A closed Horry County golf course could be sold and redeveloped if rezoning passes

The green on the par-5 18th hole at Black Bear Golf Club in Longs is fronted by water.
The green on the par-5 18th hole at Black Bear Golf Club in Longs is fronted by water. file photo

The owner of Black Bear Golf Club in Longs, which has been closed for more than a year, said Thursday that the course could be sold and redeveloped if a zoning request is approved by Horry County.

“If we can rezone there I believe we have a chance to sell it,” Kang Zou said in a text message. “Developing there is much better than nothing.”

A proposed zoning change is expected to allow for a recreational and housing development.

Zou said he closed the 28-year-old, 6,787-yard Tom Jackson design off S.C. 9 in August 2016 because it was losing money.

Zou and his mother, Chun Lan Li, purchased the course on 186 acres in June 2014 for $1.5 million. They were among the first Chinese owners of golf courses on the Grand Strand, joining the owners of Crown Park Golf Club and Sea Trail Golf Resort. Investors from China now own 27 Strand courses, including Black Bear and the 22 owned by Founders Group International.

The course and its owners have been involved in a couple lawsuits.

Businessman Dong ‘Raymond’ Ou, who has represented himself as a businessman from Singapore, sued the course owners late last year in an attempt to recoup a $100,000 earnest money deposit he supplied as part of a sales contract late last year. The purchase was never finalized, and Ou later purchased a course in the Pinehurst, N.C., area.

“Ou didn't have enough funds to buy Black Bear so he lost that deposit,” Zou said in April.

Former Black Bear head professional and general manager Patrick Wilkinson is also suing the owners in the court of common pleas, claiming he is owed more than $14,000 for three days of past wages, pro shop merchandise and unpaid revenue from pro shop sales.

Check back Friday for updates to the story

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin