OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Progress is slow at one of South Mississippi’s oldest golf courses. Of course, the lack of cars in the parking lot and missing golfers on the course are part of the reason that Gulf Hills closed in the first place.
With a price tag over $1 million, new owners are certain that Gulf Hills will shine once again, but that’s not before the property gets some much needed TLC.
After social media posts began surfacing about the perceived lack of development at the country club and horses on the fairway, WLOX met with the new leaders on the property to ask about the changes.
It turns out the new residents living on what used to be hole 13 were rescued from a dangerous situation at another farm. New owners Don and Reagan Pfeiffer actually began work on Gulf Hills back in December but only officially closed on the property 13 days ago.
“Since then, work has been started to bring up the property and evaluate the golf course. Everybody is looking forward to having the nine-hole golf course in place and other amenities that this endeavor will bring," said Gulf Hills Civic Association Board President John Fleming.
Once work began to rehab the clubhouse, restaurant and lounge, a major termite infestation was found in all three locations.
“Obviously the energy has been focused on this building, Capone’s, which will eventually include the restaurant and a lounge and they will eventually have the clubhouse here going,” Fleming told WLOX.
With big plans for the course and clubhouse already in the works, that’s not the only thing at Gulf Hills that’s getting a fresh new look.
“Well, we’ve done some remodeling inside the restaurant, we’ve also redone our menu. We’ve added a lot more options and removed some things that weren’t selling. Capone’s comes from the background. Al Capone developed the neighborhood in 1926 but we’re just going back to the history. We love the history, both my husband and myself, and the new owners as well," said Capone’s Restaurant owner Lisa Manley.
Business at the newly named restaurant has ebbed and flowed. An upcoming Valentine’s Day special is completely sold out, but the location will be accepting walk-ins on a first-come-first-served basis. Additionally, there is an upcoming Sip, Eat and Paint night coming up Feb. 18 that will treat guests to an evening with great food and a chance to replicate a famous Peter Max painting.
So while it may not appear on the surface that things are going on here at Gulf Hills, big changes are just over the horizon.