South Carolina track appears to be saved: ‘This golf course is going to be here for a long time’

·2 min read

MAULDIN, S.C. — After receiving approval this week for a subdivision with more than 400 homes that would erase the Legacy Pines Golf Club, developer Anthony Anders said he is considering a major change to save the 18-hole course. The course sits in this town just eight miles southeast of Greenville.

Anders said Thursday that he is now looking to build townhouses around the former Shriners’ golf club near the Southern Connector. The development also would include 25 to 30 estate homes priced at $500,000 and above, he said.

“I think that is where I’m going to go,” Anders said. “It is probably going to be submitted back to the county to rezone it into multifamily with saving the golf course.”

As part of the rezoning, Anders said, he is hoping to retain the same density level that the Greenville County Planning Commission approved for the Green Pine Estates subdivision.

His comments came one day after the commission unanimously approved the plan for Green Pine Estates, which calls for 434 single-family homes on a 203-acre tract at Ranch and Ashmore Bridge roads. The homes would be clustered on about half of the property, with the rest of the land being set aside for common areas and open space, according to the plan presented to county officials. The golf course, a 6,800-yard track with bermuda greens, was built in 1960.

Tommy Biershenk, who is Anders’ partner in the Legacy Pines Golf Club, said he received dozens of calls Thursday from people asking about the fate of the golf course.

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The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island, S.C.; No. 8 on Golfweek's Best: Resort Courses, 2017
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Kiawah Island, S.C.; No. 8 on Golfweek's Best: Resort Courses, 2017

Biershenk, a former professional golfer who played 31 PGA Tour events with his highest finish a T-46 at the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and Anders, a former race-car driver, began leasing the course from the Hejaz Shrine Club in 2015.

“The golf course is going to stay here,” Biershenk said. “This golf course is going to be here for a long time.”

He said the plan showing single-family homes being built at the course’s location was submitted to county officials “just to get the permit through.”

Planning Commission chairman Steven Bichel said Friday that the tactic of rezoning property after a subdivision already has been approved is “extremely unusual.”

Bichel praised the layout of Green Pine Estates at this week’s commission meeting, but he was less enthusiastic about Anders’ latest idea of putting townhouses on the site.

“I would not support what he’s doing now,” Bichel said.

Anders said he invested about $5 million in the development, including the $4.5 million cost of purchasing the land from the Hejaz Shrine Club.

Kirk Brown covers government, growth and politics for The Greenville News, part of the USA Today Network. Reach him at kebrown@greenvillenews.com or on Twitter @KirkBrown_AIM.