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Country club buyer unsure about future of golf course

Posted: July 12, 2012 - 12:33pm  |  Updated: July 18, 2012 - 10:29am

 


An Augusta businessman who purchased North Augusta Golf & Country Club said he intends to invest in restoring the grounds but isn’t certain of the long-term viability of the club.


Donnie Thompson, the owner of Windsor Jewelers, said he bought the property last week and is awaiting a plan from its current operators to see whether it can continue as an enterprise.


“I’m not looking for a money pit,” said Thompson, who purchased the 131-acre property just across the Edgefield County line for $1.2 million on June 27, according to county property records.


Thompson purchased the property from North Augusta Management Group LLC and Fred W. Layman III, the Martinez businessman who bought the country club in April 2007. Its main building was destroyed by fire four days after Layman’s purchase.


Layman pleaded guilty last year to federal mortgage fraud charges and was sentenced in September to 16 months in prison, followed by three years’ probation.


He was accused of having his stepdaughter falsify financial information on mortgage loan applications involving the federal lender Fannie Mae between December 2006 and December 2007.


Thompson said he has no plans to redevelop the land or make radical changes. He said some of the work might interrupt use of the golf course in coming weeks, but a lot of details remain up in the air.


“It has been neglected,” he said. “My plan is to get in there, fix it up and make it look good again. It is a really beautiful piece of property.”

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