North Augusta Country Club shut down

Monday, July 16, 2012 2:15 PM
Last updated 8:08 PM
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Thompson  RAINIER EHRHARDT
RAINIER EHRHARDT
Thompson

The company that has operated North Augusta Country Club since 2007 closed the club last week after losing insurance coverage and having its assets frozen, its manager said.

Club Manager Janet Meadows said the club shut down Thursday at the request of the new owner, Donnie Thompson. Meadows said the request came after Thompson learned that the managing company’s liability insurance had lapsed.

“Mr. Thompson came in and said it would be best if we shut down, considering the circumstances,” Meadows said.

Thompson, who purchased the 131-acre property for $1.2 million on June 27, said the decision to close wasn’t his.

“It wasn’t me,” he said. “I’m just the landowner.”

Meadows said she learned from Regions Bank that all the club’s accounts had been frozen, so she has no access to operating money. She said the bank would not say why the accounts were frozen.

Meadows said the only person who has the ability to close the accounts is Fred W. Layman III, the Martinez businessman who bought the country club in April 2007.

Layman is serving a 16-month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to federal mortgage fraud charges. He was accused of having his stepdaughter falsify financial information on mortgage loan applications involving the federal lender Fannie Mae between December 2006 and December 2007.

Meadows, who served as the club’s controller before Layman was charged, said that as far as she knew, her former boss did not owe money to the federal government.

“He doesn’t owe anything,” she said. “He paid his taxes.”

Thompson said he has had limited contact with the current managers since he became owner and was waiting for their proposal to continue operating the club when events forced its closure.

“We really didn’t get a chance to sit down and talk,” he said.

For the past three weeks, Thompson said, he has had a crew at the club making necessary repairs.

“It has really been allowed to run down in the past few years,” he said.

Thompson said it appears the current management would need a big infusion of cash to resume operations.

In the meantime, he is looking to other companies that might want to come in and take over, although he currently has no firm proposals.

“I want it to be a first-class operation,” he said.

Comments (14) Add comment
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citizenna
6
Points
citizenna 07/16/12 - 01:35 pm
4
0
Refunds

So I guess a lot of people are out a lot of money ....smh

dwb619
103835
Points
dwb619 07/16/12 - 01:43 pm
3
2
midas touch

I don't know what the final outcome for the old North Augusta Country Club will be. But rest assured, anything Donnie Thompson touches turns to gold. If anyone has ever had the "knack" ,it's him.

KSL
143314
Points
KSL 07/17/12 - 01:10 pm
1
5
Fannie Mae again. It's

Fannie Mae again. It's Bush's fault. NOT.

dwb619
103835
Points
dwb619 07/16/12 - 01:49 pm
3
3
Plus

He has given away a lot of money to charities and civic events, and helped more than one person deserving help.

moongoddess1
17
Points
moongoddess1 07/16/12 - 01:52 pm
3
2
unhappy people

I keep hearing that Donnie Thompson is a good businessman & as of now I have no reason to think otherwise. But... he has a lot of unhappy people right now & if things don't get made right with people who have spent money on memberships to the course & pool, then it will not be a good way to start with this course. I'm being patient for now hoping that he is a smart businessman and doesn't want to change everyone's perception! This may not be his doing, but once things get squared away, there's a lot that needs to be made right. I won't lose $600 paid in just the last couple of months quietly!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 07/16/12 - 02:07 pm
4
0
If the Layman fellow is the

If the Layman fellow is the only person with the ability to close the membership funded accounts, and they are currently frozen, and he's serving a sentence for financial fraud, I'm going out on a limb here....

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/16/12 - 03:49 pm
0
1
It appears the owner, who has
Unpublished

It appears the owner, who has been renovating the club, has very limited contact with the managers, but seems to know a lot about the insurance. And there appears to be many managers, that no one is having regular meetings with, but only one manager who knows what is going on? And if Mr T is the owner then how can mR L be the owner? Sounds like someone has a lot of membership money that should be accounted for and addressed immediately to the membership.

kiwiinamerica
979
Points
kiwiinamerica 07/16/12 - 03:56 pm
0
1
C'mon folks, be honest. Do
Unpublished

C'mon folks, be honest. Do you really need a country club? Think of all that time you waste playing frivolous games like golf or tennis or chasing tail by the pool. You know you can use that time much more profitably. Read a book, learn a foreign language, do some yard work or repairs on the house instead of paying someone else to do it. Shape up, smarten up and lose weight. Forget the Country Club and the toffs who frequent it.

Get yourselves ready for the Obamapocalypse.

Riverman1
93266
Points
Riverman1 07/16/12 - 05:08 pm
3
0
David, LOL

Ain't that the truth.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 07/16/12 - 05:21 pm
2
1
After reading the story, you

After reading the story, you are left with more questions than answers. Did DT buy the real estate and the club memberships? If not, and
the money went to Layman's account, why would you expect Donnie Thompson to give you credit for it?

JRC2024
10381
Points
JRC2024 07/17/12 - 07:30 am
0
1
moon, If there are any

moon, If there are any refunds they would come from Mr. Layman and the club account is frozen at Regions. Mr. Thompson purchased the land and buildings. Anyone else who comes in and leases the grounds and building from Mr. Thompson would be new and would not owe any refunds. If Mr. Thomson makes it first class like he says he would have to raise the lease amount and the club dues would go up. I would think the new owner would give some considerstion to those that paid dues in full to Mr. Layman. If the bank unfreezes the money then maybe those that prepaid could get a refund and purchase a new membership from the new owners.

my.voice
5159
Points
my.voice 07/17/12 - 11:24 am
0
0
Web sites still up :)

Web sites still up :)

NA10S
5
Points
NA10S 07/17/12 - 11:54 am
2
0
Fred's a FLOP!!!

Just know that there is more to the story!!! It is NOT Donnie's fault that the club has closed. There is a lot going on that will be elaborated on soon. If you know or know of Donnie, you should know he would do nothing to disrupt agreements that members had or to short them of their money. Just remember who previously owned the land and who's been "running" the business from his jail cell...he is NOT totally out of the picture yet.

moongoddess1
17
Points
moongoddess1 07/17/12 - 12:22 pm
2
0
There's no doubt that Layman

There's no doubt that Layman is the bad guy in all of this. Anyone who knows anything about the golf course has heard all of the stories. Does that make it right to all the people who paid for the daily deal a week ago for pool memberships or paid full price 2 weeks ago (after Mr. Thompson purchased the course) to show up one day to see it shut down with no explanation? Mr.Thompson got more than he bargained for I am sure, but people deserve to know what is going & what to expect. At least assurance that they intend on trying to make it right.

Gonecuttin
7
Points
Gonecuttin 07/17/12 - 04:58 pm
2
0
Were cutting the grass hills down now

Everyone should just relax.. the golf course is just under construction..lol litterally, theres a team of guys out there choppin down tall grass with hedgers, eaters, mowers and everythings being cut down to golf course level...and progress is really going fast..so look to the bright side, it's looking really good...my back is killing me and im sun burnt...theres some ant hills and a few nasty hornet hives but all are sprayed down ..Cleaning up in progress!

MTBer
643
Points
MTBer 08/06/12 - 07:59 am
0
0
No news is bad news

I understand and believe that work is presently underway at the NACC, but I also believe that there exists a list of all current members. Those of us that have paid our dues in full deserve at least a letter from DT with some reassuring words. I for one am pretty unhappy with the lack of communication, and see MV or The Patch as a pretty darn good alternative. That is unfortunate because I live only minutes from NACC, but I don't really enjoy being treated like a mushroom.

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