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Harbor Club Year in Review – 2023

Monday, Feb 26, 2024  |  Harbor Club  |  Latest News

We look back at 2023 at Harbor Club as a year of benevolence, stability, challenges-met, and forward-looking strength, all speaking well to the future of our community with the year to come.

That said, here’s a look at the accomplishments and challenges of the year gone by…

– Harbor Club added 58 new club members across the year under the guidance of Membership Director Don Forchilli, now in his third year with our community. Well done, Don!

– We also welcomed a new property management firm, Beacon Management Services, with seasoned Property Manager Devan Donald at the helm. Devan reports that the Harbor Club Master Property Owners Association ended the year financially strong, with surplus revenues of over $166,000 in reserve. Members experienced a slight annual dues increase to $1,500, still a great value relative to other local and national-class golf and lake communities.

Harbor Club Real Estate reported that $50,012,150 in dollar volume of homesites and homes closed in 2023, with a total of 101 transactions according to statistics from Lake Country Board of Realtors.  Kathy Phillips with Harbor Club Real Estate captured 44 percent of the dollar volume sold and 60% of all transactions assisted by Brooke Chandler as sales coordinator. a new addition to the team.

Kathy also worked closely with our Atlanta-based sales and marketing partner, @properties Development Group ǀ Christies International, in launching a fresh, informative and visually compelling new community website.

– The clubhouse was decked-out this year with the addition of four new custom entrance doors at the cost of $20,000. Additionally, the interior roof of the clubhouse received a complete spray insulation that will help keep the building nice and cool for many summers ahead.

– The clubhouse also welcomed Courtney Barnett as the new Restaurant General Manager. Courtney has 18 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and looks forward to unveiling a new menu this month with traditional southern offerings and a bit of Cajun flair.

– Keith Kelly and his staff turned 24,000 rounds of golf and increased revenues in 2023, despite some speed bumps from Mother Nature’s sprinklers, which dampened a few days during Masters Week. Rain also had its way in June and July, with roughly 39 days of it in 60 days. The good news, cart and trail fees will stay the same for golf members. 

Keith and team continued to host local high school teams, including Lake Oconee Academy, for their practice rounds and regional tournaments.

– Course superintendent James Hunt also dealt with water as it crept out of aging galvanized pipes on hole #15, causing a couple fairway sink holes that mandated extensive drainage renovation from the tee down to the pond next to the green. With the $300,000 project completed, the cart-path-only restrictions have been lifted on the beautiful par-4. All total, Harbor Company reinvested $750,000 in capital improvements on just the golf course.

Unfortunately, the work on #15 delayed progress on the bunker renovation plan, which is hoped to be completed in 2024. In addition to freshening-up the sand bunkers, we are also going to say good bye to 17 of them, which will be filled-in and topped with sod. That work will increase the playability of the course, reduce maintenance costs and give the crew more time to perfectly groom the 51 bunkers that will remain.

Other big projects for James this coming year will be the beautifying and enlarging of the channel that frames the 18th hole, tree removal, plus wetland cleanup on 17 and 18.

– Spirited competition, great camaraderie and a delicious lunch was had during the Harbor Club Pickleball Tournament in November. Tournament top honors went to Holly Noordhoek, Sharon Novak, Susie Brown, Marty Amschler, Billy Adams and Greg Preston. Harbor Club Real Estate generously donated $500 to the community’s pickleball community.

– The Boathouse Marina welcomed a new manager with the hire of Shaw Richardson. Plans are for the restaurant to be fully operational beginning this Memorial Day, maybe even a smidge earlier.

– Harbor Club has partnered with one of the country’s premier wedding planners in Athens-based Gilly Francis. Her vast experience, resources and creativity are sure to enhance lifelong memories for that special day.

– Butch Foust and his landscaping company continue to do a great job keeping the common areas and road shoulders wonderfully groomed.

– We were remiss in our letter last year in failing to acknowledge Laurie Rimes’ 25th Anniversary with the community. It’s hard to imagine a resident of Harbor Club who hasn’t engaged with Laurie over that period. We’re so lucky to have her. Congratulations also go to Brad Ward, who begins his 30th year on the golf course maintenance crew.

– We said Hale and Farewell in 2023 to the all-knowing water tower donning the original equestrian logo that so informed Harbor Club’s formative years and beyond. We hope our steed finds, “Some sweet pastured space where creeks sing on, and tall trees grow.” – Stanley Harrison

Have a safe and memorable 2024!