The court battle between Columbia County and Jones Creek Investors came to an end. It’s an issue that dates back 8 years ago to 2011. And at the very core of the issue was who was responsible for flooding in Jones Creek near Willow Lake impacting homeowners and golfers.
“Everyone is kind of crossing their fingers and holding their breath and hoping that with spring and as Augusta itself blooms maybe somebody will come and buy the course for us,” said Rebekah Latham, who lives in Jones Creek.
It’s been six months since anyone played at Jones Creek Golf Course.
Labor Day weekend is when Rebekah Latham last hit the greens. She and her neighbors are hopeful there is a future now that the long standing lawsuit has been dismissed.
“We hope we have a great buyer come in, a good partner in the community, and get this course up and running,” she told us. “We were all hopeful it happened for Masters, but now I’m hoping this summer would be great. My golf game has got to get better.”
NewsChannel 6 obtained a copy of the dismissal dated almost a week ago on March 12 in Columbia County Superior Court. It includes not just Jones Creek Investors and Columbia County, but four property owners too.
Lawyers on both sides said all agreed to part ways.
“The uncertainty, the fact that really was starting anew and why start again on a long, protracted path that was going to be very expensive to litigate,” said Nicholson Revell Law Firm Partner, Harry Revell.
Revell represents Jones Creek Investors. He told us after the case sat in federal and county courts, the focus now shifts toward trying to sell the golf course now that its closed. A drive through the area shows it is in disrepair.
“The growing season is now upon us and it’s going to be difficult to figure out how we can maintain it with no employees and no equipment,” Revell said.
The county is represented by Bill Keogh. He agreed it was a long process first with the federal court throwing out the case several years ago.
Keogh said, “Columbia County is glad the dispute is over and we wish the best to the golf course and to the community.”
Latham, who is equally glad, said she takes walks through the golf course and it’s a pleasure not to be hit by golf balls on her “nature walk.”
“They had a special where you could be a founding member and you could pay a lump sum and then you essentially got golf for life. As golfers we were like heck yeah, that sounds great. We did that and got about four months use out of it and then the club closed. Hopefully, with the new buyer they will honor it our buy us out. Hopefully, they honor it because who doesn’t live free golf?”