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Sugar Hill Golf Club opens renovated clubhouse

Special Photo . From left, Bob Hail, Steve Edwards, Curtis Northrup, Gary Pirkle, Susie Gajewski, and Mike Sullivan open the renovated clubhouse at the Sugar Hill Golf Club.

Special Photo . From left, Bob Hail, Steve Edwards, Curtis Northrup, Gary Pirkle, Susie Gajewski, and Mike Sullivan open the renovated clubhouse at the Sugar Hill Golf Club.

SUGAR HILL -- A winter pipe burst and the subsequent flooding was the final straw -- Sugar Hill Golf Club was getting a new clubhouse.

Flagstone, brick and new copper roof replaced stucco and shingles, and the eight-month long project was opened to the public last month.

"It was a complete face-lift of the clubhouse, and we added nine feet on in size, which we really needed for storage," said Scott Murphy, the club manager. "It really looks great."

The public course, founded in 1992, has seen success in its 18 years of operation, even being one of two Atlanta-area courses mentioned in Golf Digest magazine's 2008 edition of "Best Places to Play."

But, as city manager Bob Hail put it, as far as the physical building house the golf club, "it was time to start over." Especially after a water pipe burst two winters ago, completely flooding the clubhouse's kitchen and bar area.

"It was a complete renovation," said Hail, who estimated 70 percent of the clubhouse was remodeled. "The building was inadequate before, it was old, it was destroyed by frozen pipes so we decided to start all over."

In addition to a complete remodeling of the kitchen area, construction crews expanded storage by "five times," expanded the "inadequate" banquet room and installed new air conditioning systems, Hail said.

City funds totaling $300,000 were used for the renovation.

"Since we are owned by the city, we were able to do it with planned construction in the budgeting," Murphy said. "We were able to get the mayor and the city council to improve it. We didn't really have to come out of pocket for the financing."

In the current economy, that may seem like a lot of money to spend. But it's helping bring business back to the community.

"We have increased our rounds, which in these tough economic times, I'm sure you've read that most people are down in golf," Murphy said. "In the first quarter we are up. I would say we are showing double digit growth."