Originally created 06/19/02

New course opening soon



Aiken's newest golf attraction, an 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus, will be completed next month.

The course is the third constructed in Woodside Plantation and marks the opening of the neighborhood's newest phase of residential homes. Developers plan to sell about 750 lots in the new section, called The Reserve at Woodside Plantation.

The third phase is the subdivision's most exclusive yet, with lots going for as much as $200,000, said Bill MacKay, general manager of Woodside Development LLP.

"We think there's a market for an even-more-upscale neighborhood," Mr. MacKay said Tuesday.

Memberships to the golf course cost more than $20,000 and are limited to 350 people, 300 of whom must live within The Reserve. The remaining 50 memberships are reserved for those living in Woodside's other two phases.

The 7,000-yard golf course is laid out over rolling hills and offers several challenges, Mr. MacKay said, though it hasn't been rated for difficulty yet.

"This is a special golf course," he said.

Construction of a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse to accompany the course will begin within the next three weeks, Mr. MacKay said. In addition to golf amenities, a wildlife preserve and duck pond will accompany the new Woodside phase.

The plan also calls for more than 50 acres of commercial space along Silver Bluff Road near Richardson's Lake Road, which drew intense criticism from residents of Woodside and those nearby.

About a year ago, when the plan was approved, residents complained that commercial development would create too much traffic, endangering drivers and pedestrians along the thoroughfare.

Mr. MacKay said commercial development isn't set to begin until year's end. Restaurant, retail and office space will be included.

"Our whole concept is that (the commercial development) become an amenity to the area and surrounding neighborhoods," he added.

If the city isn't careful, said Miles Hall, a Woodside resident and a former member of its property owners' association, Silver Bluff Road will begin to look like Whiskey Road, which some residents say is overcrowded with traffic and commercial congestion.

"That's going to be the start of a lot of commercialization along Silver Bluff," he said.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803) 279-6895 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.