The sale of the Pulaski Country Club earlier this summer had many people wondering if it would stay a golf course or be turned into farmland or the location of a new subdivision.
The new owners re-opened it as the Thorn Spring Golf Course that is open to the public.
The Sale family of Radford, which is known more for their farming and auction business than golf, was the high bidder of a trustee foreclosure auction. The purchase price was listed as $900,000 and included the 18-hole golf course, pool, tennis courts and storage units to the rear of the parcel.
Currently Matt, Brian and Amanda Sale are running the course jointly. Almost immediately, they renamed the course to Thorn Spring Golf Course. Brian plays recreationally, and their father has played once in the last 10 years. Matt plays a lot more lately and probably is the resident-family golf pro of the group.
“We understand what a staple it has been in the community for a long, long time, and we wanted to see it continue,” Matt said.
The Sale family owns an adjacent farm, thus starting rumors the course would go bye-bye. Matt Sale said that was never considered.
The course has just finished its 90th year, making it one of the oldest ones in Southwest Virginia, opening its doors in 1927. A slowly decreasing membership and financial problems forced the private 146-acre country club be put up for sale.
While it’s open to the public, the Sale family is selling memberships for long-term play, and so far, 90 individuals have joined Thorn Spring.
“A lot of those are former members of the Pulaski Country Club. We are very thankful to them,” Sale said.
The new owners felt the best thing to do was to open the course to the public.
“We have a great response since we did that in July,” Sale said.
A lower part of the course suffered some flooding during a downpour last month, forcing the group to shut down one of the holes for almost three weeks. It has now reopened, but it will need some work later in the year.
The new owners are also looking at future renovation to the clubhouse in order to provide a larger area for banquets and weddings.
At this time, the club does not plan to bring in a golf pro but they will offer golf lessons on demand. The former country club pool will remain a private membership. Some upgrades will also be done on the pool after it closes this fall.
They hope to expand the clubhouse deck to allow more room for outside events. A driving range and putting course are currently open at the site.
The bottom line, according to Matt Sale, is that Thorn Spring is family run and has a family atmosphere.
“We need the support of the community to make it home for everybody,” he said. “We want to breathe new life into this place. Already Pulaski County High School has brought its golf team back here.”
Sale said the kitchen at the clubhouse is open on a limited basis, but the family hopes to change that in the near future as events and civic clubs book the banquet room.
Thorn Spring Golf Course, is located at 4360 Country Club Drive, Pulaski, along Lee Highway, shortly after passing New River Community College.