In an article on burgeoning real estate development in otherwise rural American locales, the New York Times featured Hampton Pointe, a gated community in Jasper County, S.C., 15 miles west of Hilton Head, with more than 1,000 homes planned, integrated with a Nicklaus Design golf course.
That was April 2007, just as the first ripples of what would become the Great Recession were being felt. As part of the global economic turmoil that resulted from mortgage and credit crises, new golf course development ground practically to a halt. Overall numbers of golfers and rounds played were in decline, exposing an oversupply of golf courses that prompted closures across the country, both of established facilities and new ones that, in hindsight, looked critically, unfortunately timed.
One of those casualties: Hampton Pointe, whose golf course did manage to open in 2011, only to close soon after, with no clubhouse and a fraction of the planned homes ever being finished.
Fast forward to 2021. Hampton Pointe has been rechristened Riverton Pointe, and the golf course reopened to members on October 22, with prospective homebuyers allowed access starting in December. Other amenities, including a brand-new clubhouse, are expected to come online in 2022.
Toll Brothers, the original developer, has stuck with the project. Homes at Riverton Pointe start in the mid-$300,000s, which, incidentally, is the same price range reported more than 14 years ago.
Other golf course news & notes
UNLIKELY GOLF HOTBED - When someone mentions Iceland, golf normally wouldn't come to mind. But that's rapidly changing, as the remote European island nation is as enthusiastic about the game as any on a per-capita basis. More than 12% of Icelanders play, and the country's clubs have a forward-thinking approach to the game. Plus, round-the-clock play is possible in the summer. All of these positive factors add up to Iceland being the biggest surprise selection among our World Top 100 Golf Destinations we unveiled earlier this year. [LINK: CNN]
IMPROVEMENTS AT DFW PUBLIC GEM - Any time an affordable public course makes big improvements, it's a win for the game. After reclaiming it, the new-and-former owners of Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall, Texas, are investing $6.5 million in the property, including just-finished bunker renovations at their Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish-designed course. [LINK: Course website]
MAJOR-CHAMP RESTORATION - Gil Hanse's continues to burnish his reputation as major championship golf's go-to architect for course renovations and restorations. His latest project: tackling the famed Olympic Club's Lake Course in San Francisco. Work is scheduled to begin next year. [LINK: Golf Course Industry]
GOLF-ADJACENT - Florida golfers are used to alligators, but North Palm Beach Country Club is the new domain of a rare American Crocodile. Unlike gators, crocs are protected and not subject to removal at the whim of the Village of North Palm Beach. [LINK: Palm Beach Post]