The trees covered a good part of holes 7-13, and the fairways where uprooted trees weren’t resting were laden with debris. The course has been closed since the storm hit Saturday.
“In my opinion, it is worse than (hurricane) Fran when it came through, as far as destruction goes,” said Coharie’s PGA Professional/General Manager Dickie Walters. “We had minimal damage to the club house and the maintenance shed, and we had some small issues with the tennis court, but the majority was the trees and shingles off of roofs.”
The cart path of the ninth tee is covered with tree branches and debris, in fact, the only way to get around the course right now is either by cart or by foot.
“It hit us hard,” Walters said.
However, club members and locals have all pitched in, volunteering to help get the course back to its normal beauty.
“It has been a big help,” Walters admits of the volunteer assistance. “They have been so great and so understanding, it is just a great feeling.”
Walters said because of all the help, they are hoping to get the course up and running again later this week.
“Hopefully, we can get the back nine open by Friday,” he said, “and the rest by early next week. We have the Sampson Regional Hospital Tournament next Thursday, and my goal is to have the course ready by next Tuesday so we can be up and fully functional before the tournament.”
Despite the course’s current condition, the date does not seem unlikely. The greens, tees and fairways suffered minimal damage because a lot of the trees fell on the rough lines, Walters said.
Course maintenance workers, as well as volunteers, were out on the course Tuesday, working to clear the trees and debris.
Heavy equipment is in now.
“We are communicating with our members and letting them know what we are doing now,” he said. “I just want to thank the membership and the community for wanting to come in here and help us out.”