment complex before, chances are you heard sounds and noises through your walls that you never wanted to hear. If you hate hearing your neighbors and despise thin walls, looking for mobile home sales in Congoree, SC is a great idea. Why? Manufactured homes are typically built using separate modules, which reduces sound transference from room to room. When two or more modules are combined and insulated separately, buyers enjoy an even quieter, stronger home with less outside noise.
If there's one disappointing aspect of manufactured homes, the stigma seems to surround them. Yes, mobile homes from 30 or more years ago aren't exactly marvels of construction and deserve to be criticized. However, modern manufactured homes are cut from a different cloth and are often every bit as safe and luxurious as site-built homes.
Here are some of the most common (and annoying) mobile home myths debunked:
Modern manufactured homes are factory-built homes crafted with quality materials that meet comprehensive federal construction and safety standards. These standards, called the "HUD Code," outline how the homes must be built, including safety guidelines. For example, manufactured home builders must take strict measures to ensure their homes are resistant to wind. In terms of hurricanes and tornados, having such measures in place can prevent a tragedy from happening.
The bottom line is that manufactured homes are plenty safe and provide a quality product to people who want a lower-cost option over traditional housing.
One of the most repeated myths surrounding manufactured homes is that they are in poor shape and have an overall poor quality. Today, many manufactured homes are built with quality materials and care. It's not unusual to find a manufactured home with luxurious amenities and features lie state-of-the-art kitchens, high-end appliances, and chic open floor plans. At Ken-Co Homes, we can provide you with a complete list of available upgrades and amenities for you to enjoy in your new home.
Perhaps it's due to their popularity and lower prices, but we often hear that it's hard to find manufactured homes for sale. As seasoned home dealers, we can say this is categorically false. Whether you head over to Google and search for "mobile homes near me in Congoree, SC," or simply head to Ken-Co Homes' website, you'll see plenty of homes to choose from. Contact our office today for a full list of our homes for sale!
When it comes to home prices in today's day and age, manufactured homes are among the most affordable options available.
That's because manufactured homes cost less to construct than site-built homes, with the average price costing $92K for new construction and $60K for a pre-owned manufactured home, according to recent data. The cost of a traditional home is much higher, with an average of $408K, according to Statista data from 2021. Even though manufactured home living costs change depending on the community, they're often much less expensive than their site-built cousins in the long run.
This myth parallels the stereotype that manufactured homes are cheap and poorly built. Unfortunately, many people still believe that living in a manufactured home community isn't safe. They think that the parks are run down and riddled with reprobates. In reality, many manufactured home parks mimic gated communities with 24-hour security and mandated quiet hours. Some manufactured home neighborhoods even offer community-wide amenities like spas and pools. If you're a fan of the gated community lifestyle but don't want to pay hundreds of thousands for a site-built home, a manufactured home community could be your best bet.
Are you giving serious thought to buying a manufactured home for sale in South Carolina? You're not alone - more than 365K people in the Palmetto State live in manufactured homes. At Ken-Co Homes Inc., we're not your average run-of-the-mill manufactured home dealer. We only do business with manufacturing partners committed to building top-quality products that our customers are proud to own.
If you're looking for modern amenities, energy-efficient appliances, unique floorplans, and homes constructed with quality materials, Ken-Co Homes is the company for you. Contact our office today to learn more about our beautiful Clayton homes for sale in Congoree, SC.
Columbia river enthusiasts may need to reroute their recreation plans this summer as work begins to remove 40,000 tons of toxic coal tar from a stretch of the Congaree River.The work is expected the take three years but could take up to five. In the meantime, recreationists hoping to access the river may need to switch up their routines. But not necessarily by much.“There will be varying impacts depending on what folks ...
Columbia river enthusiasts may need to reroute their recreation plans this summer as work begins to remove 40,000 tons of toxic coal tar from a stretch of the Congaree River.
The work is expected the take three years but could take up to five. In the meantime, recreationists hoping to access the river may need to switch up their routines. But not necessarily by much.
“There will be varying impacts depending on what folks are trying to do,” said Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler. But the river will still be open to the public.
The most significant impact is the closure of the popular Senate Street boat launch downtown and a nearby parking lot. For at least the next three years, that area will be fenced off and closed to the public while Dominion Energy bases its cleanup efforts from the site.
The site is on private land owned by the Guignard family, but Stangler said it’s frequently used by anglers who cast from the riverbank.
