Georgia Course to Get Shark Treatment

The former Woodyards Golf Course in Pooler, Ga., has gotten a new lease on life thanks to the professional golfer known as “The Shark.” Greg Norman and his company, Medallist Developments, now co-own the former private club with Macquarie Bank of Australia. Of the 16 communities developed or owned by Medallist, Savannah Quarters, with a total development value of $1.5 billion, becomes the largest single investment in the company’s portfolio.

In December 2003, the two firms took over controlling interest in the 1,800-acre residential portion of the golf development, called Savannah Quarters, from Hall Development. The overall scope of the community at the intersection of Interstates 16 and 95 is 2,600 acres. Future plans once included another 18-hole course, also designed by Norman. But that project, expected to cost between $10-15 million, has been tabled in favor of more homes.

Norman’s first action item is a $6.5-million renovation of the Woodyards, a layout designed by Robert Cupp. The facility will be closed July 5 for a makeover expected to take a year to complete. Besides that project, Medallist plans to invest $50 million to breathe new life into the residential golf community.

In addition to a virtually new golf course, Savannah Quarters will contain 4,500 homes; almost 200 residences have been sold to date. Other elements include full infrastructure, retail shops and recreational amenities for homeowners. Norman’s redesign of the Woodyards course will ensure that existing residents who paid for a house alongside a golf hole or a lake will retain their views.

Of the project, Norman told Scott M. Larsen of the Savannah Morning News, “We have the ability to add a tremendous amount of value. The Woodyard wasn’t one of the best golf courses in the world, and it wasn’t one of the worst in the world. But it wasn’t to the standard of a Medallist development.”

The Shark added, “The easiest thing in the world is to build the hardest golf course in the world. The hardest thing in the world is to build a very balanced golf course.” Denizens of Savannah Quarters can expect the revitalized Woodyards’ layout to reopen in mid-summer 2005.