HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WSAV) — Eight months after Hurricane Matthew the Country Club of Hilton Head is 95 percent back from the $8 million in damages.
“There were over 550 trees down throughout the club and golf course,” remembers Martin Dickey, County Club of Hilton Head General Manager. “There were 58 live oaks that were laying on their side that their root balls were taller than I am and I’m 6’5”, smiled Dickey.
The sprinkler system also tossed water into many rooms of the clubhouse, and floors and ceiling had to be replaced, along with several bathrooms.
The driving range will reopen this weekend and the Club is planning a “relaunch” celebration on the Fourth of July.
But the emotions of what happened after Matthew, and the community’s bonding are still fresh for the Club’s General Manager.
“I mean you see devastation everywhere, and you then begin to think about people,” said a tearful Dickey. “You have employee partners that every day of work means something to their lives and they have impacted our member’s lives for a long time and without them, we couldn’t be successful. So that’s where your heart goes.”
“So your first thought wasn’t the building, but the people?”
“Yes because buildings in all due respect come and go, and golf courses even come and go but the people are the heartbeat of what we do,” explains Dickey
Dickey says even as he got contractors to come and start the rebuild, he noticed something else driving around the course, a community who wanted answers and wanted to help.
“The real benefit out of all that is you were able to build relationships, you got to know people at a level you normally don’t get to,” said Dickey.
The Club didn’t have power right away. But soon impromptu barbecues began behind the clubhouse. Burgers, Hot dogs, and dozens of people.
“And on a Wednesday night when we might be having happy hour, it was like a high school reunion,” smiled Dickey. “They are coming in saying, oh good to see you I didn’t know if you were ok.”
“Anytime you are connected and thankful and blessed for the way that your life has played out, its humbling. So I’m just thankful for the team that’s here, thankful for the membership, the way everybody came together.”
“Yes there are days when you get disappointed, but there are also days when you say we have accomplished a lot. And when you take a minute to look at the pictures of what it looked like on October 8 to the way we look today its something to be proud of.”
So proud of their new and improved club, and community, the Country Club of Hilton Head is offering a “Member for a Day” promotion. Anyone who lives in Hilton Head Plantation can enjoy a day at the Club all year long.