People will still be able to launch kayaks or other vessels from access points upstream and downstream, Stangler added.
Crews will build coffer dams roughly 240-300 feet into the river from the Columbia banks. Anyone hoping to float or boat down the Congaree upstream from the Blossom Street bridge will have to navigate around the temporary structures. The first of those dams is expected to be finished this summer, said Dominion spokesperson Matt Long.
The Army Corps of Engineers has only permitted work in the river between May 1 and Oct. 31 to avoid affecting the spawning season for shortnose sturgeon. Crews may also need to pause work throughout the summer if heavy storms raise the water to an unsafe level, according to project documents.
Dominion will still be able to make progress on the project in the off-season but will have limited access to the riverbed. By the project’s completion, tentatively anticipated in 2025, about 70% of the coal tar would be removed. The remaining 30% is in deep areas where there’s a low chance for humans to come in contact with it and in areas already covered by sediment from the 2015 flood, according to the project overview.
Dump trucks full of the coal tar will also soon begin traveling up and down Senate Street to transport the toxic material.
It’s taken years to move the cleanup efforts forward. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers green-lit the project in February after years of back-and-forth with regulators, Dominion Energy and community members.
The coal tar drained into the river from a manufactured gas plant that operated on Huger Street between 1900 and 1950. The company burned coal to produce gas. Burning all of that coal created the tar-like byproduct, which drained into the Congaree.
In 2010, a kayaker stumbled into a clump of the toxic sludge and noticed a burning sensation on his legs. South Carolina’s public health agency later assessed the material and determined it created a public health threat. The tar hasn’t impacted water quality, but the material is toxic to human skin.
Dominion Energy, which purchased the former S.C. Electric & Gas Co. three years ago, is responsible for the cleanup because SCE&G owned the land where the former gas plant was located.
This story was originally published May 25, 2022, 1:50 PM.
I like boardwalks. Those that take you through protected natural areas. Several come to mind. The lovely boardwalk at Woods Bay takes you 1,150 feet through a cypress-tupelo swamp. Edisto Gardens’ 2,600-foot boardwalk also takes you through a cypress-tupelo swamp while flirting with the Edisto River of redbreast fame. My favorite is the 2.6-mile boardwalk at Congaree National Park. You can walk Congaree’s trail of sturdy posts and planks in 60 to 80 minutes. Why hurry? Take your...
I like boardwalks. Those that take you through protected natural areas. Several come to mind. The lovely boardwalk at Woods Bay takes you 1,150 feet through a cypress-tupelo swamp. Edisto Gardens’ 2,600-foot boardwalk also takes you through a cypress-tupelo swamp while flirting with the Edisto River of redbreast fame. My favorite is the 2.6-mile boardwalk at Congaree National Park. You can walk Congaree’s trail of sturdy posts and planks in 60 to 80 minutes. Why hurry? Take your time. You’ll walk something rare—North America’s largest remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. You’ll see American beech trees, bald cypress, and water tupelo. You’ll crane your neck. What a tall canopy. Don’t miss the ruins of an old moonshine still. See redhead woodpeckers, deer, and myriad bird species. See rich brown muck, switchcane, and cypress knees standing like meerkats on alert.And fellow humans.What struck me on this cold sunny day were the numerous visitors from across the United States. When you go to these woods note the license plates in the parking lot. I spent a few minutes talking with a young couple from California. They intend to move to South Carolina. Curious, I asked why. “We have five children aged 2 to 10. We don’t want them to grow up in California.” Make of it what you will, but it seems they’re escaping change. Had a ghost stood nearby, his hat askew, he could have told them how change threatened Congaree Swamp as it was known but trees can’t move. You move people to protect them. That is, help them feel and see the need to preserve our remaining unique nature areas. Harry R.E. Hampton (July 8, 1897-1980) did just that. He set out to save what remained of a green cathedral. In the 1890s, loggers felled some bald cypress monarchs whose water-soaked logs sunk in revenge rather than float downriver to sawmills. The oft-flooded swamp, too spongy for road building caused frustrated loggers to abandon operations. Only nature has touched Congaree since. Nature set what would be the country’s 57th national park and South Carolina’s first along the Congaree River’s north bank some 20 miles southeast of Columbia. There, the interplay of sunlight, minerals, and water sustains a 22,200-acre biome—the country’s largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. It’s a must see, a bucket list item.Jim Goller is the executive director of the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund. When asked about the Fund and why