Black Creek Golf Club in Ellabell, Georgia to reopen after a tornado

ELLABELL – When Hal Godwin looks out at Black Creek Golf Club, his eyes are filled with optimism.

Godwin, like many of Bryan County Residents, took one on the chin when an EF4 tornado ripped through the Pembroke and Ellabell communities on April 5.

The golf course, which Godwin and his wife Shannon purchased five years ago and nurtured back to life, was among those properties hit.

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The tornado damaged the pro shop, which is part of the clubhouse at Black Creek Golf Club in Ellabell.

A cart barn with 65 carts was destroyed. The clubhouse was severely damaged, and no decision on whether to repair or demolish the structure has been made by insurance adjusters and engineers. Miraculously, a nearby equipment shed was spared. The course itself had downed trees seemingly everywhere.

Despite the damage and the uncertainty of what they’re going to do with the clubhouse, Godwin wants to assure the golfing public he plans to have the course open for play by early May.

Shannon and Hal Godwin in a 2020 file photo.

For the Godwins, it was a double whammy as their home was also destroyed. They and their son Nash are currently living in a motel in Pooler while, like everyone else who was affected, they search for a rental property.

“We live about 300 yards from the golf course,” Hal Godwin said. “We’ve got a hole in our front yard that is big enough for me to drive my truck through it.”

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