Fort Mill Times

Carolina Crossing in York gets facelift

YORK -- Between York and Rock Hill, near the intersection of Shiloh Road and S.C. 161, sits Carolina Crossing Golf Club. It is a short course, about 6,300 yards, but it presents a good challenge.

The course is under new management and undergoing major renovations.

C.J. Ramsey and Chris Sinz, a couple of York businessmen, bought the course on March 21. Ramsey is in the insurance and financial services industry. Sinz owns a land development company. The two put together a plan to renovate the course and work began right away.

Formerly known as Carolina Downs, the 18-hole golf course and its members were promised great improvements when Penton II, LLC, purchased the property in April 2004.

Unfortunately, little was accomplished.

As Penton's plan was unveiled to members, it was to take two years before the course was in prime condition. The renovation involved the removal of trees, reworking 31 bunkers, rerouting cart paths, cleaning out creeks and lakes and rebuilding four greens.

Since then, several sand traps had become hazards. They were hardpan when dry and filled with water after heavy rains.

Bare spots of dirt, hard-packed clay soil, exposed tree roots and loose rocks, lined the course. A decent drive that missed a fairway left or right by a few yards could easily leave an unplayable lie.

Penton II, out of Waxhaw, N.C., turned over the deed to the 105-acre tract of land, all of its buildings and equipment in lieu of foreclosure and the course closed in November of 2008.

This course needed help.

"I wanted to make immediate changes to let the members see something is being done," Ramsey said.

The most noticeable new feature is the cart paths. In the past some holes had them, others didn't. Now all 18 holes are connected by thoughtfully designed cart paths.

The nines will be switched within a couple weeks, as soon as all the new signage arrives.

The bunkers have new drainage systems and liners, and filled with USGA-grade white sand. They have added 11 sand traps. Golfers will find new greenside bunkers on the first and fourth holes. The ninth hole now has some protection with traps to the right and left of the green.

On the 14th hole there are three new pot bunkers. The 16th features two additional traps. The 18th hole has a bunker on the front right side of the green. Many waste areas have been cleaned up. There is fresh mulch and sod to be found along the course and 60 trees have been removed.

The course originally opened in 1975. It was built on land owned by Gerald Downs who designed the course along with Booney Harper. Downs bought 131 acres, where the course is now situated, in 1965 for $13,000. A total of 105 acres was sold to the Penton Group in 2004 for $2,050,000 according to York County Clerk of Court records. Downs, 81, passed away last week.