it’s named for Harry, he tells people, “The HWF was formed in 1981, not long after Harry’s death in 1980. I consider Harry Hampton one of South Carolina’s first true conservationists.” Indeed, he is. Hampton grew up in Columbia and Charleston when state governing of wildlife consisted only of rudimentary law enforcement. As a youth, Hampton explored, hunted, and fished a then-undeveloped South Carolina. When he was a news reporter for The State newspaper, Hampton’s conservation interests culminated in 1931 with a massive publicity campaign to organize a game and fish association, instigate natural resources legislation, and form a state game commission. The resulting association later became the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.While he was Federation president, Hampton’s constant hounding of the legislature influenced game and fish laws as well as the formation of the State Wildlife Department and Commission in 1952. Ultimately it evolved into the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. A visionary, Hampton’s 20-year battle to preserve the Congaree River bottom ended in success with the Congaree’s establishment as a National Natural Monument in October 18, 1976. Significant Designations kept coming: International Biosphere Reserve—June 30, 1983. Wilderness—October 24, 1988. Globally Important Bird Area—July 26, 2001, and the crown jewel, National Park—November 10, 2003.In years to come, I hope the many visitors take a moment to learn about Harry Hampton and the HHWF. As Robert Frost wrote, “Whose woods these are I think I know.” They’re Harry’s, yours and mine.Learn more about Congaree National Park. Learn more about the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund.
Georgia native Tom Poland writes a weekly column about the South, its people, traditions, lifestyle, and culture and speaks frequently to groups in the South. Governor Henry McMaster conferred the Order of the Palmetto upon Tom, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, stating, “His work is exceptional to the state.” Poland’s work appears in books, magazines, journals, and newspapers throughout the South.
Back in the day, the hero of a TV western series solved problems after sending his card: “Have Gun, Will Travel.”Nowadays, the folks at Congaree Golf Club and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism provide solutions with a similar theme: “Have Golf Course, Will Host on Short Notice.”Just look at what unfolds this week: The PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in South Carolina will be played at the Congaree course in rural Jasper County rather than the planned stop in Korea.Sound famili...
Back in the day, the hero of a TV western series solved problems after sending his card: “Have Gun, Will Travel.”
Nowadays, the folks at Congaree Golf Club and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism provide solutions with a similar theme: “Have Golf Course, Will Host on Short Notice.”
Just look at what unfolds this week: The PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in South Carolina will be played at the Congaree course in rural Jasper County rather than the planned stop in Korea.
Sound familiar? Remember how the Palmetto Championship at Congaree came together at the 11th hour and took place on the same course in June of last year?
The scenarios take on the appearance of one of those matches made in heaven, almost as fairy tale. Opportunity knocked, the stars aligned and they all lived happily ever after.
Consider this: Golf tournaments, especially big ones, require long lead-ins. The organizations know years in advance where their events will be played and plan accordingly. U.S. Open at Pinehurst in 2047, anyone?
Then along came the COVID pandemic and the PGA Tour scrambled to replace the 2021 RBC Canadian Open, canceled due to travel restrictions. Opportunity knocked and Congaree and the South Carolina PRT answered.
A one-time deal, officials agreed regarding the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, which the state paid $6 million to sponsor and simultaneously spread the gospel of South Carolina golf to television audiences throughout the world.
“We had 72 days to put everything together,” Congaree director of golf Bruce Davidson said.
Sixteen months later, it’s déjà vu.
Pandemic concerns forced officials to abandon plans to return the CJ Cup to its roots in Korea. They needed a site _ and right now. Another one-shot deal. Another opportunity. Another answer. Moth to the flame.
The PGA Tour loves Congaree — for more reasons than a golf course built to stage championships. The club’s Global Golf Initiative fits with the Tour’s charity endeavors and is a model to “grow the game.”
Tour officials became aware of Congaree during the club’s quest to secure the 2026 Presidents Cup. That competition went elsewhere, but Congaree’s presentation made a lasting impression.
“We always had Congaree in our mind because it’s a special place to come to,” Tour executive Ty Votaw, now retired, said prior to the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree.
Tyler Dennis, president of the PGA Tour, echoed the same thought Wednesday during a State of South Carolina’s Golf Celebration press conference at the Governor’s Mansion.
