Ben Grandy knows every inch of the Sergeant Jasper Golf Club in Ridgeland: a course that he helped bring back from the dead.
“The course needed some love and support,” Grandy said. “A group came to us and asked if we could help.”
Grandy is the executive director of the Congaree Foundation, a charity associated with the Congaree Club, the site of this year’s CJ Cup tournament. The foundation provides opportunities to young golfers, among other things.
A chance to do just that presented itself to Grandy just down the road from the Congaree Club.
“The Congaree Foundation got involved with Sergeant Jasper here in 2021,” Grandy said. “Obviously with a lot of people being passionate about the game and being here in Jasper County, the course just needed a little bit of support.”
Sergeant Jasper is the only public golf course in Jasper County and had fallen into disrepair, leaving local golfers that are unable to afford a private club membership without any place to go.
“We thought it was important to the local community to be involved,” Grandy said. “To come in, to create a public space that anyone and everyone can come play and be a part of.”
Jeremiah Faber, the former athletic director at Ridgeland/Hardeeville High School, took dozens of kids over to the course as part of a summer camp this year. He says he cannot believe has been made in just two years.
“You could see the major change,” Faber said. “They’ve done an excellent job of refurbishing the course. It looks like a golf course now, it really does.”
“The Sarge,” as its come to be known, has had a bumpy history, but with trimmed trees, refinished cart paths and more consistent care, the property’s future looks a lot brighter than its past.
“There’s nothing better than a municipal golf course in a community. It just gives everyone a chance to play. It’s accessible and it’s inviting,” Grandy said.
“It’s a benefit for anyone who wants to play,” Faber said. “You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be wealthy. You just have to have someone to support you and someone to give you an opportunity.”