Authority Announces Proposed Location Of New Golf Course
Members of the Sweet Onion Golf Authority met in a called session on Monday, October 31, to name officers and discuss plans for the construction of the new golf course in Vidalia. “This is going to be a fun project and something the community will really enjoy. Thank you all for being willing and enthusiastic to help be a part of making this happen,” Mayor Doug Roper commented at the opening of the meeting.
The members of the Authority were sworn in by the Mayor, and the following officers were elected: Chairman Andy Woodruff, Vice Chairman Jacob Woodfin, and Secretary Lisa continued from page
Chesser. The Authority approved its registration with the Department of Community Affairs and all appropriate filings to accompany that, and voted to hold regular meetings on the last Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Training Room of the Vidalia Municipal Annex.
Location of the New Course Attending the meeting was a concerned citizen from Julie Drive, who told the group that he hoped to see golf return to the old Rocky Creek Golf Course, rather than creating an entirely new course. Mayor Roper explained to the resident why the city is considering the Ezra Taylor Road location for the construction of a new course.
“When we started taking a look at getting golf back in Vidalia from a municipal standpoint, we looked at three different options: Hawk’s Point, Rocky Creek, and a third option. Right now, where we are leaning toward doing this project is not at one of the existing courses that were already here. We had some issues with both of them that we felt like were not in our best option for the project,” he explained.
Roper told the citizen that the third location being considered is at the sports complex, which the city already owns. The idea for construction of the course at this complex, which was originally created for adult softball recreation, would be to completely redo the entire site, making a space where travel baseball and soccer could play.
This combined sports area would increase the amount of foot traffic in not only the City, but also by the golf course. Roper also mentioned that the U.S. Highway 1 bypass project would run right beside this complex, giving it further visibility to travelers.
“This is about longevity,” he emphasized. “We want this golf course and this complex to survive and do well long after we are all gone.”
Planning for Construction
Currently, the golf course project is still in the design phase, as the Sweet Onion Golf Authority continues to work with Golf Course Architect Mike Young. The architect was present at the October 31 meeting, and spoke to the group on the timeline and order of operations in the creation of the course. He emphasized the need for the Authority to decide on a name for the course and begin working on a logo and brand, so that the attraction can be marketed as soon as possible. He also encouraged the group to create subcommittees of members to break up work so that things may be accomplished simultaneously, and to name a Greens Chairman, Golf Chairman, and Membership Chairman to compartmentalize responsibilities. “Probably, the easiest part of this is getting the design,” Young told the group. “The rest is where we really have to get to work.” Young told the group that the timing of the course creation would be dependent on this work, as a driving range for the course could be open for public use as early as next year. Vice Chairman Jacob Woodfin commented on the importance of setting up a sample budget or budgeting plans, so the group could understand the status of development when making decisions. Several resources were given to the Authority to review prior to its next meeting on November 28, so that the Authority will able to begin making decisions.