“Congaree did such a phenomenal job with the Palmetto Championship that we thought it made perfect sense to ask” the club to host the CJ Cup on short notice, Dennis said. “We thought about places, the time of year and kept coming back to Congaree.”
The club accepted, and Duane Parrish, director of the state’s PRT, raised his hand, too. South Carolina will kick in $5 million to be the presenting sponsor and, Parrish said, “the state will receive television exposure worth $54 million.”
The tournament represents another “big deal” for golf in the state, Parrish said. He pointed to the game’s $3.3 billion economic impact in South Carolina in 2021.
The sponsors “clearly wanted to create a great event on an iconic golf course in the right place,” tournament director Andre Silva said. “Congaree was a very easy decision for them.”
Obvious differences: weather and quality of field.
The Palmetto Championship came in June the week prior to the U.S. Open and attracted few big names. The CJ Cup in South Carolina will be in October and a world-class field will compete.
“The process began in May,” Congaree director of golf Bruce Davidson said. “The PGA called and the sponsors (from Korea) had to come and be comfortable with the setup. The state wanted to be involved, too.
“By June, we knew the tournament would be here, but the contracts and details had to be worked out before we could make an announcement.”
Dennis thought about the incongruity of how the stars aligned and said, “A lot of people would never think we would have a PGA Tour event in Jasper County, and here we are again.”
Moth to the flame.
Thursday-Sunday: 3-6 p.m., Golf Channel
Daily grounds tickets are available at www.cjcupsouthcarolina.com.
RBC Heritage Classic, Harbour town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, annually 1969-present
Palmetto Champion at Congaree, Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, 2021
The CJ Cup in South Carolina, Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, 2022
PGA of America
Ryder Cup, The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, 1991
PGA Championship, The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, 2012
PGA Championship, The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island 2021
This story was originally published October 15, 2022, 8:40 AM.
The CJ Cup in South Carolina, a PGA Tour limited-field event, features 15 of the top 20 players in the World Golf Rankings who are competing at Congaree Golf Club. It’s airing on the Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. daily through Sunday.Here’s what to know about Congaree:The Congaree course is located off of Interstate 95 in rural Jasper County in Ridgeland, South Carolina. It’s more than 90 minutes west of Charleston and about an hour north o...
The CJ Cup in South Carolina, a PGA Tour limited-field event, features 15 of the top 20 players in the World Golf Rankings who are competing at Congaree Golf Club. It’s airing on the Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. daily through Sunday.
Here’s what to know about Congaree:
The Congaree course is located off of Interstate 95 in rural Jasper County in Ridgeland, South Carolina. It’s more than 90 minutes west of Charleston and about an hour north of Savannah, Georgia, and about two hours from Columbia.
It is a private club, and the mission has never been about prestige for themselves. The billionaire businessmen who founded the club wanted to use the golf course in a positive way.
The Congaree Foundation’s top program is the Congaree Global Golf Initiative, a week-long training camp each summer. The program identifies aspiring golf with talent but not necessarily the resources for college golf. Participants get access to elite instructors and the high-quality facilities.
Among other projects is the Sergeant Jasper Golf Club that the club bought in 2021 to provide a home for area high school golf teams.
No. Congaree is a private club that has had only two official members, its founders Dan Friedkin and Bob McNair, the latter a University of South Carolina graduate. McNair, who also owned the NFL’s Houston Texans, died in 2018, leaving the club with one member.
Rather than members, Congaree has approximately 250 “ambassadors,” prominent individual who promote the club while lending time and money to the cause.
No. All 78 players in the field will compete over 72 holes for shares of a $10.5 million purse. The winner earns $1.89 million and $1.134 million goes to second place.
Bruce Davidson, director of golf for The Friedkin Group, and colleague John McNeely had the job of finding a large property for a firm, fast golf course. They first saw the property in 2013 and liked the look of sand.
Davidson said the land reminded him of Pinehurst No. 2 and Pine Valley. Others have linked the property to Royal Melbourne in the Australian sand belt.
“We thought, ‘No, it can’t be. We can’t be this lucky,’ ” Davidson said. “I don’t know what happened hundreds of millions of years ago, but the sea was probably there and left the deposit of sand.”
Congaree, the exclusive private golf club with a membership model built around philanthropy, recently added a second course. Sort of…Congaree’s firm and fast Tom Fazio design quickly gained national acclaim when it opened in 2017. The club has garnered even more widespread attention as it hosts the PGA TOUR’s CJ Cup in South Carolina’s low country, about 40 miles northwest of Hilton Head Island....
