Rebirth of Carolina Downs

Things are getting better at the former Carolina Downs Country Club. A new owner bought the 18-hole facility this April and, shortly after, closed it down for extensive renovations. When the course in York, S.C., reopens later this summer, it’ll sport a new look and a new name: Carolina Crossing Golf Club.

The current proprietor is the Penton Group, a family-owned business based in Fort Mill, S.C., that specializes in land development and residential construction. This is the company’s first golf course project. “We could see the potential out here,” said Cindy Barton, who oversees Penton’s finances. “We like the challenge.”

Helping with the golf course improvements is Terry Mauney, a former Champions Tour player from Charlotte who’s now Carolina Crossing’s director of golf. “I’m doing everything but riding the mowing equipment,” Mauney told Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer.

Mauney, 54, estimates it’ll take two years before the course is in prime condition, but that dramatic improvements have already been made. The renovation involves the removal of trees, reworking 31 bunkers, rerouting cart paths, cleaning out creeks and lakes, and rebuilding four greens. In addition to upgrading the course, Penton plans to acquire 100 neighboring acres and develop homes on the property.

Once Mauney’s work is over at Carolina Crossing, he plans a return to the Champions Tour. Four years ago, Mauney finished among the top 31 money winners. He hopes to play in the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn in September and is going to qualifying school this fall. “(Returning to the Champions Tour is) going to be a nice break,” Mauney told Green. “I’ve been working so hard here, it’s something to look forward to.”

Long-time employees are pleased with Mauney’s efforts in transforming the course. Employee Carl Jeffords told Caroline Fossi of The (Rock Hill, S.C.) Herald, “It was run down real bad out here.” Mauney, too, thinks the property has much to offer. “It’s a park setting out here,” he told Fossi. “Real bird- and bunny-friendly.”

The club in York County will soon enjoy improved access once nearby S.C. 161 is widened from two to multiple lanes. That project, which is being funded through the county’s 1-cent sales tax road-improvement program, will hopefully draw golfers from throughout the county and surrounding areas. “We really hope this will be an asset to York,” Barton said.

The freshly painted doors at Carolina Crossing Golf Club will reopen later this summer. For more information or a tee time, call 803/684-5878.