Congaree, the exclusive private golf club with a membership model built around philanthropy, recently added a second course. Sort of…
Congaree’s firm and fast Tom Fazio design quickly gained national acclaim when it opened in 2017. The club has garnered even more widespread attention as it hosts the PGA TOUR’s CJ Cup in South Carolina’s low country, about 40 miles northwest of Hilton Head Island.
Congaree: A First Look At The Golf Club Built By Billionaires On A Model Of PhilanthropyBy Erik Matuszewski
Congaree’s mission is to offer educational, vocational and golf instruction opportunities to underprivileged and deserving youth through its Congaree Foundation. The club’s invited ambassadors (rather than members) are encouraged to not just make a financial contribution to the charitable Congaree Foundation, but take an active role in interacting with and mentoring kids who come through the Congaree Global Golf Initiative and earn college scholarships – many of whom have gone on to play golf at the collegiate level.
But another, separate effort from the club’s Congaree Foundation is the acquisition and subsequent rehabilitation of Sergeant Jasper Golf Club, a 9-hole layout nearby in Jasper County that was on the verge of being turned into housing; a trailer park, actually.
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The course is the only one open to the public in South Carolina’s poorest county, with almost a quarter of residents living below the poverty level.
Congaree’s vision for Sergeant Jasper really has nothing to do with its course and club directly. Instead, it’s an effort to keep golf as an affordable and accessible community amenity – providing opportunity for locals to play (and learn) at a course that costs $8 to walk nine holes. The 18-hole rate, with cart, is only $25 and juniors can play for free. The Congaree Foundation helps to subsidize the cost of golf for the community, not unlike a municipal golf facility.
Sergeant Jasper is charming in its own way, but needs a lot of love after years of deteriorating conditions. And thanks to the Congaree Foundation and a group of PGA TOUR pros, among them Congaree Ambassador Lucas Glover, who has helped spearhead a #RechargeTheSarge campaign, Sergeant Jasper is slowly being transformed after being saved. The club’s director of golf, Tom Craft, also oversees day-to-day operations at “The Sarge,” which is about 20 minutes away from Congaree’s 3,200-acre property but can feel like a world removed.
“When we took it over, you would have hardly known it was a golf course,” Craft says. “They had one employee for everything and he didn’t know anything about grass. But he was responsible for everything, so he’d be on the mower answering the phone calls.”
Today, much of the grounds work at Sergeant Jasper is being done by a former course superintendent whose career included 20 years at Johnson City Country Club in Tennessee – an A.W. Tillinghast design. “This is kind of his retirement, his swan song,” says Craft.
On the drive from Congaree to Sergeant Jasper, you’ll pass the courthouse at which the legal work was completed to acquire the public course. The old-school Southern feel is straight out of a John Grisham novel. And while the course itself is a far cry from the manicured conditions at Congaree – many teeing areas are bare and patchy, greens are wooly, and overgrown trees infringe on playing corridors – the Sarge is a fun layout that, for what it is, is perfect in many ways. There’s lots of sand, mature trees, holes with variety and undeniable charm if you’re looking with proper perspective.
In addition to the efforts at Sergeant Jasper, the Congaree Foundation is running golf programs at the local high school, where the student body is over 95% black and the average household income is less than $20,000. They’ve put in a makeshift range and practice area at the school that can be used during gym classes, helping further expose locals to golf.
When Congaree hosted the PGA TOUR’s Palmetto Championship in 2021, one of the participants (who tied for 35th) was Bryson Nimmer, a Jasper County native who was given a sponsor’s invitation to the tournament. Nimmer grew up playing the Sarge and went on to earn one of the top spots on the Clemson golf team before turning pro.
“The greens are really small, so if you can hit the greens, you’re a player,” Craft said of Sergeant Jasper. “He played nicer places after that, but he grew up out here.”
The bigger-picture question with Congaree and Sergeant Jasper is whether this is an approach that might be followed elsewhere?
Could other private clubs step in and make a difference when it comes to preserving endangered golf in their local communities?
One of the unmistakable takeaways from a visit to Congaree is the love that its ambassadors and invited guests have for the game. The effort at Sergeant Jasper is a recognition not only of the community impact that golf can have, but the beauty that can be found in the game’s many forms – from high-end private clubs to $8 public courses.